The weather forecast reported a sixty-three-degree start to the day and a twenty-nine-degree ending, with lots of rain and wind to boot. Talk about a Texas MONDAY!
I pulled my underused coat from the closet and wondered why God created winter.
The forecast for Eden
Winter must be another of the consequences of living outside the Garden. Adam and Eve didn’t need clothing in Eden, so it must have been consistently warm. Come to think of it, they probably didn’t need shade either. They didn’t need shelter from the storms, and they never had to clean up after a tornado or hurricane.
Did trees lose their leaves in the Garden of Eden? Did the flowers ever die? Or, did God create the weather changes and climate challenges we experience today as yet another consequence of sin?
The Bible makes it clear that God created the earth and uses weather as a way to display his omnipotence.
What does the Bible say about weather?
The prophet Jeremiah said, “It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens. When he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain, and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses” (Jeremiah 10:12–13).
Jeremiah knew that God ruled the weather, but the Bible also teaches that people can influence God’s actions.
James wrote, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit” (James 5:17–18).
We know God has chosen to speak through weather events.
1 Samuel 12:18 says, “So Samuel called upon the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.”
Isaiah said, “And the Lord will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and storm and hailstones” (Isaiah 30:30).
The climate will always change
According to scientists, our choices have affected the climate. According to the Bible, they always have. There will always be consequences to our sinful choices, just like there were consequences to Adam and Eve’s.
One thing is certain: people will always be better off if we choose to honor and care about God and his creation.
The Bible makes it clear that God uses our weather as a consistent, miraculous reminder of his existence and involvement in our world. After the flood, God told Noah, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22).
Climate change will exist as long as the world does. But should we be praying, asking, and then working to honor God’s creation as best we can?
God reveals himself in our world
God has always used this world he created to reveal himself.
Romans 1:20 says, “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.”
That verse goes on to say that people are “without excuse” if they go through life, observing God’s creation yet never honoring the God who made it. This amazing world we live in is the revelation of our amazing God.
I think it is safe to say that the Lord would want us to preserve and protect his creation. Our planet is a revelation of God to all who dwell on it. I’ve tended to shrug off the “climate-change” politics, but what if we should be asking God how we can help?
Not caring is probably not our best witness.
Our best efforts won’t ensure the world’s existence forever
I do think we should do our best to honor God and care for his creation. At the same time, I’ve studied the Bible and know that our best efforts won’t change the inevitable.
Jesus spoke and the storm was calmed. Jesus spoke his final words on the cross and the earth quaked. And Jesus told his disciples, “See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains” (Mark 13:5–8).
I believe Christians ought to honor God with our choices, including our choice to care for his creation. I believe that, if we honor our planet, we will have a better chance to speak about the reason we care. This week I will teach the passage from 1 Corinthians when the apostle Paul said, “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them” (1 Corinthians 9:19).
We know that God holds the world in his hand and governs the wind and the rain. This world won’t end because of climate change. It will end when God chooses to send his Son back to “wrap things up.”
Until Jesus returns, Christians have a biblical mandate to make ourselves servants for the sake of those who are lost. Our number one priority should be to live in such a way that we can earn the right to “win more of them” to the Lord.
If honoring God’s creation helps others honor God, we have done well as God’s servants.
The arctic cold fronts will come to Texas. So will the hurricanes, tornadoes, and warm spring days. July 2020 will be hotter than we wish it would be. Our seasons will change. Our climate will change. Our world will change.
And every change on earth can serve as a reminder of a God who doesn’t.
His word is truth, his will is certain, and his ways are perfection. One day, Paul’s words to Corinth about the final change to our climate will become reality: “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52).
The world had a beginning, and it will have an end. Everything and everyone on earth will too.
Winter winds strip the trees of their dying leaves. Winter temperatures cause us to find a place to be warm. Winter freezes prepare the ground for all that will come in the spring. Why winter? Because that is how God set things up in this world after Eden.
Our weather and everything else is constantly changing, reminding us that nothing on earth is permanent. But, heaven is eternal and permanently Eden.
Let’s live on earth with a divine perspective and a holy purpose. Christians should live and submit our freedoms for the purpose of serving the lost, hoping to win as many as we can.
What are your goals for the colder days ahead?
The climate will change. Maybe we should too.