Pause for Thought with Ray Dadswell: Water, Water, Everywhere

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Who does the weather belong to anyway?

There has been a lot of talk about the effects of global warming, most likely the reason for the recent heavy weather and severe flooding around the UK.

Then, in contrast, a certain group of people have suggested that the judgement of God is upon us as a nation because of our wholesale turning away from him and his laws.

Some, in the latter camp, have written to the Prime Minister stating their opinions, and quoting Bible passages for support, Job chapter 37 for example.

‘The Lord unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven and sends it to the ends of the earth. After that comes the sound of his roar; he thunders with his majestic voice. When his voice resounds, he holds nothing back. God’s voice thunders in marvellous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’

The teaching of Jesus is not forgotten either. Verses from Matthew 25 are also cited, referring to the ‘last days’.

The Christian newspaper Heart of Sussex has taken up the discussion under the headline ‘Storms over Britain – what is God saying?’ The Rev Dr Clifford Hill shares the following perspective.

‘Does God have anything to say to us about the storms battering our coasts and the torrential rain flooding vast tracts of land? Well, of course he does! The weather is one of the few things that is totally out of human control; even if you believe that the melting polar ice is due to human pollution of the atmosphere – we can’t even control the consequences of our own actions!

‘What’s going on? Two thousand five hundred years ago the Prophet Haggai foretold a time coming when God would shake all the natural environment and the political, economic and social foundations of the nations. He said: ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations.’’ Clearly, the ‘little while’ was in the context of God’s timing, where 1,000 years is like a single evening (Psalm 90.4)!

‘Jesus warned of a time of unparalleled shaking of the nations and of the natural environment. He spoke of wars and revolutions, nation rising against nation, and famines, and earthquakes. He said: ‘There will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now.”

Dr Hill goes on, in his lengthy article, to warn that the present storms are just a small foretaste and warning of what is to come, unless there is a major change in the nation.

And he has this suggestion to make. ‘If there were a nationwide call for days of prayer when we come before God in humility, recognising the mess in our nation and seeking God’s way and his blessing – there would undoubtedly be a change in the weather marking the change in the spiritual climate of the nation. That is really our only hope!’

We are grateful to the editor of Heart of Sussex for permission to publish these extracts from Dr Hill’s writings, and anticipate that there will be considerable feedback in due course!