Riding on the Wings of the Wind

God’s wonders are displayed vividly throughout creation. He created plants and animals in such a way that they are adapted to their environment perfectly. The sun, moon, stars, and planets all revolve in a God-ordained course in space. But one of the most spectacular ways God reveals His power is in the weather and specifically severe storms such as tornadoes. On extremely warm and humid days during the spring and summer months, cold, dry air from Canada and warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico travel thousands of miles and form massive thunderstorms over the Great Plains and Midwest regions of the United States. These storms bring with them plenty of rain, lightning, and hail, and if there is enough rotation (spinning) in the clouds, tornadoes. Once a funnel cloud hits the ground and becomes a tornado, it can do great destruction. There are many stories of whole neighborhoods of well-built houses being leveled as though they were made out of cardboard. Did the weather always behave this way or did it come about later on? God created all things good, so that the weather was mild and didn’t have the extremes of heat, cold, and other conditions that we are familiar with today. Before the flood the only precipitation that came down from the sky was a mist that watered the earth at night to keep the Garden of Eden fresh. “But there went up a mist from the earth , and watered the whole face of the ground” (Genesis 2:6). Once man fell into sin as recorded in Genesis 3, God cursed the ground for man’s sake. This curse extended to the atmosphere and became especially evident in the Flood. Afterwards rain, hail, and other weather conditions became common. The Bible speaks of whirlwinds in various places. Job’s children were killed by a “great wind” as recorded in Job 1:19. God used a whirlwind to take Elijah to heaven (2 Kings 2:1). Ezekiel mentions God speaking to him out of one as well. “And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and fire enfolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire” (Ezekiel 1:4). I do not know whether these whirlwinds were actually tornadoes or not, but it is possible. How are we as Christians to view tornadoes? I read about a woman in Pennsylvania whose house was destroyed by a tornado and one of her children killed by this storm, and she said “This isn’t the work of God, it’s the work of Satan.” It can be tough for us, especially if we have been through a significant loss like that to think of God sending such a thing into our lives, but He is in control even of extremely severe weather. God is the one “Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind” (Psalm 104:3). He is in control not only of the storms we see in the creation around us, but also of the storms that we experience in our lives. It doesn’t matter whether it’s illness, loss of a job, family member, or friend. He sees, knows, guides, and directs all things and we can flee to Him for refuge when we are in trouble. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). Whatever storms may blow our way, let us place our trust in God and find our comfort and peace in Him.

Kevin Rau

The sovereignty of God over sin

In reading The Sovereignty of God, by Arthur W. Pink, I recently became more aware of the sovereignty of God over the Devil and our own sinful flesh. Pink uses one chapter to explain how God governs all things from inanimate creatures, living things, people, and the angels and demons. This chapter struck me as interesting because I don’t think we as young people take into consideration very often just how much power God has over Satan. When thinking about this power, don’t forget that God’s power over sin and Satan does NOT mean that God is sinful Himself, or that He is the author of sin. I John 3: 8ff stress this fact, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” Basically this passage stresses the fact that sin is from the Devil, and those who have the new man of Christ and are born again cannot sin because God does not sin.
The most obvious example of God’s control over Satan is when Satan was temping Christ, and Christ told him to “Get thee hence, Satan” (Matt. 4:11). Satan may think that he has the handle on things, that he is going to get the Son of God to sin, but he is not that powerful. In fact he has no power compared to God’s power! As soon as Christ told him to leave, he had no choice but to leave. Another example is Job. Satan could not bring any of Job’s calamities upon him until God had allowed him. But even in that Satan was limited. He was not allowed to touch Job. And in the end the whole purpose of Satan to bring Job so low so that he would curse God failed. Job was strengthened in his faith through his trials and in the end blessed God even more! So we can see in that circumstance that God uses even the trials in our lives as ways for us to grow and become more and more Christ-like.
Think about this control of God personally now. Yes we all are terrible sinners, and we can see that every day and in different areas in our lives. At times we may think that sin controls us, and that there is no way out of it. But even in our weaknesses and sins God is still in control and has a way of leading us out through forgiveness and through our asking for forgiveness. Yes, Satan, our flesh, and the sins and temptations of this world are powerful, but always remember that God is far greater and far more powerful. Then when we can fully grasp that, we will be able to say no to sin, because He will give us the strength to do so!