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Monday, November 12, 2012

Climate Change in the Bible

I read Psalm 107:33-38 this morning in my regular devotions. On the morning news, I had just heard Ban Ki-moon speak about the pressing need to control carbon emissions in order to prevent catastrophic changes in the climate. He spoke with urgency and passion.

When I read these verses in Psalm 107, I couldn’t help but be reminded of climate change:
            33. He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground;
            34. A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell 
            35. He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into
            36. And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for
            37. And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase.
            38. He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth 
                  not their cattle to decrease.

In verses 33-34, everything wet dries up because of the wickedness of the people. In verses 35-38, God blesses dry ground with water, so that the people can live, plant, and flourish. God changes the climate in certain parts of the earth. The reasons behind His actions are whether the people obey and worship Him or not.

Now, today, when we see a catastrophic event in nature, be it an earthquake, a volcanic eruption, or a hurricane, we can’t presume to know why God allowed it to happen. We don’t know whether or not it was God’s judgment. God knows, of course, but we can’t say with assurance, “This happened because . . . .”

The Bible shows us time and time again that God provides for His people’s needs. He judges the people (and nations) that reject Him.

I love the conclusion of this Psalm! It reveals God’s perspective:

The righteous shall see it, and rejoice:
and all iniquity shall stop her mouth.
Whoso is wise, and will observe these things,
even they shall understand
the lovingkindness of the LORD (Psalm 107:42-43).

God is loving and kind.
What He does is righteous, even if He changes the climate.
We rejoice!

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