Inspiration from Dr. David White
The Kingdom Series – ‘God’s Purposes in the Whirlwind and in the Storm’
“The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked. The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm” (Nahum 1:3)
I will never forget that clap of thunder while playing with my cars in our driveway as a little boy that hot Louisiana summer afternoon. I was terrified! Even though I am sure that was not the first time that had happened to me it might as well have been. I was convinced God was speaking to me and Jesus was coming right then. After running into the house for cover my mom quickly assured me everything was alright and Jesus was not coming, at least not then.
It’s not politically correct to suggest God has anything to do with storms like hurricanes. This is especially true when lives are lost and people’s property is damaged or destroyed. However we are not called to be politically but biblically correct. It’s not our opinions the world needs right now but truth, God’s word, which as the Psalmist declares, “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89).
My mom was right in convincing me thunder was a normal act of nature and I had nothing to fear, but at the same time God was certainly speaking to me that day. Even though I had no understanding of what the bible says about this subject, God forever convinced me that He is the ultimate weatherman and is sovereign over the rains, thunder and especially the winds. When the prophet Nahum wrote how God has His way in the whirlwind and the storm, he was convinced as well.
Some additional scriptures to consider when addressing this include Psalms 147:16-18. “He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes; He casts out His hail like morsels; who can stand before His cold? He sends out His word and melts them; He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow”. Then after determining how God’s decree’s will not pass away we discover, “Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word” (Ps 148:8);
Addressing how the people had refused Him, ignored His counsel and every rebuke when He stretched out His hand God, who is Wisdom, declared, “I will also laugh at your storm, and your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, when your terror comes like a destruction comes like a whirlwind” (see Proverbs 1:24-27). Yet this warning is later followed with the assurance, “But whoever listens to me will dwell safely and will be secure without fear of evil” (Proverbs 1:33).
The specific purposes of storms are found in, of all places, the book of Job.
"Behold, God is great, and we do not know Him; Nor can the number of His years be discovered. For He draws up drops of water, which distill as rain from the mist, 28 which the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on man. 29 Indeed, can anyone understand the spreading of clouds, the thunder from His canopy? 30 Look, He scatters His light upon it, and covers the depths of the sea. 31 For by these He judges the peoples; He gives food in abundance. 32 He covers His hands with lightning, and commands it to strike. 33 His thunder declares it the cattle also, concerning the rising storm…
God's Works and Wisdom
1 "At this also my heart trembles, and leaps from its place. 2 Hear attentively the thunder of His voice, and the rumbling that comes from His mouth. 3 He sends it forth under the whole heaven, His lightning to the ends of the earth. 4 After it a voice roars; He thunders with His majestic voice. And He does not restrain them when His voice is heard. 5 God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend. 6 For He says to the snow, 'fall on the earth'; Likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength. 7 He seals the hand of every man, that all men may know His work. 8 The beasts go into dens, and remain in their lairs. 9 From the chamber of the south comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds of the north, 10 by the breath of God ice is given,
And the broad waters are frozen. 11 Also with moisture He saturates the thick clouds; He scatters His bright clouds. 12 And they swirl about, being turned by His guidance, that they may do whatever He commands them on the face of the whole earth. 13 He causes it to come, whether for correction, or for His land, or for mercy. 14 "Listen to this, O Job; Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God”
A brief summary of these Scriptures confirms the following about the weather:
#1 – It is a way whereby God judges the peoples (36:31a).
While judgment is listed first, it is not God’s only intention. The gospel of John confirms Jesus did not come to condemn the nations. He came so that nations already condemned because of sin could be forgiven and free.
Even though sin must be judged, there is hope. That hope comes in the shed blood of Jesus offered to whosoever will confess, turn from their sin and follow Him as Lord.
In Genesis 4:10 we see where the voice of Abel’s blood cried out to the Lord from the ground for justice. One has to wonder how much longer God can ignore the voice of nearly 60 million aborted babies whose voices are crying out from the ground. The only answer for their blood is the blood of Jesus!
#2 – It comes as a blessing supplying water for food in abundance (36:31b).
#3 – It comes at His command (36:32).
#4 – It is one of the ways God speaks (His voice) (37:2-5).
#5 – Whether heavy or light the rain is evidence of His strength and majesty (37:6).
#6 – The weather is guided by the hand of God (37:12).
#7 – It comes as correction (the rod), to those He loves in order to turn them back to Him (37:13a).
#8 – It comes for the lands (37:13b).
#9 – It is an act of His mercy (37:13c).
Psalms 136 reminds us over and over how “His mercy endures forever”. This phrase is repeated because we need His mercy every day.
#10 – The weather represents God’s wondrous works that are perfectly fitted into His purposes (37:14-16).
Nahum reminds us how the Lord is slow to anger. But we can’t forget He is also great in power and because His word confirms He is holy and just, He will not at all acquit the wicked. Unless there is repentance from sin God eventually has to answer in His own way in order to turn the hearts of men and women to Him who is truly the only Way. One way of the other God will have “His way in the whirlwind and in the storm.
Referring to individuals as well as entire nations, it is still true, “the wages of sin is death”. However the good news comes in what follows, “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
God is sovereign and reigns over the weather patterns, including the whirlwinds and the storms. One day, every man and woman, city and region and every nation on earth will “bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).
David White Th.D.
David and his wife Shirley are the head pastors at the Gathering Church in Moravian Falls, NC. The Fresh Bread Blog is where Dr. David posts inspiration and messages he receives from the Lord for the church and missions.
The Gathering Church
976 W Meadow PKWY
Moravian Falls, NC 28654