What do you see?

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(Or “Storms, part 2”)

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When I started this blog, I was enamored by the field of fluid dynamics. I still am. I want to study it more. One of the connections that intrigues me is the connection to weather…to meteorology.

I was watching a TV show with my son once about science and weather. It was presented on a kid’s level. They took warm water and cold water to do an experiment. They put blue food coloring in the cold water and yellow food coloring in warm water. They gently mixed the two so you could see the interaction. Watching that, you can understand how weather gets violent. Especially when you add the fact the planet is rotating.

Observations, what we see or witness, are what drive much of meteorology and weather predictions. These observations are what is known as “data”. Our world thrives on data. It is part of what has driven much of our modern era. Noah had to collect data to know if it was safe to come out of the ark using the doves he sent out (Genesis 8:6-12)

In my initial thoughts on wandering into this series of posts, I wanted to cover the storms in the Bible in book order, but at present I am unable to formulate a strategy like that. Maybe as I explore it more, something will present itself. What I have come across is a group of topics. I will explain more later.

In the article “Storms” by J.H. Paterson, it is mentioned of the impact storms had on the Hebrew people. Paterson states that storms are “referred to by the Psalmist” (55:8, 83:15). He also says there 3 types of storms in Palestine: 1) thunderstorms, 2) whirlwinds [or vortices], and 3) desert storms. (Storms, Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, vol. 5, Q-Z, pg. 526) These winds can also be blown in from the desert.

The way I plan to handle my posts in regards to this stormy topic will be in this order: Wind, Rain, then the local weather of Palestine. We will see how it goes. Like any good plan, it is subject to change.

What is the point in all of this? Weather is a key part of our lives. It is probably one of the things we check every day. Like I have mentioned before, it is deeply integrated into our language also. We say we are “under the weather”. We say we are “experiencing a stormy time in our lives”. There is even a psychological disorder called “Seasonal Affective Disorder”. It can also affect where go or live. It helps to know the climate and weather that impacted the writers of the Bible. For example, when read the New Testament you see the phrase “the Sea of Galilee”. Without studying the area, you would think of a big, full fledged sea. It is actually about the size of a big lake. Does it change the danger and drama knowing that? No! But, you at least know there are not any sharks in the water.

Does studying the weather phenomena limit the impact of God? Does it diminish Him? Of course not! Some would say it would. If you believe it does, then God is already small in your mind. Or, your original goal was to make Him smaller. The real secret is the more we learn in science and in religion for that matter the more we realize how little we know. That scares people sometimes to be in a place of the unknown. If you are friends with a person like this, know their limits. Only casually push, and respect as far as they can go. That is the honorable thing to do. If you don’t know them, gently back off the subject and leave it alone. There is no need to make an enemy if you do not have to do so. Backing away is hard if it is a core issue to you. Be respectful, and pray for opportunities. The hard truth on this is…it ain’t easy. The weather, much like some people, is incredibly unpredictable.

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