Gatlinburg Fire Update: See the Bible Verse Found Near the Blaze

A man who was helping clean areas near the Gatlinburg fire in Tennessee found a soaking wet Bible verse that mentions a raging fire, and now people are using the verse as a sign of hope to get through the devastation.

Others are seeing it as an ominous sign of end times.

The devastating blaze has swept through the Tennessee resort towns of Sevier County, devouring homes and businesses and killing three people as it burned through 15,000 acres. Officials have said it was “human-caused” without being more specific, said CNN. People described the horrific scene as being like hell.

Isaac McCord wrote on Facebook: “I just found this while helping our House and Grounds team clean different areas of Dollywood Theme Park. It was under a bench soaking wet. Talk about goosebumps….”

Here’s what the Bible verse said:

gatlinburg bible

The photo Isaac McCord posted on Facebook.

Joel 1:15
The day of the LORD is near, the day when destruction comes from the Almighty. How terrible that day will be!
Joel 1:19
To you, LORD, I call, for fire has devoured the pastures in the wilderness and flames have burned up all the trees of the field.
Joel 1:20
Even the beasts of the field pant for you because the water brooks are dried up, and fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.
And at the bottom barely visible is:
Joel 2:1
Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand;

McCord concluded his post #PrayForGatlinburg. The comment thread filled with comments from people who were moved by the find. Some examples:

“Praise be to God, for his will we do not understand, but he loves us enough to let all know of His return soon to come.”

“I believe we are in our last days….maybe this is a wake up call.”

“Just like we talked about. God speaks to us in many different ways and through many different people.”


Isaac McCord. (Facebook)

McCord says on Facebook that he is the HR Training Coordinator at Dollywood. After more than 113,000 people shared his post on Facebook about the Bible verse, McCord posted about it again, writing:

I want to take a moment to thank those who have played an integral part in spreading hope and faith during such tragedy. As Gatlinburg and Sevier County assess damages, I’m brought to my knees as realizations of homelessness become reality for a vast majority of folks in the area. The post I made earlier today reflects the vision and mission for those affected, and that is, to rebuild. The community and surrounding counties are very resilient in their ability to persevere in times of great struggle, and I pray that everyone joins together in bringing this to life. We need you more than ever. For those expressing gratitude for the sharing of today’s experience, THANK YOU for reaching out. It means the world to me to see such kind and loving comments come in from all over the country. You guys rock. For those wishing to aid in the fight whether by donation or volunteer work, please contact Red Cross @ 1-800-Red-Cross (1-800-733-27677).

See more photos of the fires: