The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth
and strips the forests bare,
and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
– Psalms 29:3,4,9
Over the past several weeks the Logic school students (7th & 8th grades) have been studying the elements that make up Earth’s incredibly complex weather, much being attributed to the sun. Although the sun puts out a tremendous amount of heat, Earth absorbs that heat in a particular manner because of its axial tilt. An example of what this means can be seen in the timing of North America’s warm months. When Earth is farthest away from the sun, North America has its summer, and when the Earth is closest to the sun, North America has its winter. Although seemingly contradictory, the fact that the earth is tilted at a very specific angle allows it to absorb the sun’s energy more efficiently at its farthest distance. Mindfully, this efficiency is reversed for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere (like South Africa), as they have their summer when Earth is closest to the sun.
Yet this is not the full story of the majesty of God’s design for the seasons which His voice spoke into existence! We tend to think that places such as South Africa should have warmer summers than we do on account of the aforementioned fact. However, because of God’s perfect knowledge, the landmass on Earth heats up more efficiently than the oceans do. And because the Southern Hemisphere has more oceanic area, it has summers that are slightly cooler on average than those in the Northern Hemisphere. And this is only scratching the surface of the wonder of God’s design for our world’s weather!
As the students continued in their study, they discussed how this uneven heating of the Earth due to its axial tilt results in the intricate wind patterns on Earth. As air is warmed, it expands and becomes lighter, allowing it to rise. When it does this it leaves an area of low pressure behind it. Air at higher altitudes is cooler, and as a consequence is heavier than the warm air, thus falling and filling the gap of lower pressure left by the rising warm air. By this exchange we receive a flow of air also known as wind.
By the amazing power of our great God, this also is not the end of the story for our winds! We must also take into account the change in temperature as you move north and south in latitude on the globe, the way in which the rotation of the Earth bends the winds, as well as the part that localized winds play!
God’s power, intricacy, and sovereignty are a few of His attributes we can learn from the science of weather. God’s power- because only the King of Kings could speak all of this into existence. His intricacy- because a created thing possesses only those attributes that its Maker imbues it with (putting a measure of Himself into the creation). And His sovereignty- because all of the universe is held together not by its own cosmic glue, but by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). Seasons and weather do not simply happen; they are commanded by the voice of the Lord. The seasons of cold, of rain, of heat, of the birth of deer, of falling leaves, all of this is meant to lead His people in His temple to cry, “Glory!” because we serve a truly powerful God with a mighty voice.