Life is marked by events of suffering, both great and small. At present there is great suffering in Turkiye (earthquake) and the Ukraine (war). Some are the products of a natural disaster impacting entire communities with grief and loss. Others are the fruit of human evil that has a profound effect on the world. Still others are private, affecting a person of a family. In all these cases people struggle to understand why it happens. And they question God’s goodness or His justice.
Job 1-37 describes the intense suffering of Job, which causes him to question God. Then God asks lots of science questions. Here are the meteorology questions.
22“Have you [Job] visited the storehouses of the snow
or seen the storehouses of hail?
23 (I have reserved them as weapons for the time of trouble,
for the day of battle and war.)
24 Where is the path to the source of light?
Where is the home of the east wind?
25 “Who created a channel for the torrents of rain?
Who laid out the path for the lightning?
26 Who makes the rain fall on barren land,
in a desert where no one lives?
27 Who sends rain to satisfy the parched ground
and make the tender grass spring up?
28 “Does the rain have a father?
Who gives birth to the dew?
29 Who is the mother of the ice?
Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens?
30 For the water turns to ice as hard as rock,
and the surface of the water freezes?”
34 “Can you [Job] shout to the clouds
and make it rain?
35 Can you [Job] make lightning appear
and cause it to strike as you direct?
36 Who gives intuition to the heart
and instinct to the mind?
37 Who is wise enough to count all the clouds?
Who can tilt the water jars of heaven
38 when the parched ground is dry
and the soil has hardened into clods?”
Snow, hail, rain, dew, ice, frost and clouds are part of the atmospheric water cycle. And “torrents of rain” and lighting are associated with thunderstorms.
God asks, who controls the atmospheric water cycle? Who causes rain, hail, snow, dew, ice and frost? The answer is “Not us”, only God can do that.
Did you know that water vapor is the major greenhouse gas in the earth’s atmosphere?
Lessons for us
The lesson for Job and for us is that if God can control the atmospheric water cycle, we can trust Him for the future.
Who controls atmospheric temperatures? The answer is “Not us”, only God can do that. And the factors affecting these temperatures are far more complicated than we can understand. We can’t do what God has done. We can’t understand what God understands. But the components of the atmosphere function well together to enable life on earth. Suffering exists, but God is still at work. Reminders of God’s power and providence are evident everywhere in the earth’s atmosphere.
This post is based on “The mystery of suffering”, Our Daily Bread, January 2023 topic.
Posted, February 2023
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