“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:1-4
I’ve never been as humbled in all my life as when I thought I knew God’s power. My best description of Him is an underestimation.
God is the legislator and the judiciary of the natural laws on which we depend. We expect solids to be solid, liquids to be liquid, and gases to be gases. The physical world was created to be understood by predictable, calculable sciences and interpreted by our five accurate senses. If we compare nature to a computer: God invented the program, and built the software to process it. If we compare it to a sport: he is the referee as well as the coach. God knows why things work, and He knows how to make them work.
The Lord called out the hypocrisy of some religious spokesmen as they flaunted their limited understanding of nature. They asked for a sign from heaven that they could prove Christ’s authenticity as Messiah. (Even though one indisputable, miraculous sign was not enough: Isaiah 7:13-14) “He answered and said unto them, When it is evening ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?”(Matthew 16:2-3) I can’t help but laugh at the Lord’s insult upon insult, comparing sign-seekers with weathermen!
Even today with Doppler radar and satellite imagery, we still forecast rain by ‘percentage of chance of precipitation’. We can barely tell IF it is going to drop water from the sky, let alone when, how much, for how long, and in what form! As a farmer once told me: “The best way to tell the weather is to go stand outside. If water drops on your head, its raining. If air blows on your face, its windy, and if you can see your breath, its cold.”
But the greater lesson in all of this, aside from our lack of understanding, aside from God’s governing of natural laws and processes, is God’s almightiness ABOVE the laws He created. He is the Lord OF Lords. In the summary of the history of the wilderness travels of the Israelites, Paul reminds how God provided light, safety, and water in unique and unnatural ways.
- They were “under the cloud.” Clouds are water vapor, right? But it became a pillar of fire by night. A ‘cloud hanging over my head’ signifies sadness and dreariness and rain, except when God touches the steamy pillar and ignites it into electrifying brilliance. Instead of water to fight fires, Deity uses water to fuel them.
- The Israelites also, “passed through the sea.” In my travels as I have driven across the United States’ interstate highways, I see roads going around water, over water, and a couple under the water, but NONE going through water. God took the incompressibility of liquid and with one breath he structured the fluid molecules into suspension, used for his base the sandy floor of the Red Sea, and levied the tides with waters standing upright- not frozen.
- And in a third flourish of creative, commanding power, the Lord God slaked the thirst of the cracked lip and sunburnt brow and parched desert. “They drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them.” Not an architect to design a reservoir, not an engineer to draft a pipeline, not a scientist to invent a condenser, just a God to draw cool refreshment from coarse granite.
What need of yours can He not meet with all of the elemental universe on its knees to His beck and call? Perhaps you’ve looked to the “face of the sky” for showers of blessings and been disappointed. Christ Jesus the Lord can fill your cup by tipping a rock. He is Jehovah-Jireh, the God that provides. (Genesis 22:14) Providence often comes from where you least expect it.