Why Can’t They Get the Weather Forecast Right?

In an earlier post, I mentioned the complexity of the human hand. Now I ask you to consider a few more amazing works of God such as the symmetry of a spider’s web, the mystery of animal migration, the intricacy of the human eye, and the storage capacity of the human brain. Together with prophecy, creation provides indisputable proof of the perfect knowledge and wisdom of God.

Job is one of the best witnesses to this fact, for what was the main issue Job faced in his book? Suffering! Job suffered excruciating pain and loss—the death of his children, the destruction of his wealth, and the ruin of his health—leading him to question God’s judgment, wondering: “Why is this happening to me? I haven’t committed any heinous sin to deserve these trials!” And for 37 chapters, God patiently waits in silence letting Job vent his grievances. But in chapter 38, it’s God’s turn to speak and Job’s turn to be quiet. God corrects Job’s attitude by asking him a series of questions about creation, each one illustrating the infinite wisdom of God and the very limited understanding of Job.

Verse 1: “Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: ‘Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you and you shall answer Me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring a line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together, and all the angels shouted for joy?’” In the verses that follow, God proceeds to ask Job 62 additional questions, each one designed to expose Job’s ignorance and exalt the infinite knowledge and wisdom of God.

One of the questions on God’s pop quiz is a topic we talk about every day: the weather! He asks Job, “Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm, to water a land where no man lives, a desert with no one in it, to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass?” (38:25-27) God adds in verse 34: “Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water?” Of course, the answer is: No one can control the weather. In fact, not only can’t we control it, we don’t even predict it very well. Did you hear about the young meteorologist fresh out of college who landed a job as a weatherman for a television station back east? Try as he might, he couldn’t get the forecast right. So he was promptly fired and flew home in embarrassment. The friend who picked him up at the airport asked him why he was back so soon. His reply: “The climate didn’t agree with me.”

Another fascinating question follows in verse 35: “Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, ‘Here we are!’?” You and I hear the see the lightning and hear the thunder, and we wonder why God would create something so frightening and destructive. After all, just think of the damage it can do—sparking forest fires, causing power outages, and sending children (not to mention a few adults) scrambling for a place to hide. One thunderstorm I’ll never forget took place while we were serving in Romania. Without warning, hailstones the size of golf balls started raining down from the sky, one of them shattering our dining room window before we got the shutters closed. And yet, lightning also plays a crucial role in feeding the plant life of our planet. For even though 80% of our atmosphere is nitrogen, which is essential to plant life, the question is how to get it out of the sky and into the soil. One answer is lightning. When lightning flashes across the sky, its intense heat dissolves the nitrogen with the rain and carries it to the earth below. That’s why we smell acid in the air after a thunderstorm. It’s the smell of God’s natural fertilizer fallen to earth.

The point is: Our God is not a haphazard god who acts without purpose. He’s an infinitely wise God with a good reason for everything He does—whether it’s sending lightning crashing across the sky or allowing suffering to enter our lives. We may not understand it at the time. Job certainly didn’t. But God has a good purpose for everything He does. So let’s trust Him with whatever enters our lives today. After all, if God can rule all of creation with such wisdom and majesty, shouldn’t we be able to trust Him to manage to our lives too?

Tomorrow – point #4: God’s knowledge is precious in experience.

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