Monday, November 19, 2007

God Controls the Weather

In the last post, I quoted a Christian magazine article about the deadly tsunami in Southeast Asia of December 26, 2004...
Sadly, natural disasters are a part of our world. The reason is our world isn't the perfect one God created. Once Adam and Eve sinned, our planet became subject to disease, death, and disaster. The paradise the Creator originally intended became a world where the forces of nature kill and injure innocent people.
I then claimed that there are a number of things wrong with this view.

One problem is the implication that God does not control the weather, that killer earthquakes, tsunamis, and such are somehow outside of those aspects of the universe over which God is sovereign. I would submit that this is an untenable position for anyone who takes seriously the idea that Scripture is God's inspired word.

On page after page of the Old Testament, we find the declaration that it is Yahweh alone who created and sustains the world. It is He who brings rain and drought, storms, earthquakes, lightnings, and fire. What sets Yahweh apart from all other beings--throughout the Old Testament period generally, and during the second temple period (the time during which Jesus lived)--was His identification as the One who created all things and sustains all things.

Moreover, the message shared by the apostles writing the New Testament was that this Jesus of Nazareth was to be identified as God as well because He, too, demonstrated control over such things (a representative sample of "all things" that included storms, diseases, birth defects, demons, and death). Besides demonstrating control over such things, Jesus Himself claimed (and was proclaimed, as by Paul and the author of Hebrews) to be the Creator of all things. It was this identification of Jesus as Creator and Sustainer of all things that caused the Jews of the 1st century to expand their sharp monotheism to accomodate the tri-personal understanding of the Godhead that we discern in the New Testament gospels and epistles.

So to hold a view in which God is no longer in complete control of the weather is not merely to misinterpret Scripture. Such a view undermines the very heart of the Bible's thesis regarding the unique identity of God. In attempting to understand the existence of killer tsunamis and such, therefore, we Christians must do better than to float the unscriptural idea that these things are outside of God's control.

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