The Miracle of Rain
1st Baptist Church,
Des Moines, NM
I keep all kinds of stuff in my “church backpack” and while cleaning it out recently I stumbled across a tract by John Piper, of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN, discussing the miracle of rain. This past summer, I was rebuilding the ranch’s scale house and discovered some newspapers lining the walls from Des Moines, 1919. One article was bemoaning the fact that they were getting too much rain! Des Moines and Grenville of that time period were more farming oriented communities than they now are, and the rain was evidently interfering with crop planting. These two discoveries, along with our current dry spell and the rain of last week, set me to thinking about the miracle of rain.
The passage that Dr. Piper used was (Job 5:10) “He gives rain on the earth, And sends waters on the fields.” Dr. Piper further asked his readers to consider the process of rain and pointed out the following facts. One inch of water on 1 square mile is 27.8 million cubic feet of water, which is 260 million gallons of water, and that weighs an amazing 1.6 billion pounds. This weight is literally suspended in the atmosphere and it gets there through a complex system of evaporation (the sun heating water and turning it to vapor) and transpiration (plants expiring vapor). This vapor is electromagnetically attracted to dust particles in the air and this attraction eventually forms larger bodies of vapor. Wind blows the vapor together to form dense clouds of moisture. When the moisture becomes heavy enough it falls to earth as rain. And it’s a good thing that it comes down as rain- can you imagine if 1.6 billion pounds of water hit all at once? We’d be constantly complaining about floods, erosion, ruined crops, etc. Along with the electric attraction to dust is electromagnetic attraction of water molecules to each other. This is a very brief summary of the “water cycle”, which you should have learned in high school science.
My question for today is: “is this complex system of evaporation, covalent bonds, wind, transpiration, and rain the result of a random events, an act of “Mother Nature”, or an act of God?” It defies my imagination to believe that this has developed from a series of random occurrences (although I used to think so), and I don’t have a book from “Mother Nature” (which name can be tracked back to ancient Greece as a personification of various pagan fertility goddesses) claiming credit for rain. What I do have is a collection of books gathered over thousands of years in which are stated things like “In the beginning, God…” and “Thus says the Lord….”, and “There is no God beside me…” Let’s take a look at this collection, called the Bible and see what it says about rain.
Genesis 2:5 …before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground;
Pay particular attention to this passage:
Deuteronomy 11:16-17 “Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, lest the LORD's anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce, and you perish quickly from the good land which the LORD is giving you.”
Here’s the water cycle!
Job 36:26-32 "Behold, God … draws up drops of water, Which distill as rain from the mist, Which the clouds drop down And pour abundantly on man. Indeed, can anyone understand the spreading of clouds, The thunder from His canopy? Look, He scatters His light upon it, And covers the depths of the sea. For by these He judges the peoples; He gives food in abundance. He covers His hands with lightning, And commands it to strike.
Job 37:10-13 By the breath of God ice is given, And the broad waters are frozen. Also with moisture He saturates the thick clouds; He scatters His bright clouds. And they swirl about, being turned by His guidance, That they may do whatever He commands them On the face of the whole earth. He causes it to come, Whether for correction, Or for His land, Or for mercy.
Psalms 135:6-7 Whatever the LORD pleases He does, In heaven and in earth, In the seas and in all deep places. He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries.
So, consider the miracle of rain. Is it the product of a random occurrence of events, Mother Nature, or God Almighty? I will leave you with Joshua 24:15: “Choose for yourself this day whom you will follow.”
(This article also appeared in the Union County Leader)