Extreme Weather : Is Man or God in Control?
Defining Extreme Weather
It is normal to distinguish between climate and weather. The difference between the two is the timescale. ‘Weather’ refers to changes in atmospheric conditions over short periods of time – resulting in weather events, and ‘climate’ refers to atmospheric behaviour over relatively long periods of time (decades or centuries).
Extreme weather events in mid-latitudes are related to the polar jet stream, link. Some climate scientists suspect that climate change (a warming arctic) may be making this jet stream “wavier” and leading to extreme weather in the US and Europe.
For instance, when the Atlantic jet stream dips further south it can lead to unseasonably cold weather north of the stream and unseasonably hot weather south of the stream. This happened over Europe summer 2023. Conversely, the jet stream may become “stuck” leading to prolonged heat waves or flooding [Mann, Pennsylvania State University]. However, this theory is still under research, link, link.
Types of Extreme Weather
Examples are heatwaves, cold snaps, torrential rain, storms, cyclones, drought and wild fires. As mentioned, compared to climate change, these events have a well-defined start and end date and are relatively short-lived. The media often sees extreme weather as the likely result of climate change since the late 19th century.
But extreme weather is not always associated with climate change. As discussed below, historically, extreme weather has occurred without climate change. Conversely, climate change does not necessarily result in extreme weather. For example, despite a 1.2 degree C rise in average global temperature between 1895 and 2020 i.e. despite a warming climate, there was no overall increase in US droughts, [ NOAA, 2021 ]. Similarly, between 1910 and 1990 there was no significant change in heavy precipitation measured over 48 US states, [ NOAA, 2021 ].
Recent Extreme Weather Events
EXTREME WINDS: 2013 will be remembered for apocalyptic weather across the globe. Super typhoon Haiyan hit the eastern Philippines with maximum sustained winds of 195 mph and gusts to 235 mph – one of the most powerful storms ever recorded. Powerful tornadoes carved a path of destruction across the US Midwest, with Washington being hit by winds of up to 200 mph.
EXTREME RAINS: As the climate warms, studies have shown that for every one degree Celsius rise, there is an additional 15% increase in extreme rain at high elevation [nature.com, 2023]. In January 2014 southern Britain saw its wettest winter month on record, and saw its largest wave ever (75 feet)! The highest ever rainfall recorded in UK was in December 2015 at Honister Pass in Lake District with 341.4 mm falling in 24 hours. In July 2021, Zhengzhou (China) had over 550 mm in just 24 hours.
EXTREME DROUGHT: Australia’s “Millennium” drought began in 1995 and continued country-wide until late 2009. Desalination plants were built to partially combat the extreme drought. The European Commission Joint Research Centre (EC-JRC) warned that the 2022 drought could be the worst in 500 years, potentially reaching 47% of the continent, [euronews.com]. Nowhere on Earth are groundwater declines greater than in northern India. NASA attributed this to large-scale irrigation, and today 54% of India faces extremely high water stress [wri.org ]
EXTREME HEAT: The Pacific north-west has warmed by about 1.7C in the past 50 years (much more than the global average), and in 2021 this contributed to historic heatwaves in California and parts of Canada. British Columbia reached 46C, Las Vegas reached 47C, Palm Springs reached 49C, and California’s Death Valley reached 53C (although this is lower than the 57C recorded in Furnace Creek in 1913). April 2022 was the third-hottest April India has seen in the past 122 years (1901 to 2022). Such unusual, early heat waves were made 30 times more likely due to the direct impact of climate change, [World Weather Attribution Network (WWAN)].
EXTREME COLD: In 2010 the UK had the coldest December for 100 years [UK Met Office]. In 2018 (‘the beast from the east’) thick snow blanketed the UK and brought the average March temperature down a whole seven degrees. Rural areas experienced temperature lows of -12°C. In February 2021 Scotland experienced -23°C, and Texas had rare extreme cold – colder than Alaska! In late January 2023 temperatures in Mohe northern China plummeted to -53°C, the lowest ever recorded in China. Record low temperatures hit the northeast USA early February 2023. Scientists claim arctic warming is creating more polar vortex events [CNN]. In May 2023 Antarctica experienced a new record low for early winter (-75°C) [weatherandradar.co.uk ].
EXTREME SNOW: In mid-April 2022, a major blizzard dumped feet of snow on North Dakota, USA. The highest snowfall was in south west Montana which received nearly four feet of snow. Forecasters were warning of a “storm of the century”. On Tuesday 12 April the temperature plummeted to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the coldest day in April since 1986. In November 2022, the snow mass in the northern hemisphere was beyond the highest ever observed [www.severe-weather.eu ].
SUCESSIVE EXTREMES: The UK has seen three extreme Februaries in succession. February 2019 saw a winter heatwave when London reached 21.2 degrees C. February 2020 was the wettest on record in England. February 2021 saw minus 23 degrees C in Scotland and the river Thames froze over for the first time since 1963.
EXTREME COST: These events come at extreme cost. By 2020 the US had sustained 273 weather and climate disasters since 1980 where overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. NOAA claim the total cost of these 273 events exceeds $1.790 trillion, link. Scientists blame ‘an unlucky combination of global warming and freak chance’!
Climate, Weather and the Bible
Is the God of the Bible involved in extreme weather? If so, who is in control: man or God?
The Bible tends to describe extreme weather, which may or may not be associated with climate change. This can be seen in Old Testament history, and in end-time prophecy. The implication is that God sometimes makes a relatively short-term intervention in the weather in order to arrest man’s attention, and man has little control over it.
Consider the climate/weather promise in Genesis:
While the earth remains, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease (Genesis 8:22)
It seems that God intended the natural cycle of things (heat and cold) to continue, and nothing special was meant to happen to the climate whilst man is around. Put another way, according to the Bible, any change in the climate would seem to be natural. For example, natural solar irradiance change e.g. very low sunspot activity has been associated with climate change. Between 1790 and 1820, a decline in solar activity called the Dalton Minimum correlated with lower global temperatures.
Few realise that the global temperature has been rising at a steady trend rate of 0.5°C per century since the end of the little ice age in the 1700s, link. So much of the 0.8°C rise over the 20th century was to be expected! This is in stark contrast to the IPCC AR6 2021 Report which claims climate change is largely anthropogenic warming via CO2.
Despite God’s promise in Genesis 8, it seems man may well upset what God had planned and God has to intervene via short-term weather events. There are good examples of this in the Old Testament.
God’s Extreme Weather Control in the Past
It seems that the God of the Bible sometimes intervenes in the world by creating specific weather events. This can be seen for example in Old Testament history, where extreme weather occurred to arrest man’s attention, or to control world events.
According to Genesis, when God saw the violence and wickedness of man He was grieved in heart and vowed to destroy all but Noah and his family through a flood:
I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights” (Genesis 6:4)
Note: There is strong scientific evidence for a cataclysmic worldwide flood (see also Flood mechanism). Also, it could be argued that before the creation of man there was no rain (Genesis 2:4-6), and that, at some point in time the world experienced God ordained climate change and the creation of rain.
As the Israelites wandered in the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land, God gave them the Ten Commandments, together with many sundry laws. He warned Israel to obey them and if they did not then one of the consequences would be drought:
The heaven which is over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you iron. And the Lord will make the rain of your land powder and dust … (Deuteronomy 28:23-24)
If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain … (2 Chronicles 7:13)
But if they sought God and turned away from their rebellious ways, then God promised to ‘heal their land’ (2 Chronicles 7:14).
And when some Israelites returned from exile in Babylon, they were more interested in making nice houses than in the restoration of God’s house – the desolate temple. As a result, God caused drought, resulting in a lack of produce (Haggai 1:11).
Violent Storms and Hail
The seventh plague of Egypt was severe hail. Because Pharaoh would not let the Israelites go, God said to Pharaoh:
I will send a very heavy hail … and the hail shattered every tree of the field (Exodus 9:18,25)
When the kings of the Amorites attacked friends of Israel, Joshua’s army went up to defend them. It is recorded that God helped Israel by throwing large hailstones at the enemy:
… more died from the hailstones than those killed by the sons of Israel (Joshua 10:11)
Later, the prophet Ezekiel challenged the false prophets of Israel, saying that God would judge them. The Lord spoke to these false prophets through Ezekiel, saying:
I will make a violent wind break out in My wrath … flooding rain and hailstones … (Ezekiel 13:13)
When Jonah tried to ignore God’s instructions by taking a boat trip, God sent ‘a great wind and storm’ (Jonah 1:4) that threatened to destroy the ship. Jonah eventually got the point! Then, in New Testament times, God reversed the situation and calmed the wind and sea in order to save the disciples:
Jesus rebuked the wind and sea … and the wind died down and it became perfectly calm (Mark 4:39)
This is a good example of God controlling the weather in order to help (not judge) those who love Him.
Darkness and Gloom
Before the ninth plague of Egypt, when Pharaoh still refused to allow the Israelites to leave Egypt, God said to Moses:
stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land … a darkness which may be felt … and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days (Exodus 10:21,22)
Again, when Ezekiel was in exile in Babylon he challenged Israel to turn from their wicked ways, but he also spoke to the surrounding nations like Assyria and Egypt. He warned Egypt of God’s coming judgement, when clouds and darkness would be used as a way of arresting their attention. We read:
It will be a day of clouds, a time of doom for the nation … all the shining lights in heaven I will darken over you and will set darkness on your land (Ezekiel 30:3, 32:8)
From these few examples we are left in little doubt that, in the past, God has created abrupt weather events to arrest man’s attention. But were these weather events the result of Global Warming? Probably not.
Today, there is a tendency to attribute such short-term weather events to climate change aka global warming. But natural archives generally show that Earth’s average temperature roughly 6,000 years ago (the start of biblical history) was warmer by about 0.7 deg C compared with the 19th century median, link. This is also shown on a timeline spanning the Old Testament period, link; global temperature was only about 0.7 deg C higher during Old Testament times relative to the 1951-1980 mean average.
Clearly, short Old Testament weather events do not appear to be the result of excessive global temperature! On the other hand, from science and prophecy, it seems future extreme weather events will be a combination of excessive global temperature, and direct intervention by God.
God’s Extreme Weather Control in the Future
The Bible makes it quite clear that there will be a definite end to life as we know it. Earth’s governmental systems, economic and trading systems, animal kingdom, and even geology will all be changed at the Second Coming of Christ. Our current age is coming to a dramatic end as God deals with rebellious nations. And just before these changes, at the very end of this age, it seems God will intervene in Earth’s weather once again! Extreme weather is part of future events.
God Provides for His People, Israel
Occasionally God uses weather events in a beneficial way. For example, God says to Israel:
Whoever assails you will fall … no weapon that is formed against you will prosper (Isaiah 54:15,17)
In 2016 some claim God intervened in the Golan Heights to protect Israel from ISIS: “This strange storm of what appears to be dust, cloud and rain did NOT cross the border fence into Israel. It sat like a barrier between ISIS and Israel” [Israel News Online].
During the 2023 Israeli-Hamas war the IDF were considering flooding the numerous Hamas tunnels. But on November 14/15 violent Mediterranean thunderstorms fell on Gaza [Haaretz][Times Network]. Did the God of Israel send the rains to flood Hamas tunnels?
In the future, as God brings back His people from the nations and establishes them in their own land, He will also bless their land with the required rains. The wilderness turns green and becomes fruitful with the blessing of the required ‘early’ and ‘latter’ rains (Joel 2:21-27). In Israel the ‘first’ rains usually fall in early November, the ‘latter’ rains in April, corresponding to Autumn and Spring respectively.
Extreme Weather Events as Judgement
Britain, for example, certainly has experienced weather extremes over recent decades. Many see Britain as a rebellious, post-Christian nation in danger of judgement, and, as discussed, extreme weather is one form of judgement. See Prophecy over Britain, 2011. But Britain is just one example of how God will use extreme weather events to exact a series of judgements on the Gentile nations! Recall:
For when the earth experiences Your judgements the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness (Isaiah 26:9)
As discussed, such events could arise from long-term climate change, and some could be God’s direct short-term action.
Prophecies of End-time Climate and Weather
An idea of future changes is described by the prophet Isaiah. Chapters 24-27 of Isaiah are sometimes called ‘Isaiah’s Apocalypse’ since they describe judgement upon the world for its rebellion against God – see the APPENDIX. To reiterate, these are global judgements and they correlate well with the global judgements on the earth described in Revelation. In contrast to other parts of the Bible, Isaiah 24 could be referring more to climate change rather than to relatively short-term weather events. Consider:
One of the judgements predicted by Isaiah appears to be drought:
The earth will be completely laid waste … the earth mourns and withers, the world fades and withers… (Isaiah 24:3,4)
In this text, the word “earth” (Heb: “erets”, Strong’s 776) means “the earth at large” i.e. the world, as in Genesis 1. Drought is one of the consequences of disobedience (Deuteronomy 28:23-24). For instance, when Christ reigns as King [during the Millennium] nations are asked to go and worship Him at Jerusalem. But . . .
If any nation refuses to go and worship the Lord Almighty as King, then rain will not fall on their land. (Zechariah 14:17, GNT)
Another form of judgement prophesied by Isaiah appears to be extreme heat – heat severe enough to kill people:
Therefore … the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left (Isaiah 24:6)
The book of Revelation appears to speak of the same end time scenario and predicts extreme heat as part of God’s judgement upon the nations. In this case, fierce scorching heat is attributed to the sun (rather than to CO2):
The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. Men were scorched with fierce heat … (Revelation 16:8,9)
When questioned about the end of the age, Jesus hints at wild weather:
There will be … dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves (Luke 21:25)
The root meaning of the Greek in this verse can mean nothing else but literal sea and literal waves. The word ‘roaring’ comes from the Greek ‘echeo’ meaning ‘to make a loud noise’. Hurricanes and coastal flooding spring to mind. Isaiah clearly prophesied torrential rain:
For the windows from on high are open (Isaiah 24:18, NKJV)
Here, the English word “windows” is translated from the Hebrew word “arubbah” (Strong’s 699) which is also translated ‘windows’ or ‘floodgates’ in Genesis 7:11. The term denotes an opening in the atmosphere like a sluice or floodgate. It seems that torrential rain as experienced at the Genesis Flood will also feature at the end of this age as part of God’s judgements on the rebellious nations.
Meanwhile the nations (and specifically the IPCC) attempt to counter such events with their CO2 reduction programme, link.
Hail features high on the weather ingredients at the end of the age. It is part of God’s judgement upon the nations. Besides fierce heat there will be extreme hail and snow storms:
… have you entered the storehouses of the snow … which I have reserved for the time of distress … (Job 38:22-23)
… and huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men … (Revelation 16:8-9,21)
Clearly, God intends to use short-term weather events to influence world affairs in the future. These could arise from God’s direct interaction i.e. without obvious climate change, as in the Old Testament. Or they could be a result of climate change/global warming, as predicted by the IPCC. Of course, climate change itself could be part of God’s judgement upon the world.
Extreme Weather decides a Middle East War
Consider the prophesied Gog-Magog War. At some point in the foreseeable future it seems Russia and Iran, together with other Islamic nations in the Middle East, will invade Israel from the north (see Ezekiel 38-39).
But, just as God intervened to release Israel from the grips of Pharaoh, so He will intervene to protect Israel from these invading armies. As with Joshua and the Amorites (see above), the weather plays an important part in their defeat. God uses torrential rain and great hailstones:
I will rain on him (Gog) and on his troops … a torrential rain, with great hailstones … (Ezekiel 38:22)
Now the Big Question:
Can man control Climate Change?
“There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5C.” [ Dr Ahmed Al-Jaber, COP28 president ]
It is interesting to note that energy from renewables can fail completely. In November-December 2023 UK temperatures dropped to -10 degree C. At the same times the wind dropped and the sun failed to shine. So it was necessary to use fossil fuel power stations.
Of course, some climate changes seem undeniable. For example, since about 1880:
- The world warmed by about 1.1 degree C [NASA]
- Most glaciers retreated; mean annual retreat about 20m [wikipedia.org]
- Global mean sea level rose about 9 inches (2 or 3mm/year) [climate.gov]
- Water tables fell significantly (China: 1.5m/year, India: 1-3m/year)
- Weather related disasters increased by a factor of 5 over the past 50 years [WMO, 2021]
Whilst broadly true, interpretation of such data should be done with care. Is this all due to a rise in anthropogenic CO2? On some measures, it is hard to see the effect of anthropogenic CO2 increase. For example:
SEA LEVEL RISE: Sea level has risen by over 100m over thousands of years as the world emerged from the last ice age. The rise levelled-off some 6,000 years ago, and the relatively small rise over the past 100 years therefore appears natural [scienceunderattack.com, 2019].
ATLANTIC STORMS: There is no strong evidence for an increase in Atlantic hurricanes, or U.S. landfalling hurricanes, since the late 1800s. It is premature to conclude with high confidence that human-caused increases in greenhouse gases have caused a change in past Atlantic basin hurricane activity [https://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/, 2023].
HEATWAVES: Despite the fact that CO2 is now 50% higher than it was before the Industrial Revolution, the Annual Heatwave Index for the United States from 1880 to 2020 shows no significant change, apart from a transient increase around 1930 [data: NOAA via the US EPA].
So the reasoning behind climate change is debatable. Is it due to anthropological warming (man’s greenhouse-gas emissions, particularly CO2) as proposed by the IPCC, or is climate change arising from natural causes?
“If it [a scientific hypothesis] disagrees with experiment, it’s WRONG.” [Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman]
Is it Natural, or Anthropogenic CO2 ?
Many eminent scientists take the natural view and maintain that the IPCC CO2 theory doesn’t add up! In 2016 alone, over 500 papers were published in peer-reviewed science journals that seriously questioned the supposed ‘consensus’ on climate change. Moreover, since there is clear Biblical support for God’s control of past and future weather, is God rather then CO2 controlling observed weather events? Consider:
- SIGNIFICANCE OF SOLAR ACTIVITY: Despite NASA and IPCC rejection of the significance of solar activity, in 2017 alone there were 80 scientific papers linking “solar forcing” to climate. For example, between 1880 and 1980, global Sea Surface Temperature (SST) correlates well with solar irradiance change (sun spot number, SSN), link. It has been shown that more sunspots deliver more energy (irradiance) to the atmosphere, and temperatures rise. Conversely, between 1790 and 1820, a decline in SSN (the Dalton Minimum) correlated with lower global temperatures. US annual temperatures over the last century correlate better with ocean and sun cycles than with CO2
- SIGNIFICANCE OF CLOUD COVER: Cloud cover/modelling is one of the key factors determining whether we have global warming or global cooling. An active sun (as in the last part of the 20th century) means less low clouds and higher temperatures. Conversely, during solar minima the weaker magnetic field allows more cosmic rays to Earth. Cosmic rays create aerosols which then seed clouds (so a solar minima means more low clouds)
- CLIMATE MODELS: Some climate scientists claim that the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory itself is seriously flawed and claim that CO2 cannot possibly be the main cause of global warming, link, link, link, link, link, link. For example, IPCC models predict a temperature “hotspot” some 10-12 km in the air above the tropics. But radiosonde data contains no trace of such a hotspot. Some attribute the error to IPCC modelling of water vapour feedback, which in turn results in excessive temperature predictions. Most model temperature forecasts are excessive compared with accurate satellite measurements [Scaffeta, 2022].
- A CO2 ANOMALY: The IPCC claims that CO2 rise causes temperature rise i.e. CO2 is the causal factor. This is not what is observed. Ice core data shows CO2 change lagging temperature change and atmospheric CO2 didn’t begin to rise until 400 to 1,000 years after the planet began to warm, link. Similarly, modern data shows changes in global atmospheric CO2 lag global surface air temperature by typically 10 months, link. So clearly, temperature rise due to anthropogenic CO2 rise would seem hard to detect since temperature rises first
- SATURATED GREENHOUSE EFFECT: The CO2-temperature relationship is nonlinear, link. So as more and more CO2 is added to the atmosphere the warming effect saturates (‘flat-lines’). The atmosphere maintains a “saturated greenhouse effect” controlled by water vapor content: it is claimed that adding CO2 to the atmosphere just replaces an equivalent amount of water vapour to maintain a near-constant greenhouse effect, link. For example, doubling CO2 concentration from its 2015 level of 400 ppm to 800 ppm will increase its radiative forcing (the difference between incoming solar radiation and outgoing terrestrial radiation) by just 1%, link, link, link.
- IMPORTANCE OF WATER VAPOUR: The most important greenhouse gas is water vapour, which is responsible for about 96% of the greenhouse effect. When water vapour is accounted for, all anthropogenic greenhouse sources (not just CO2) contribute only about 0.3% to the Greenhouse Effect (GHE)
- SUPPORTING DATA: Glaciers were retreating at least 150 years before sharp CO2 rise from industrialization, and sea levels were rising steadily well before sharp CO2 rise. A fact often conveniently ignored: Global temperature has been rising naturally by about 0.5 degree C per century since the Little Ice Age c1700.
- COMMON SENSE: Leaving aside the science, we can note that CO2 is a trace gas and amounts to just 0.04% of the atmosphere. Anthropogenic CO2 is just 4% of this 0.04%, or about 0.0016% of the atmosphere. CO2 warming theory insists that small changes to this 0.0016% are causing a climatic disaster! Does this make sense?
For deeper analysis and graphs, see Natural Warming.
Given these observations, some maintain that any sudden climate change observed during the last few decades of the 20th century is not primarily caused by CO2 rise. It could be partly due to increased solar activity (sun spots) and the resulting reduced cloud cover. There were also strong El Ninos (1983, 1998) which caused spikes in global temperatures.
This begs the question: if CO2 increase is not the primary cause of climate change, how can man control climate change? Is the media driven more by politics than real science, link? If so, is the Net-Zero philosophy meaningless? Consider the UK case:
Net-Zero Carbon Does Not Make Sense
Conclusion – it is God’s Weather!
Given the scientific controversy over the cause of climate change, why not turn to Bible prophecy? Prophecy has serious things to say about future extreme weather events and implies that:
It is God, not man, who has final control over the climate and related weather events!From the Bible we can say with certainty that:
- God has used the weather to influence nations and individuals in the past
- Bible prophecy says that God will use severe weather events to ‘speak’ to the nations at the end of this age
- Many end-time prophecies are being fulfilled, implying that the end of this age is imminent
If we are indeed close to the end of this age, then extreme weather events are imminent and are to be expected. God will soon use extreme weather events to speak to, and judge, the nations. Clearly, it is a very effective tool to arrest the world’s attention!
Now the Good News
There is no need to worry! Those who trust in the Lord Jesus (Heb: Yeshua) are eternally safe in the hands of the living God:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16)
Moreover, Bible prophecy strongly implies that you do not have to go through the extremes of these end time judgements (the ‘wrath’ of God). The Bible promises all those who put their trust in Jesus will be exempt from ‘the hour of trial that is coming upon the whole world’ (Revelation 3:10). How? Many believe that those who trust in the living Christ will be miraculously rescued from what is coming, just like Noah was rescued before the Flood. Jesus said that at the end of this age:
There shall be two men in the field: one will be taken, and one will be left
Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken, and one will be left (Matthew 24:40-41).
These individuals are taken into God’s care before the end time tribulations. More detail HERE.
So don’t delay; Jesus is returning to earth soon. Put your trust in Jesus and receive His peace, forgiveness and security in an insecure world.
THE CLIMATE PARADOX
Isaiah chapter 24 states why the earth experiences God’s end-time judgments in the form of extreme weather events. It is because the nations have rejected the God of the Bible (the God of Israel) and His laws for living:
The kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers conspire together against the LORD and against His Anointed [Christ], saying, “Let’s tear their shackles apart and throw their ropes away from us!” (Psalm 2:2,3)
For example, Christianity is rapidly declining in the US and in Europe, and God is totally missing from the EU Constitution. When it comes to the Middle East, Christianity is suffering virtual genocide, and China’s Communist party is intensifying religious persecution, link.
So, as the prophet Isaiah says, at the end of this age:
The earth suffers for the sins of its people, for they have twisted God’s instructions, violated his laws, and broken his everlasting covenant. (Isaiah 24:5, NLT)
To take a few specific examples of how man has rebelled:
- Western faiths now embrace “other gods” as well as the God of Israel, so violating the first of God’s commandments
- Nations have passed laws permitting abortion on demand (Pro-Choice) but many believe this is breaking the fifth commandment (the killing of an unborn person)
- The media widely promotes marital infidelity (so violating the sixth and ninth commandments)
- By law, schools invariably teach evolution as the only truth (biblical creation is seen as mythical)
- Nations have legalised homosexual acts, and even the church is redefining marriage as “between two persons”, as opposed to the biblical definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24)
So here’s the Paradox:
On the one hand, God has given man the creative ability to improve his lifestyle, as for example in better housing, better food and water supplies, better transport and better medical practice. But, because of man’s greed and selfishness this improvement has often been at the expense of poor nations. In particular, the IPCC claim such lifestyle improvement (essentially industrialisation) has created destructive climate change – global warming!
Assuming global warming is largely CO2 induced (many scientists debate this), the IPCC also claim that it is still within man’s capability to counter the worst effects of global warming. Hence the drive towards clean, renewable energy and the move away from fossil fuels. All this seems very reasonable
But the Bible claims it is really God’s world, not man’s. Genesis 1 says God created the earth and so God controls the weather (see Old Testament examples above). According to the Law of Noncontradiction, we cannot have both man and God having the final say about the weather. It’s either man, or God.
As just explained, the problem is that the nations have rejected the God of the Bible (the God of Israel) and His laws for living (Psalm 2:2-3), and so “The earth suffers for the sins of its people, for they have twisted God’s instructions, violated his laws” (Isaiah 24:5). Sadly, according to Isaiah chapter 24 (and the book of Revelation) it seems that man’s arrogant attempt at climate control will fail – as in drought, extreme heat and torrential Flood-type rain. Even Jesus hinted at violent end-time storms (Luke 21:25).
Paradoxically, it seems man can solve the climate change problem – but only by asking God do it! Only by turning to God in repentance! But world leaders have the arrogance to believe they can solve the extreme weather/climate change problem without God! There is no repentance for rejecting God’s laws and statutes for living. And so the Bible claims they will fail because they are rebelling against God. Watch this space!