1999-05-17 - You Can’t Blame the Weather
Psalm 66:3 “Say to God, How stunning are thy deeds...”
Wine growers in Toulouse, France plan to sue the National Weather Service. It seems the weather service failed to predict hail storms that devastated thousands of acres of vines. So if you can’t blame the weather, you apparently can blame (or try to) the weather forecaster.
Christians see events like hail storms, tornadoes, sunny days, and April showers in the Providence of God. It is often not a popular doctrine today because everyone wants God to be a buddy. God is a dear friend to us, but “God is my buddy” theology generally has little room for hail storms, or car accidents, or a sudden diagnosis of terminal cancer. When these hit, God ceases to feel like my buddy. Alas, these events and circumstances become puzzling and inexplicable.
Like it or not, everything falls under the Providence of God. In Exodus 21:13 we are told that even the death of one man, by the hand of another man, falls under the providence of God, “… God let him fall into his hand.” Concerning chance and lots, “The lot is cast into the lap, but from Yahweh, it is all of His decision.” (Proverbs 16:33)
Examples from Scripture abound in this area. “The king’s heart, like streams of water, is in the hand of Yahweh. He turns it wherever He will.” (Proverbs 22:1) Or may I remind you of examples from Scripture of Balaam, Saul, Esau, or Pharaoh. Regarding Pharaoh, the Bibles says over and over, “The Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart.” (Exodus 4:21, 10:20, 27, 11:10...)
All throughout the Old Testament the Jews are scolded time and again for not remembering the acts of God in the past. Let us not be like them. God is at work in our midst. Some things make no sense to us. Some things are not within our privilege to understand, except in this way, they must teach us to depend and rely upon God. We must learn that His ways are beyond us and His plans are not always as we think they should be.
One of my best friends lost a child last week. He and his wife are both devastated. What is the proper response and how should they view their situation? It’s a tough one. As we talked and they told me some of the things they had recently gone through and all the events at the hospital and such, I could not help but think of their witness to Christ throughout the whole ordeal. They were stronger than I could have been. They represented the Christian faith unfailingly and Christ was glorified in the midst of their pain and loss. They were ambassadors. (2 Corinthians 5:20)
In the Providence of God I can’t explain why He puts people through the things that He does, but I can see, as I did last week, Christians living their faith in tough times and testifying to the grace and mercy of God even when that mercy seems harsh and that grace seems wanting. It is in these times when faith is tested, that true faith often shines as gold and becomes purified even more. May God grant us grace that we might learn to trust and bless God in all His Providences.
“Blush, O philosopher, proud of thy knowledge, and no longer think it right to esteem God so little a Being, as that thou, little as thou art, canst comprehend the whole of him in thy puny mind, and search into all his secrets, and fully conceive of him as he altogether is.” --Thomas Bradwardine
Soli Deo Gloria,