Recently, our minister gave a sermon based on Elijah’s great victory over the prophets of Baal, but, as a personal aside, mentioned that he did not consider God responsible for the drought. For me, this took a lot of the sting out of whatever followed, so I pondered the question in my mind. I Kings 17:1 begins the story with the sudden appearance of Elijah, “And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” Perhaps Ahab thought as our minister did that God would not be responsible for a drought, but St. James disagrees with them both. In James 5:17-18 we read, “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” So, according to James, God responded to a prayer by shutting up the heavens thereby providing no rain. It would seem to me that God controls the rain and other weather elements like, fire, snow, ice, dew, hail and wind. But what does the Bible say?
Matthew 8:24-27 states, “And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, inasmuch as the ship was covered with the waves; but he was asleep. And His disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us; we perish. And he said unto them, O why are ye fearful, ye of little faith? Then he arose and rebuked the wind and the sea and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, what manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” Confirmation is found in Psalm 89:9, “Thou rulest the raging of the sea; when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.” Apart from the resurrection of Jesus and others like Lazurus, this is perhaps His greatest miracle demonstrating His Godly authority. All the gospel writers found this to be important, for each of them deals with this event and some, like Mark, includes the story of Jesus walking on the sea.
Solomon, the world’s wisest man, believed that God could cause droughts. In his dedication prayer of the temple, he says in II Chronicles 6:26-27, “When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them: Then hear thou from heaven and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; AND SEND RAIN UPON THY LAND, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance.” Also, in the first paragraph we mentioned, “Fire.” II Chronicles 7:1 tells us, “Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house.” So, there is further confirmation.
Then, there is the tests of Gideon with the fleece. It is found in Judges 6: 37-40, “Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only and if it be dry on all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. And it was so; for he rose up early on the morrow and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. And Gideon said unto God, Let not thy anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once, Let me prove, I pray thee, this once with the fleece; now let it be dry only on the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. AND GOD DID SO THAT NIGHT; For it was dry on the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.” So, we have further evidence from the Bible that God controls the weather elements, in this case, the dew.
Also, the book of Job has some things to say on this subject. In Job 12:15 we read, “Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sendeth them out and they overturn the earth.” And Job 28: 25-27, “To make the weight for the winds, and he weigheth the waters by measure. When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder: Then he did see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out.” Or, Job 37:6.”For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth.” And then there is the summarizing passage in Job 38:22-30, “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war? By what way is the light parted which scattereth the east wind upon the earth? Who has divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder; To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness whereon there is no man; To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth? Hath the rain a father or who hast begotten the drops of dew? Out of whose womb came the ice, and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it? The waters are hid as with a stone and the face of the deep is frozen.” In Job 42: 2, “Job answered the Lord and said, I know that thou CANST DO EVERY THING!” For me, this discussion is quite convincing.
To finalize, we quote from the great prophet in Isaiah 46:11, “Yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” And Isaiah 55: 8-11, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither but watereth the earth and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper is the thing whereto I sent it.” What a statement from God on his infinite power! Being merely men, we cannot hope to understand His purposes or His thoughts, but we do trust the Lord and take his utterances on faith.
So, does God control the weather? I hope the evidence presented persuades you that such is the case. If we do accept it, then we must consider the spate of disasters hitting the North American continent. In recent years, we have experienced hurricanes, tornados, floods, ice storms, disastrous snow storms, bush fires, floods which froze into place, destruction of homes by forest fires and crops by hail. Solomon says these things happen BECAUSE WE HAVE SINNED AGAINST THEE! There you have it! While our clergy and political leaders regard these “natural” disasters as outside the realm of God, we treat the symptoms and avoid the root causes, our abandonment of God’s laws. When shall we open our eyes and see? When shall we open our ears and hear? When shall we open our minds to understand? Right now, we are the blind led by the blind and together we shall fall into the ditch. I fear God is losing patience with us and is determined to drive us to our knees in repentance, supplication and prayer. Let us not wait to be forced. Let us begin by confessing our manifold sins and seeking God’s mercy which is in generous supply because the Lord is anxious to bless and prosper us but we provoke him to use his weapons against us.
Food for thought?