Around the time I started high school, Al Gore starred in An Inconvenient Truth and brought a discussion about humanity’s impact on the earth’s climate to the forefront of both household and political discussion. He won an Oscar, a Grammy, and the Nobel Peace Prize – a rare feat. A majority of scientists, according to NASA, agree with Gore that “it is extremely likely” humans are causing climate change to occur. Yet, many skeptics remain. President Trump, it seems, is among them. This article, though, is not meant to be a debate about the cause of climate change or who among us has the correct view. Instead, it is a reminder that the earth has a Creator and He is the One in control.
As the United States prepares for hurricane Jose, less a month after two others (Irma and Harvey), some are asserting Gore was right. Still, others are saying God is angry with America. What is the truth about weather and its related events? For the Christian, holding a Christian worldview, this question need not bring confusion or alarm bells. Quite the contrary, as God’s Word tells us He created and controls what we call weather and/or climate. It is Biblical truth that God used weather related events such as the flood during Noah’s era (Genesis 7:4), drought during Jeremiah’s (Genesis 41:56-57), and hail during Moses’s (Exodus 9:22-25), as punishment; however, to claim He is doing so in modern times is mere speculation.
Humanity (with near certainty) has some impact on the earth, or God would not have given us dominion over it; however, we would do well to remember ultimate control does not belong to us, but was and is a gift from the Almighty. (Genesis 1:26, Genesis 9:1-2, Leviticus 19:9-10, Numbers 35:33-34)
What we can be absolutely certain of is the Lord’s sovereignty, and it is not impeded by weather. The Bible repeatedly speaks to His ability to control our weather. We shouldn’t celebrate natural disasters, but we shouldn’t fear them, either. God remains, always and forever, in control. Here are just five of the various verses in Scripture pointing to God’s authority over weather:
“When he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain, and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses.” -Jeremiah 10:13
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” – Genesis 8:22
“But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up.” – Jonah 1:4
“And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” – Mark 4:39-41
“and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” Acts 14:17
Now, I’d also like to address those who (understandably) ask how and/or why a loving God would allow natural disasters, pain, tears, and death instead of stopping them all or returning in His second coming. Consider this verse and remember that true death is eternal and can be avoided, this is the will of God: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to point out one more verse from Scripture. One which has the key to comfort those affected by the many fires, earthquakes, and hurricanes in our world (and Nation) today. This verse, as a matter of fact, can bring peace to pandemonium regardless of the source.
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” – Psalms 46:10
Hold fast to the faith and resist the urge to fear. Pray for those affected by natural disasters, but remember, also to be doers of the Word and not hearers only (James 1:22). Donate your efforts, time, and/or money to those in need. Give blood. Send care packages. Do something. Be the salt and light of the earth.
P.S. I would be remiss if I did not mention the “Solar Eclipse 2017” event. While Americans (admittedly, I was among them) flocked to the outdoors to view this as a once in a lifetime spectacle, the earth experiences a solar eclipse once every eighteen months. They are known to affect the oceans’ tides, which, in turn has an (albeit slight) effect on the weather/climate. What made this one rare is that the United Sates populace is usually not able to see such an event, at least not coast to coast.