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Power of the Storm

James Grayston

This past week has been the week of Storm Gertrude. The isobars on the weather forecast warned of the impending gales, and sure enough, they arrived. We all experience the concern of these conditions, from worrying about property damage to wondering if our dustbins will be found in some other part of the street. It may be we worry about travel disruption, or personal safety. Perhaps you had a loved on stranded either on an island or the mainland, unable to sail in the storm. And yet amidst the variety of anxieties that come at a time like this, there is something about a storm that is compelling; the effects of the invisible force of moving air, the surging roll of the sea, the howling of the wind or the crashing of the waves as they meet the land.

In the Bible, the book of Job (a poetic prose account of a man of integrity, and the advice and philosophising of his friends) uses powerful language to demonstrate how the weather is a display of the power and majesty of God. Below is one such section, from Chapter 37. As you read it, consider the words of the last phrase, “All who are wise show Him [God] reverence.” 

 

 

"Listen carefully to the thunder of God’s voice  as it rolls from his mouth. It rolls across the heavensand his lightning flashes in every direction. Then comes the roaring of the thunder—the tremendous voice of his majesty. He does not restrain it when he speaks. God’s voice is glorious in the thunder. 

 We can’t even imagine the greatness of his power  

 He directs the snow to fall on the earth and tells the rain to pour down. Then everyone stops working so they can watch his power. The wild animals take cover and stay inside their dens.  

The stormy wind comes from its chamber, and the driving winds bring the cold. God’s breath sends the ice, freezing wide expanses of water. He loads the clouds with moisture, and they flash with his lightning. The clouds churn about at his direction. They do whatever he commands throughout the earth. He makes these things happen either to punish people or to show his unfailing love. 

Pay attention to this, Job. Stop and consider the wonderful miracles of God! Do you know how God controls the storm and causes the lightning to flash from his clouds? Do you understand how he moves the clouds with wonderful perfection and skill? When you are sweltering in your clothes and the south wind dies down and everything is still, he makes the skies reflect the heat like a bronze mirror. Can you do that? 

So teach the rest of us what to say to God We are too ignorant to make our own arguments.Should God be notified that I want to speak? Can people even speak when they are confused? 

We cannot look at the sun, for it shines brightly in the sky when the wind clears away the clouds. So also, golden splendor comes from the mountain of God. He is clothed in dazzling splendour. We cannot imagine the power of the Almighty; but even though he is just and righteous, he does not destroy us. 

 No wonder people everywhere fear him.All who are wise show him reverence."