Parables of the Earth: God in Calm and Storm

storm-pleasant-seaThe day before Hurricane Irene, like the day before most large storms, the sea was moved by light winds on the Eastern Seaboard. The scene could be anywhere in the world, because beach scenes are familiar to many people. The sand, playing children, and the sounds are sweet memories for most families. 24 hours later the waves were over 20 feet, the storm surge raised the sea level by 5-10 feet, and lines upon lines of thunderstorms were crossing the shoreline. A day after the storm like this, the skies are typically bright and clear. Does any storm have anything to do with God?

God’s view of storms is well documented in the scripture. In Job 38 the Lord begins to speak to Job. In part of his opening statements he says, “I fixed limits for it (the seas) and set its door and bars in place…This far you may come and no farther; here is where you proud waves halt…”  While hurricanes are immense (Irene was nearly the size of Europe) and they seem to disturb  the coastline, in God’s view, the land-sea boundary is stable. After the flood of Noah, he specifies that he will not flood the earth with water again. Notwithstanding, numerous scriptures speak of storm and weather, because they are part of God’s pointers to his power, the wonders of his creative hand, and his intervention in the affairs of men.

 

 

storm-cumulo-nimbus

His hand today in weather seems forgotten, but believers would be wise to remember that God does not change; His knowledge and hand in weather has not ceased. The description in Job is one of the most poetic yet pointed references by describing precipitation, front passage, clouds, rain, snow, hail, hot sultry days, and winds. The picture above shows the early stages of a rapidly developing cumulonimbus as seen from our backyard. The latent energy in one thunderstorm cell is incredible. A hurricane includes hundreds in bands around a common center. If you measured the energy in Irene, it makes a large man-made explosion look like a pimple.

The hail, lightning, and rain that accompany these “cells” are the most common source of rain on most of the earth’s surface. Effects go much further, but that is a study in itself.

storm-violent-clouds

Near the leading edge of one thunderstorm cell is a clash of violence. If conditions are right, this location can have incredible downdrafts or hail or tornadoes or even snow.

As Job is being addressed, the Lord asks one series of rhetorical questions then says, “Surely you know all of these things [and their origins] for you were already born! You have lived so many years!” The Lord goes back to a description of weather–especially features of a thunderstorm. Some extractions follow: “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the store houses of the hail, which I reserve for times of trouble, for days war and battle? Where is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed…who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm…”

In chapter 37:13 are statements that clearly indicate that the Lord uses weather to both bless and punish, to show love, and to show His wonders. It is not the only Biblical reference to storms and weather but certainly one of the most striking.

In early days of America there are written accounts of broad requests and wide gatherings of people to pray as weather was a hard burden. Are we too arrogant today to consider that the Lord remains big enough to use physical elements to get our attention or show his love or rebuke men? If he is aware of the sparrow and the plight of the smallest person who cannot help himself, then weather remains under his tutelage.

It is common today to dismiss the Lord’s hand in any part of creation but it also develops an attitude that is anti-Biblical or contrary to Biblical truth. God most certainly does use weather, is aware of its details or effects–whether they be large like a hurricane or as small as the dew in a farmer’s pasture. This is consistent with his awareness of the least to the greatest of a mans’ plights.

It is best to honor God and worship him in the best or the worst of times. Our response, if our heart is humble, will be similar to Job’s response after his encounter with Lord. I wish no destruction on anyone from weather, but I recognize the Author and Creator of the weather I experience. It is the same One who created the heavens but also stoops down so far to love me.

If you do not know the One I am speaking of, consider Him and choose to turn from your way to His. Jesus Christ is truly the way, the truth, and the life for those who seek Him.

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