Saturday, January 9, 2010

Unseasonably Cold Weather a Portent of Climate Change?

I tell you these last couple of days have been really cold.  Brrrrr!  Here in Florida we are hunkering down for the winter.  We have traded in our usual jeans and T-shirt garb for coats, jackets, sweater, gloves, mittens, boots, and scarves.  I must say that I am having fun dressing up in winter clothing, which I rarely get to wear, but this is no fun for our neighbors in the upper 48.

All this unseasonably cold weather has gotten many people wondering if this unusually cold spell is a consequence of climate change.  I must say,  that I have been thinking about this too, but I have only one answer - NO!  According to scripture, God does not do anything without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7).  If there was going to be a climate change, then God would have informed us of this before it happens, and since no one was informed that we were going to have a unseasonably cold winter as a result of climate change, then this harsh cold weather we are having is in no way prophetic or related to climate change.  This is not to say that there will not be climate change in the future, but whatever climate change we experience, will not be of our own doing, but will be the doing of God.

Biblically speaking, the last time the earth experienced a climate change was in the days of Noah's flood.  Prior to the flood, the earth had a equitable climate, with no extremes in weather.  The earth was protected from extremes in extraterrestial radiation by the "firmament", and the earth was watered not by rain, but by a dewy mist which emanated from the earth (Genesis 1:6-8; Genesis 2:5-6).  In the pre-flood world, the earth orbited the sun in a perfect circle of 360 degrees, going around the sun 1 degree per day.  A year therefore consisted of 360 days.  I know this from various calculations of days and months found in the Bible.  In Genesis 7:11 we read that the flood started on the 17th day of the second month, and the waters flooded the earth for 150 days before the waters began to abate on the 17th day of the seventh month (Genesis 8:4).  Therefore, the flooding lasted for five months, and when you divide 150 days by 5, you get 30 days in a month.  Since there are twelve months in a year, then 12 months would give you 360 days in a year.

After the flood, weather patterns changed drastically.  For one, rain became a part of earth's weather/climate system.  Another thing that changed was the institution of the seasons.  We see in Genesis 8:21 where God promised Noah that He would never destroy every living thing off the face of the earth again, and that as long as the earth continues to exist, we would experience "seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease" (Genesis 8:22).  Changes in the seasons are a natural part of God's plan, and we need not be alarmed, although conditions can get downright uncomfortable.  However, I have always believed that everything is always done with a divine purpose, the wisdom of which that will be revealed to us.

Let me now revisit the concept of the length of year being 360 days before the flood and how it relates to climate change.   As we all know, a year is 365 1/4 days long, yet before the flood it was 360 days long.  How did this happen?  How did the year go from being 360 days long to 365 1/4 days long?  As was said before, God does not do anything without revealing it to His prophets.  The earliest known recorded prophet we have in the Bible is Enoch, who lived prior to the flood.  In Jude 14 we read, "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these."  Not much is written about Enoch, but what we do know is very informative.  Enoch lived to be 365 years old (Genesis 5:23).  If we use the day-for-a-year principle of scripture (Numbers 14:34), then each year of Enoch's life would represent a day - the new number of days in the calendar year!  God therefore used the life span of Enoch to prophesy to us of the coming change in the length of the year from 360 days to 365 days!  If we take a look at the earth's orbit around the sun, we can see that the earth does not follow a circular path of 360 degrees but follows an elliptical path.  In this elliptical path, the earth is  higher up above the sun, during winter in the northern hemisphere, and  lower down below the sun during summer in the northern hemisphere.  The earth is at its peak height above the sun during the winter solistice and at its peak level below the sun during the summer solstice.  The biggest factor however that determines the seasons is the tilt of the earth on its axis.  The earth is tilted on its axis 23.4 degrees away from the vertical.  As the earth orbits around the sun, the northern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun in summer, and away from the sun in winter.  It is this tilt of the earth that determines whether we have summer or winter.   

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork" (Psalm 19:1). 

We can therefore see that God affected climate change after the flood by tilting the earth on its axis, and putting the earth on an elliptic orbit relative to the sun, giving us our seasons.  The question therefore is this:  When will be the next climate change?  What will it be?  That is a whole other discussion, but suffice it to say, that we should expect increases in earthquakes, and hail storms, and celestial fires (Revelation 6:12-15; and Revelation 8).  As God's coming approaches expect to see more portents of celestial wonders in the sky affecting the climate of earth.

1 comment:

Daughter of Wisdom said...

It is that elliptical path of the earth's orbit around that gives us the extra 5 1/4 days in the year, causing the length of the year to increase from 360 days to 365 1/4 days after the flood. When the earth's orbit was circular we had 360 days in a year.