There is a modern debate as to whether or not weather conditions are changed by men, or simply a product of nature. Though the Bible does not address the issue of Climate Change by that name, there are a number of stories in Scripture that indicate man does change the weather by being moral, or immoral.
In the book of Genesis, we read of a Great Flood which came upon all the earth because “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them” (Gen. 6:5-7).
The weather changed. “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights” (Gen. 7:11-12).
It was only because Noah had found grace in the eyes of the Lord that the flood rains stopped and the earth eventually went back to normal conditions. “And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged” (Gen 8:1).
After the Great Flood, the Lord made a covenant with Noah not to destroy all the earth ever again with a universal flood. “The LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done” (Gen. 8:21).
However, there would be other ways God would display His divine wrath in order to judge the evil in men’s hearts. Climate change could be affected by acts of unrighteousness, and injustice. In the days of David, there was a famine in the land for three years, year after year (21:1). The reason for the change in climate was the treachery the bloody house of king Saul had perpetuated against the Gibeonites from the city of Gibeon (Heb. “hill place”) in Palestine.
Today, the modern city of el-Jib in Israel rests on the ancient site of Gibeon, laying eight miles northwest of Jerusalem. In the Bible forty-five Old Testament references are made to Gibeon indicating it has a prominent place in the history of Israel.
Three thousand years ago, something important happened. When Israel entered the Land of Promise to conquer and possess it, the Gibeonites were terrified of being defeated in battle, enslaved, or exterminated. The leaders of the Gibeonites found a clever way to secure peace for themselves. A treaty was made with Joshua, and honored, until the days of Saul who then slaughtered some of the Gibeonites without mercy. When David learned that Saul had broken the covenant by killing some of the Gibeonites, he offered to make restitution. Once justice was vindicated, “God was intreated for the land” (2 Sam. 21:14). The climate changed. It was a good barley harvest. Study Joshua 9, 2 Samuel 21:1-9
Elijah Prayed for Rain
Is climate change manmade? Sometimes, the biblical answer is a definite, yes. Local climate change can take place when a believer prays. “Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit” (James 5:17-18).
Now understand this. Man, sometimes, does change the weather, and social institutions as well, not through environmental mismanagement, but through moral mismanagement of their lives. An amplification of this truth is set forth in Leviticus 26:14-17.
Moral mismanagement in life can lead to various forms of discipline: illnesses and disease (such as COVID-19), crop destruction due to the climate change of famine, military defeat, as in Vietnam, and Afghanistan, contempt for authority, reflected in the current presidency of 2021, and engaging in sublimation, manifested by the abuse of sex, drugs, and alcohol.
Ultimately, global climate change remains in the hands of the Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is sovereign over all creation. Sunshine and rain, storms and floods, earthquakes and harvests, are controlled by God. The storms do His bidding (Psalm 148:8). The sea obeys His command (Mark 4:39).
Let the Church in particular remember that if they will proclaim the whole counsel of God, they will teach that some climate change is man-made in a negative, and positive way. Climate change is affected by faith, prayer, and moral virtues.
Remind the world that the way the ungodly lives can affect climate change by the unworthy lifestyle choices they make which violate nature, society, and their own conscience. The citizens in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are a historical example of how immorality affects the climate. Hail and brimstone replaced the opulent blues skies of that region. Thousands of inhabitants in the “sin cities” were incinerated.
Remind Christians that the Church can affect climate change in a positive way by living virtuous lives.
Let the nations, like Russia, take notice. That particular godless regime has been warned. On July 25, 2018, the sky turned black in the middle of the day in Russia. Scientists were baffled. From 11:30 AM to the middle of the afternoon people felt a present darkness. People were left to wonderful what it all meant.
While the wicked court disaster, let all of nature praise the Lord.
“Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. 4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. 5 Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created” (Psalms 148:3-5).