Monday, April 21, 2014

Rain #atozchallenge

Landscape with Noah's Thank Offering (painting...
Landscape with Noah's Thank Offering (painting circa 1803 by Joseph Anton Koch) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.”  So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so.  God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

Genesis 1:6-8

New International Version (NIV)

          In the beginning there was no rain.   What is indicated in Genesis is that there was water on or in the Earth and water retained in a "vault" above the Earth.   A paradisiacal environment would preclude any destructive forces such as the forces that could be included in rain.   If we picture a greenhouse we get an idea of what the earthly paradise might have been like.

Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth  and no plant had yet sprung up,  for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground.

Genesis 2:5-6

New International Version (NIV)

          Another bit of evidence of the no rain in paradise theory comes at the end of the cycle of creation.  A sort of irrigation system is described.  Pictured from a modern perspective this system of watering the Earth is remarkable.  This is a way that some watering is now done in agricultural settings.   We also note the God had not yet sent rain upon the Earth.

 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.  And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.

Genesis 7:11-12

New International Version (NIV)

        At this point we actually hear about the first occurrence of rain in the Bible.  Some scholars maintain that the incident as described in Noah's time would not have been the first rain, but there is no absolute evidence one way or another.  My conclusion would be that the "vault" which held waters above the Earth was broken, allowing the waters to be unleashed from the sky.  This conclusion is inferred by the statement that the "floodgates of the heavens were opened".   Additionally a major diluvial catastrophic event would account for much concerning massive erosion and fossil bearing sedimentary layers.

        This is all speculation based on my understanding of the Biblical account and my own reasoning regarding scientific findings.  Others agree with this idea while still variant theories exist.   

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous..."

Matthew 5:43-45

New International Version (NIV)

      The phenomena of rain is cited throughout the Bible to illustrate many points.  After all, we depend on rain for many things.   Without rain we suffer drought.  Rain refreshes and renews.  Rain can also be a destructive force.   Though rain can bring suffering, we have been promised by God that rain will never be used as a worldwide divine judgement.

        Perhaps if we see the Great Flood as a cleansing of the Earth from the sin of those days, we might see a metaphorical baptizing of our planet in this event.   The next destruction will not be a cleansing from rain.  In the words of John the Baptist regarding the coming of Jesus: 

Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Matthew 3:10-11

English Standard Version (ESV)

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  1. I had heard that thought about the ceiling of water so to speak and that was released at the time of the flood and that the earth had no seen rain prior to that. I have to believe it myself.


  2. Very well put. It's fascinating to try to picture the earth before rain. How faithful, but confused, Noah must have been to have to make the ark! His friends and neighbors must have thought he was crazy.


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