Hard Sky

Weather in the popular worldview that excludes God is exceedingly popular for weather channels and other media. The least storm becomes news for hours for milllions of watchers as a weather event affects a tiny place on the world map. Predictions of events that take a few seconds to state are stretched to take hours of “live” time. Dire predictions are frequently broken up by unrelated video clips of weather violence to heighten the drama. The many words and attention create the atmosphere of great importance. Many of the channels drone on and on. God is almost never mentioned.

On the other hand, God says the seasons will come and go as long as the earth endures. With eloquence He provides descriptions of weather conditions in His conversation with Job like the following:

Job 38:37  You who swelter in your clothes when the land lies hushed under the south wind, can you join him in spreading out the skies, hard as a mirror of cast bronze?

The reference is easily understood by most. It’s hot, still, and the south wind (in northern latitudes) brings an indicator of more of the same conditions. No rain is in sight. When it is clear under these conditions, the sky is spoken of as being “hard.” No clouds, no moisture, and no relief from the sun or the heat is expected. The image shows you an example of a “hard” sky on an exceptionally dry and hot day in a place far away from cities.Az-Verde-Canyon-4

But the point in Job 38 is bigger than any indidual described condition: ‘can you (Job, or us) spread out the skies?’ In the same book God describes the magnificent thunderstorm, rain, drought, lightning, hail, snow, downpours, and winds. All of it is described as related to the Master’s ability, oversight, and sometimes blatent interjection into affairs of life on earth, affecting both people and animals. This is something one does not hear in the monotonous drone on the weather channels or other institutions dedicated to studying the atmosphere. What a glaring omission! We easily forget that this incredibly thin and reasonably balanced atmosphere demonstrates God’s meticulous hand in creation. It’s behavior is governed by his laws and sometimes ordered or perturbed by his hand.

Want to read how a Godly man and people around him deal with a dangerous weather condition that God thoroughly knew was happening? It is actually recorded in good detail in Acts 27. However, read it slowly. Note the ferocity of the storm, the time it took for this event, the attitudes of men in the midst, and what Paul did. Therein lies the mystery–it is truly a weather event that is life threatening, yet Paul never loses his focus on God and knows God’s hand is at work in the midst. Did God order the weather directly or use it, as it was governed by his laws and already created? Is there any difference, when we understand just how thoroughly his understanding reaches every level of the event: from the molecular make-up of the atmosphere to the commands from the Holy Spirit to Paul about what to do while the storm drives the ship to its end?

I think it best that we humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God, whether the sky is “hard as bronze” or the storm is wreaking havoc.

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