Is God to Blame for the Weather?

god weather

Here in rural NW Ohio, we are having a memorable winter. Record snowfalls, record lows, just the kind of weather global warming deniers love to see. There is a long-term drought in places like California and Arizona, and many places across the globe are recording record high temperatures and record high low temperatures. (the low temperatures are much higher)  Floods, tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes,high winds, no winds, lots of rain, no rain, ice, sleet, snow, freezing rain, lightning, droughts, heat waves, record highs, record lows, along with periods of perfect, wonderful, low humidity, temperatures…just right days. The only constant about the weather is that it is always changing.

In Greek mythology, Zeus, along with a host of gods underneath him, controlled the weather. While no one today, believes Zeus controls the weather, hundreds of millions of people believe that the God of the Christian Bible does. Daily prayers are offered to the Christian deity in the hope that he will change the weather for the petitioner. Ohio farmers are known to pray when they need rain or when they need the rain to stop. In times of drought, churches gather together to corporately beseech the Divine Weatherman to act on their behalf.

Here is some of what the Bible says about God and his connection to the weather:

…for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth…For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth… (Genesis 2:5, Genesis 7:4)

And, behold, I (God), even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. (Genesis 6:17)

…Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail…(Exodus 9:18)

…and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground…(Exodus 9:23)

…And the Lord turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts…(Exodus 10:19)

…and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night…(Exodus 14:21)

…that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. (Deuteronomy 11:14)

…and then the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit;…(Deuteronomy 11:17)

The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed. (Deuteronomy 28:24)

So Samuel called unto the Lord; and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day…(1 Samuel 12:18)

Go, shew thyself (Elijah)  unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth. (1 Kings 18:1)

Who (God) giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields (Job 5:10)

He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind. (Psalm 78:26)

Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth;he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries (Psalm 135:6,7)

And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. (Amos 4:7)

For if God… spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;…(2 Peter 2:4-6)

It is clear, from the Bible, that the Christian God controls the weather. Most Christians also believe that God is all-powerful, that he holds the world in the palm of his hand. Most Christians believe that God is sovereign, that he is  in control of everything. He is the first cause and nothing is beyond his purview.

Yet, when a tornado or hurricane cause horrific property damage and loss of life, most Christians refuse to blame their God. When Hurricane Katrina and Sandy laid waste to the Gulf Coast and East Coast, no Christian minister, except perhaps a hardcore Calvinist or Pat Robertson, took to the pulpit and said, dear people, God is responsible for the devastation! When the weather kills, maims, and destroys, why do most Christians not blame the one person the Bible says is responsible?

Evangelicals, in particular,  must maintain that God is good all the time, all the time God is good. God can never be charged with doing anything that is considered evil or bad. If the above mentioned verses are true, and Evangelicals believe ALL the verses in the Bible are true, then culpability for the destruction that comes from adverse weather must be laid at the feet of God (Jesus). There is no possible way for an Evangelical to talk themselves out of this one. The inerrant, infallible, inspired Bible is clear…God controls the weather. If God controls the weather then he is responsible for what happens when he puts his divine weather plan into action.

I am sure more than a few Christians right now are trying their best to come up with a rebuttal to what I have written here. I am sure they are desperately trying to figure out a way to hang on to their belief that the Bible is meant to be read literally and is inerrant, and at the same time ignore or explain away the verses I mentioned above. (and I could have mentioned many more)  Good luck!

Comments (14)

  1. kittybrat

    Of course God controls the weather, unless one is trying to make excuses… but if the Bible is to be believed, how, indeed, can excuses be made?
    Oh, Bruce, you’ve pissed off the Almighty again! Mountains of snow for YOU! (Oh, and me, too!).

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Yes, just remember whatever Chicago sends our way, we sent it on to you. :)

      Reply
  2. Ashley Haworth-roberts

    As you may have heard, while Americans shiver here in the UK we are having one of the mildest winters EVER but also one of the wettest winters EVER. There have been continual deluges, river and floodplain inundations, severe gales and associated power cuts, freak hail, squalls, a North Sea storm surge, heavy swells and giant waves (coupled with spring tides) bringing coastal flooding on much of our western coastline and so on. The wettest ever December in Scotland. The wettest ever January is southern England. Virtually no snow – except in the Scottish Highlands where very high levels have seen plenty.
    A member of the right wing United Kingdom Independence Party was recently blaming David Cameron – for bringing in ‘gay marriage’. Not UKIP’s official policy in fairness. I suppose they could repeal the legisation and see if the UK weather starts behaving itself!
    Trouble is the unusually powerful jet stream responsible for our recent rain and wind has been triggered in part by the unusually cold air over Canada this winter (and the eastern Atlantic itself may have been warm for the time of year at the start of December due to last year’s warm UK summer and fairly warm autumn).

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Ashley,

      So much easier to say God did it. :)

      This winter resembles the winters of my youth, but we have not had a winter like this in decades. This is bad-ass, off the lake, Chicago and Canadian winter. And we are expecting 5-10 more inches of snow Tuesday and Wednesday.

      I am READY for Spring. :)

      Bruce

      Reply
      1. Ashley Haworth-roberts

        Perhaps my use of the word ‘EVER’ with respect to mildness was slightly exaggerated. Met Office UK-wide temperature and rainfall records date back to 1910. It won’t be the mildest winter Dec-Feb in that time (very possibly in the top five). However, I predict that it will almost certainly be the wettest winter in the 105 or so years of records. December was also the stormiest on record. On 24 December a depression off the Outer Hebrides had a central pressure of 927 millibars. The Somerset levels have been underwater for nearly five weeks already and another deluge and severe gale is heading in for this Wednesday.
        Our weather gets stuck in a rut for months these days – the terrible weather for most of summer 2012 (though the Olympic period was somewhat better) and the prolonged spring easterly freeze in 2013.
        It looks like climate change – to more extremes.

        Reply
        1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          When you are swimming or up to your ass in snow, a little hyperbole is OK. :)

          Reply
  3. Steve

    When I was little, I was taught God only controls the weather if it’s good. If it’s bad, it’s the Devil’s fault.

    Reply
  4. Ashley Haworth-roberts

    The UKIP person in question is an evangelical Christian, as you probably guessed:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/ukip/10581812/Ukip-councillor-blames-floods-on-gay-marriage.html

    Disease, pestilence and war must be on the way too in the UK if he is correct.

    Reply
    1. sgl

      as you might have heard, after gay marriage was blamed for the floods, some gays then offered to tour drought-stricken areas to alleviate the drought. ;)

      eg:
      http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/married-gays-to-tour-drought-hit-countries-2014012082721

      Reply
      1. gimpi

        Oh, love it, love it, love it, Sgl. Perhaps they could tour Texas. I understand they’ve been in drought for several years now, even after Governor Perry’s Day of Prayer. Perhaps a couple of married gay people could fix what the Day of Prayer apparently couldn’t.

        Reply
  5. 29dinosaurScott

    Weather – Acts of God. I just cringe when I hear Christians say – “God blessed us with beautiful weather for the school sports carnival”. I never hear them say “God has cursed us with a miserable wet day”…. The rain falls on the just and unjust alike – blessed be the name of the Lord.

    I guess most north American Evangelical Christians couldn’t care less whether climate change is real or not. Firstly I guess they’re mostly end times nut cases or secondly why bother when God controls the weather and climate anyway….

    Oh why just pick on weather Bruce? What do you reckon about things like accidental deaths, wars, genocides, rampant paedophilia etc etc (I met a man this week or was abused as a child and he asks ‘where was God in that… I’ve been to hell and seen the devil..”) Is God sovereign or not? Or is there room for an open theism ala Greg Boyd? (Just asking by disillusioned calvinist – ha ha ).

    Reply
  6. Becky Rogers Wiren

    Well, now I know what “open theism” is, because I had to look the phrase up. I’m with Bruce, sick sick sick of this weather. Hey Bruce, we got a snow blower and we’re hoping that Murphy’s Law is bigger than anything and that as soon as my husband starts it up, the winter weather limps away!

    Reply
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  8. Dale

    Haven’t these fools ever read “Children of the Corn?” Seems that all started because of prayers for rain.

    Reply

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