08 January 2006

Thinking About the Weather

See: http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/01/08/D8F0L3GG4.html
and: http://www.enterprisemission.com/weblog/2005/09/more-support-for-undeclared-global.html

“The Fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I alone has escaped to tell you.” Job 1:16

Can the Devil control the weather? It may seem like a pretty esoteric question, but I wonder if it isn’t quite relevant. In a culture fixated by the weather, and especially after a year dominated by weather related stories, it may be worth asking who is at the wheel.

In general, we think of the weather as an “act of God.” So much so that this is the official term used by most insurance companies to identify things like lightning strikes and tornados. And certainly, there are lots of scripture references that back this point of view up. The Word regularly points to weather events as evidence of His wrath or mercy. From Elijah’s miraculous drought and rain, to Revelation’s angels holding back the four winds. And yet, that’s not the whole story.

In Job, Satan is apparently able to make fire fall from heaven to kills Job’s flocks and a great wind destroy a house with all of Job’s kids inside. Now admittedly, fire from the sky the sky is not exactly a normal weather event, but the wind is certainly normal enough. And you might notice that Job’s servant reports the fire thing as “The Fire of God.” In his mind too, such an event is God’s pervue only. In fact the central thread in Job revolves around very wise, sincere believers who mistake Satan’s activity as God’s judgment. But wait, there’s more...

“...then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.” Matt 8:26
Did you ever think about this verse – Jesus rebukes the weather. Where I come from you only rebuke someone who is misbehaving, but maybe that’s just me. Was the wind somehow misbehaving? The Word says the disciples were afraid for their lives, so we can guess that the storm was significant, but is it possible that it was some kind of an attack, that in some way the weather had turned against Jesus and his disciples? (which reminds me of the withered fig tree – a story that totally bends my noodle, but I digress...)

We’re told that the Devil is the Prince of the Power of the Air (Eph 2:2). Satan huffs and puffs and blows Job Jr’s house down. Jesus sees something about a storm that isn’t right and commands it to get its act together. It would appear that there’s more to this weather thing than what we se at first glance.

Perhaps the real problem is that we still tend to think of the weather as simply happening instead of seeing it as a process that is constantly unfolding. Despite the 24-hour weather channel and the Doppler 800, we still tend to think of storms or heat waves as discreet events that have an immediate and direct cause. Something ‘happened’ and now we have a tornado.

But let me get back to my original point – can the Devil control the weather? Well there at least seems to be the suggestion that he can influence it given the opportunity, and weather control is one the A-1 Big Time Golden Fleece goals of the modern world. At it’s heart, the entire debate about global warming hinges on weather control - the assertion that the weather and climate CAN be effected directly and that if we accidentally screwed it up in the past, we can deliberately fix it now. Now the global warming question is pretty mainstream as far as that goes, but there are subcultures out there who are far more direct about it. See the link at the top of this page for a guy who claims unspecified agencies in the world are engaged in a secret weather war using fancy weather shaping technology. Opposite the camp that is willing to say weather control is within man’s reach is the crowd who asserts that the weather is specifically and unambiguously in the realm of God. Atop both of these is the increasingly intense focus our media puts on the weather. Hurricane Katrina was recently rated as the biggest story of 2005.

Imagine a man stepping onto this stage who can demonstrate his personal ability to control the weather. Whether by saying the magic words or by pushing buttons on a remote control – how would such a man be seen in today’s world? For a populations increasingly fearful of the next ice storm, or the next heat wave, or the next partly cloudy day, such a person would be seen as something of a savior. For those who already think the weather is controllable with the right tools, here is a leader – a man after their own hearts and aims with the proper tools. For those who insist that the weather responds only to God – they may find themselves with some very difficult choices to make.

“For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” Matt 24:24


Devin said...

That's a really interesting question. I recall being at Harvest back in Riverside, California, when a guest pastor filling in for Greg suggested that Satan was the source of disasterous, destructive weather. I objected then, and I still do. After all, when Job questions God, one of His responses is: "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, which I reserve for times of trouble, for says of war and battle? What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth? Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm... (Job 38: 22-25)?"

But you're right. In the very same book, we see Satan unleashed by God to do his worst, and that appears to be quite a lot. I guess that if two angels could destroy an entire city with fire and brimstone, the most highly-ranked angel that God created must have considerable power. And if humanity is ever able to manipulate the weather with technology, I think it's a fair bet that Satan would have the power to do at least as much...though it seems that his best bet is to encourage us to do it on his behalf. While God restrains Satan, He has mostly allowed humans to do as they choose, for good or evil...

Marilyn said...

I think it is important to note that in the book of Job Satan is acting with God's permission, he's been allowed to do what he will short of taking Job's life.

My next thought is what's not to say Satan hasn't approached God since then with the same scheme or type of scheme?

My personal thoughts about the weather seem to be that it is a system that operates under the physical laws God set out for it from the beginning with the exception of times when God has found it necessary to intervene in that system.

I don't think that Satan can so much "control" the weather as he can play parlor tricks with it. Maybe he can whip up a storm once in awhile but not control the whole thing. I mean from a scientific aspect this would require him to be able to control the Earth's relationship with the sun, mainly the sun's influence on the Earth's atmosphere.

The weather is a pretty powerful thing and I just don't want to think that God left us vulnerable to Satan's whims that way.

My guess as to the interpretation to Eph 2:2 is that it's a spiritual power like when in Daniel 10 a demon prevented an angel for 10 days from reaching Daniel with the answer to his prayer.

But none of this prevents a human being from coming up with a way to play his own parlor tricks with the weather (since orginally God gave dominion over the Earth to Adam and then Adam bowed his knee to the serpent).

Interesting post, keep them coming.

Anonymous said...

What sort of world would this be if the physical laws of nature were at the whim and fancy of these forces? One with no consistency, predictability or rationality. Is gravity, which does TERRIBLE things like kill babies when they fall out of buildings, or pull bombs down from airplanes, also the tool of evil? Please. Is this a genuine worry? Go and let the forces of good lead you to show some charity to someone who has, randomly and unfortunately had their lives affected by tsumanis or earthquakes.