From whose womb has come the ice?
And the frost of heaven, who has given it birth? (Job 38:29 NASB)
We got snowed in on last weekend’s camping trip!
The forecast was for 3 to 5 inches of snow, but we got 12! The frost of heaven fell, a full foot in one day at the Brighton Rec Area campground in southeast Michigan. The town of Brighton several miles away got 16.5 inches.
This is the most snow I’ve ever had while camping. It snowed all day Saturday November 21.
It was very unusual to have such a big snow in November. The average Detroit snowfall for all of November is only 1.4 inches. On average the cumulative snowfall doesn’t even reach 3 inches till after Christmas (on December 26). So this was completely unexpected and out of the ordinary for nearby Brighton.
Despite being snowed in, we had no trouble enjoying ourselves through email, pencil puzzles, writing articles, Bible study, reading a Dorothy Sayers mystery, and listening to football games.
Our one-and-a-half-year-old Jack Russell puppy Kepler, who is only 13 inches tall, avoided the deep snow. When we put him outside to do his business, he immediately ducked under the camper to escape the weather.
These pictures, which were taken the next morning after the snow stopped, show what it was like.
From Where Does Snow Come?
Weather extremes are of great human interest. Sometimes weather changes by dozens of degrees in a single day. Can man cause this? Can man freeze a lake as Yahweh can? (Job 38:30)
Man cannot even accurately predict the weather more than a few hours in advance, much less control or even significantly affect it. Brighton got 16.5 inches of snow, but the forecast even that morning was only 3 to 5 inches. How accurate was that forecast? The Almighty alone controls the weather for His own sovereign purposes.
Why Does Snow Come?
Yahweh uses weather to get man’s attention and to speak to him (2 Chronicles 7:13-14; Amos 4:7-8). Sometimes weather and morality are connected — as vividly demonstrated by Noah’s Flood (Genesis 6). The same lesson in reverse (drought instead of flood) was delivered to Israel’s King Ahab 1650 years later (1 Kings 16:30-18:46). Noah’s Flood and Ahab’s Drought were both weather-delivered divine moral judgments.
Extreme winter weather seals the hand of every man (prevents ordinary business and work) for the purpose that all men may know His work (Job 37:5-7). Remember this verse when snow causes inconvenience and cancellations. Instead of bemoaning the snow and ice, praise Yahweh for His glory, majesty, power, and great deeds. He alone can send a snow storm and decorate trees with snow.
We did not experience any difficulty from this storm other than inconvenience. But storms sometimes stagger humanity with destruction, suffering, and death. Does an all-powerful, loving God intentionally send snowstorms, hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis, or does He wish they didn’t happen? Biblical response to disaster includes compassion, assistance, and God’s truth that He controls even destructive weather (Isaiah 45:7).
Why do catastrophes happen? The reason is sin — we live in a broken world (Genesis 3:16-19; Romans 8:20-22).
Nonetheless, God has a clear purpose for catastrophes. How did Jesus answer when asked about tragedy? His astounding answer was that catastrophes—like the Siloam Tower collapse killing eighteen and Pilate’s Galilean massacre—are warnings to repent (Luke 13:1-5).
Jesus was echoing God’s words to Solomon: “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land, or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:13-14 NASB)
God sends famine, drought, blight, plague, storms, and war—to call mankind to repentance. “I killed your young men with the sword…yet you did not return to Me,” declares the Lord. (Amos 4:6-11)
Who sent the Flood that destroyed Noah’s world? Who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah? Who inflicted plagues on Egypt? Who sent Assyria and Babylon to chastise Israel and Judah? Who sent Jesus to the cross (Acts 2:23)?
When my children were young I would tell them, “Don’t waste your discipline. Learn the lesson so you won’t have to repeat the discipline.” Most people waste catastrophes—they miss God’s message. Either they babble nonsense about the power of “Mother Nature,” or they curse God and refuse to repent (Revelation 16:9,11,21).
According to Jesus, the message of tragedy is, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3-5) The proper response to calamity is repentance.
Why expect good weather? If everything developed via random evolutionary processes, catastrophic weather should be the norm.
Expectations of good weather presuppose a benevolent weather Controller. Do we thank God for good weather? The God who “hurled a great wind on the sea” to drive Jonah to repentance orchestrates all weather (Jonah 1:4; Psalm 107:29; Zechariah 10:1).
Matthew, Mark, and Luke report Christ stopped a storm so severe that veteran sailors trembled for their lives, gasping in awe, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” (Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:36-41; Luke 8:22-25)
God controls all creation, from sparrow deaths (Matthew 10:29), to storm paths (Job 37:9-13), to rulers’ rise and fall (Isaiah 40:23-24; Daniel 2:21,37-38,44; 4:17,32). Storms are God’s “merciful megaphones” to get man’s attention. The crucial message of every calamity is “Repent and follow Christ.”
What Snowstorms Cannot Destroy
People scramble to safeguard life and property against storms, but neglect the essential preparation — repentance for sin and commitment to Jesus Christ. Eventually life and property will be destroyed anyway (Hebrews 9:27; 2 Peter 3:7,10-12).
Prepare for life’s storms by turning to Jesus Christ. The gain is eternal life which storms cannot destroy. The greatest tragedy of history provided reconciliation with God. Christ died for my sins and gave me eternal life. Why fear storms, bad hair days, or anything else?
Questions to Ponder
- What is the most snow you’ve seen fall in one day?
- Have you made the one essential preparation for life’s storms?
Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.
Soli Deo Gloria.
Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!
©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday November 25, 2015 A.D.
God thunders with His voice wondrously,
Doing great things which we cannot comprehend.
For to the snow He says, “Fall on the earth,”
And to the downpour and the rain, “Be strong.”
He seals the hand of every man,
That all men may know His work. (Job 37:5-7)