By the Breath of God Ice is Given

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


“At this also my heart trembles and leaps out of its place. Keep listening to the thunder of his voice and the rumbling that comes from his mouth. Under the whole heaven he lets it go, and his lightning to the corners of the earth. After it his voice roars; he thunders with his majestic voice, and he does not restrain the lightnings when his voice is heard. God thunders wondrously with his voice; he does great things that we cannot comprehend. For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’ likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour. He seals up the hand of every man, that all men whom he made may know it. Then the beasts go into their lairs, and remain in their dens. From its chamber comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds. By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast. He loads the thick cloud with moisture; the clouds scatter his lightning. They turn around and around by his guidance, to accomplish all that he commands them on the face of the habitable world. Whether for correction or for his land or for love, he causes it to happen.”

Job 37:1-13


Over the past few days, the college where I teach closed Monday afternoon, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Our region underwent a major ice storm. On my way home on Monday, I nearly lost control of my car. Vehicles were on the side of the road. The power went out for many people. My prayers were that my loved ones and I would be safe in the midst of the storm. The wintry mix of precipitation finally ceased. The ground was hard and slick. The trees and bushes were glassy sculptures. My car was encased in ice. I was not going anywhere soon.


I thought of Elihu’s words to Job about the providence of God. It is an amazing thing that snow and ice obey the command of God. We are kept in our places, trapped. Why? “[T]hat all men whom he made may know it.” It gives us pause. We have been given this day to think of the mighty hand of God, i.e. “his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature” (Romans 1:20). These moments of pause are elements of “his kindness and forbearance and patience” that are intended “to lead us to repentance” (Romans 2:4). “Whether for correction or for his land or for love, he causes it to happen” (Job 37:13). May we linger over the manifold wonder of the power of God in ordering his creation!



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I am grateful to John D. Corson for letting me use these photographs. For more of John's work visit here.

Pray the Bible

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Greg Gilbert has posted an amazing blog entry on praying the Scriptures