Does God use Nature to do his Will or Communicate with People?


#1

So, are all the Old Testament accounts of God using nature to punish sinners a myth, or is it true? Also, the ancient Hebrews believed that God sent signs, such as the rainbow, to communicate with people.

Was the story of Jericho and it’s tumbling walls merely an earthquake that got attributed to God’s intervention, or does God carefully choreograph natural events to do his will? How about Sodom and Gommorah? Or the story of the flood? Were ancient people just superstitious, looking for an explanation of things they couldn’t explain, or does God really send lightening to strike people down? If so, how are we to tell when it’s God’s intervention or just a random act of nature?


#2

I firmly believe that God uses his creation to carry out His Will. However, not all the things in nature are necessarily His desired Will but his permitted Will.


#3

Why don’t you ask Him?

I say that only half way with tongue in cheek. IMHO, God can do anything He wants including using nature to carry out his will. On the other hand…nature is part of God’s creation. Nature happens. Hurricanes happen…they kill people. Tigers happen…they eat people. Both are part of nature. To ascribe a particular event as being God’s punishment on a people, i.e. Katrina, is bit presumptuous. We know that certain events in the OT were attributed to God becasue He chose to reveal those events and their cause to us through the divine inspiration of the authors of the OT.


#4

Jesus seemed to think so. He used examples from nature to drive home some points that he wanted to make.

From the Sermon on the Mount

"But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you,

that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust."

And later:

"Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?

Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin.
But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?

peace

-Jim


#5

Why is it that the Bible so often says that God sends plagues, famines and floods, but modern people alway attribute it to science? I think that that was ancient people trying to make sense out of a confusing world. Now a days if you say AIDS was sent as a punishment for debauchery, you get labeled as an irrational religious fanatic.


#6

God can use anything He needs to use to get His point to us small minded humans. Hey - He even had to use a donkey once.


#7

For instance, it used to be that epilepsy was attrubuted to demons. But now everyone knows it’s a medical condition. So, I think all those old testament things were the result of a more primative and uninformed POV.


#8

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