Our God Who Controls the Seasons

Dear BPCWA worshipper, WA went through a period over the past eight months of some record-breaking drought conditions. Month after month, we were faced with record-high temperatures and record-low rainfall. With the lowest rainfall in more than 50 years, our fertile southwest region has had its dams depleted. As autumn came 3 months ago, there was a bit of a respite from the summer highs that we had experienced. But still, it didn’t feel very much like the normal autumns that we had been used to. So, it was with joy that some may have exclaimed last Lord’s Day that winter has finally come, as we experienced chillier temperatures and a smattering of rainfall. Even as you read this today, it being June, winter has officially started. And certainly, the past week of rains and colder weather have already heralded this change of season. Perhaps a month ago, there was little indication that things would change. But have you ever considered why we have seasons?

The design of seasons. We know that the earth orbits around the sun in a circular-elliptical path, while at the same time spinning on its own axis. At the same time, the earth’s rotation is tilted and is not perpendicular to the horizontal axis. Because of this tilt, the whole earth will not experience the sun’s rays in the same way. The part of the earth that is tilted towards the sun will be experiencing spring and summer, while the other part tilted away will be going through autumn and winter. This difference explains why Australia (in the Southern Hemisphere) experiences seasons almost directly opposite to that of countries in the Northern Hemisphere. You may be wondering if the moon comes into the picture at all since it was also created on the fourth day. Well, the answer is yes. It is the moon’s gravitational pull on the earth which keeps the earth tilted at a somewhat uniform angle of 23.5 degrees, and the earth’s tilt is the explanation for seasons. In short, for seasons to be an ordinance of God that has lasted for thousands of years, it requires the sun to be giving out its light and warmth, the earth to be spinning, and the moon to continually exert its pull to keep the earth stably tilted!

God, our Creator’s promise. We are familiar with how God created everything from nothing in 6 literal days. This is recorded for us right at the start of Genesis. On the first day, light and darkness were created (Ge 1:3-5). On the second day, the firmament of Heaven was created (Ge 1:8). The earth, seas, trees, plants, fruits, and seeds were created on the third day (Ge 1:9-13). It was on the fourth day that the sun and moon were created (Ge 1:14-17), when “God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” (Ge 1:14). In the Creator’s plan, these would govern appointed times. Men will agree that the sun marks night and day for us. Even our weather forecasts would often report the sunset and sunrise times for each day. After the global flood, God once again affirmed His plan, and this time even more emphatically, saying “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Ge 8:22). This is a fact that unbelievers, especially climate activists, may find it difficult to believe. But this pastoral is not about whether there is global warming. It is that God has promised to maintain a certain degree of equilibrium so that harvests, weather differentials, seasons, and the daily day/night cycles will continue while earth, as we know it today, continues to stand.

The power of God. What man says may not come to pass because we have no power to bring it to pass. However, what God promises will certainly come to pass. One who designs a machine can write the operating manual that man can depend on to know how the machine will work. This universe was created by God and so His children can say with confidence that “The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun. 17 Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter” (Ps 74:16-17). However, the designer of a machine cannot say how long the machine will last, with so many variables being out of the designer’s control. But the Almighty Designer of this world knows exactly how long this earth will last because it is He who continues to sustain it today. Today, we know that it is not only the sun that affects the seasons but that the moon plays a role too. Is it any wonder then that the Psalmist can exclaim with confidence that “He appointed the moon for seasons” (Ps 104:19)? How could the Psalmist know such a fact without the modern scientific means to ascertain it? Only God the Creator, who designed, ordained, and set in place the moon’s effect on the season, could reveal it to him! Importantly, God reveals Himself through His creation and inspires His Word whereby His creatures may know of Him and attribute the greatness to Him alone. We, who have witnessed what may have seemed to be an “endless” summer and are now finally in winter, must realise that it is the Hand of God that continues to give us the seasons and brings them to pass. And mankind must acknowledge and be greatly grateful because our survival is under this Mighty Creator God’s mercy and grace for provisions that come from the seasons.

What should we learn from this? Well, firstly the power of God. Man cannot even control the lifespan of a machine that runs under a very controlled environment. We cannot control breakdowns. We can never come close to creating anything near the scale of the sun and moon which in turn control something the size of planet earth. But God controls the very expanse of the universe in a space that extends way beyond what man can fathom, much less see. Yes, God has placed man to have dominion over His creation and certainly sinful men are not good caretakers. Yet, God can promise as we saw earlier, that until He comes to judge the earth again in the final judgement, “. . . cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Ge 8:22). We serve a Sovereign God that continues to reign over His creation and because of this, we know His promises will never fail. The thought of His immense power and as we see how He brings on a change of seasons must cause us to have unwavering trust in what He says. The God who is fully in control of the weather is in absolute control of the lives of each of His creations, from the smallest sparrow to the man made in His image. The fact that He says that there is a judgement coming one day is also of absolute certainty. How you live today will have a certainty of how you spend eternity in that time when seasons on earth cease. Live by God’s Word alone.

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
(Mt 24:35, Mr 13:31, Lu 21:33)

Yours in our Lord’s service,