Has Someone Upset “Mother Nature”?
Wild weather is affecting many parts of the globe. Instead of wondering what’s wrong with “Mother Nature,” should we be looking to the Bible for insight?
Two weeks ago I was chipping away ice accumulation on my driveway, and now I’m shoveling heavy snow as we prepare for another blizzard. Of course, it is winter here in Canada, but this is unusual. Some locals have asked, “Did someone upset Mother Nature?”
Around the globe
It seems there is something ominous in the weather patterns around the globe.
Here in Canada, the recent ice storm in Toronto, Ontario, left hundreds of thousands of homes without power; in Newfoundland, 90,000 homes went without electricity.
In the United States the National Weather Service predicted a low of -22 degrees Celsius (-8 degrees Fahrenheit) for Kansas City, just shy of the record low -25 C (-13 F) set in 1912. Weather forecasters in the Midwest have called the recent U.S. winter weather a “historic freeze.”
In Indiana, a state of emergency was declared in several northwest counties, allowing only emergency and law enforcement vehicles on the roads.
By contrast, in Australia, where it is summer, extremely high recurring temperatures of 43 C (110 F) caused unpleasant conditions in the cities and great concern for many farmers who were short of water and feed for their livestock.
Did someone upset “Mother Nature”?
Some jokingly attribute such weather catastrophes to “Mother Nature.” But more seriously, should we reflect on whether such disasters at times involve sin—whether nationally, globally or personally? After a disastrous tornado, a man once said: “Maybe someone up there isn’t happy with us.” There is biblical precedent for considering this.
What God says about the weather
In specific Bible references, the withholding of good weather is revealed at times to be of divine origin.
Sometimes when God has been distressed at people’s sinful ways, He has gotten their attention by holding back the blessing of rain in due season (Deuteronomy 11:16-17; Amos 4:7-9).
In a remarkable prayer at the dedication of the temple in Jerusalem, King Solomon acknowledged: “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them, then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance” (1 Kings 8:35-36, emphasis added throughout).
This tells us that the real source of good weather is the Creator God. Upset weather conditions may help focus our attention on the fact that God is not pleased with the way we live as a people.
Bad news and good news
The short-term bad news should make us pause and ask: Can we continue to believe that all these weather catastrophes are just random, isolated events?
The long-term good news is about what will become normal weather in the future. God said to the ancient Israelites, “And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled” (Deuteronomy 11:13-15).
Imagine rain in due season—every time, predictable! Wouldn’t this be a wonderful benefit for obeying our Creator? “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘when the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed’” (Amos 9:13). Can you imagine this as normal weather year after year?
The prophet Ezekiel records God saying of the future: “I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you” (Ezekiel 36:29). The preceding verses show this is a reward after a “new heart” and a “new spirit” moves people to keep God’s decrees and laws (verses 26-30).
The good long-range forecast is that we are heading for centuries of predictable weather.
After Jesus Christ returns to establish the Kingdom of God, God’s law and government will be restored to earth. Weather reporters in the future will at last have an easy job.
Good weather will be a regular occurrence. Rain will come in due season, and sunshine aplenty will be the norm for harvest. Year in, year out, decade by decade, it will be predictable, sure, guaranteed. That is, as long as humans remain obedient to God’s way of give instead of today’s way of get.
Well, for now I have to shovel more snow off the driveway!
Read more about the wonderful world God has planned in our section on the “Kingdom of God.”