The extreme conditions bless God (Dan 3:49-3:51)

“Bless the Lord!

Ice!

Cold!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

Frosts!

Snows!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

Lightning!

Clouds!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!” 

This hymn continued with a blessing of the Lord from the ice, the cold, the frosts, the snows, the lightning, and the clouds. God controlled them, so that they should praise and exalt him forever.

The food of angels (Wis 16:20-16:23)

“Instead of these things,

You gave your people

The food of angels.

Without their toil,

You supplied them

From heaven

With bread ready to eat.

It provided every pleasure.

It suited every taste.

Your sustenance manifested

Your sweetness

Toward your children.

The bread,

Ministering to the desire of the one who took it,

Was changed to suit everyone’s liking.

Snow withstood fire without melting.

Ice withstood fire without melting.

Thus they might know

That the crops of their enemies

Were being destroyed

By the fire that blazed in the hail.

The fire flashed in the showers of rain.

Whereas the fire,

In order that the righteous might be fed,

Even forgot its native power.”

God gave his people (τὸν λαόν σου) the food of angels (ἀγγέλων τροφὴν). This bread from heaven came ready to eat, as it provided every pleasure to every taste. Obviously, this is a reference to the manna in the wilderness on the way to the Promised Land as in Exodus, chapter 16. What is unique here is that the taste of it was pleasing to each person even if they had other tastes. This food of snow and ice did not melt. However, the crops of their enemies were destroyed. They, however, the righteous were able to feed themselves with the heavenly tasty food.

Yahweh questions Job about frost (Job 38:28-38:30)

“Has the rain a father?

Who has begotten the drops of dew?

From whose womb did the ice come forth?

Who has given birth to the hoarfrost of heaven?

The waters become hard like stone.

The face of the deep is frozen.”

Rain is once again considered in anthropomorphic terms. Who is the father of rain? Whose womb did the light morning dew come from? Whose womb did the ice come from? How did the waters become like stone, frozen in place? These continuing poetic expressions about rain and ice pose the unanswerable questions about weather and its changing face. Certainly these poetic terms appear again and again in encyclical Laudato Si of Pope Francis I.

God controls thunder, lightning, and rain (Job 37:1-37:13)

“At this also my heart trembles.

My heart leaps out of its place.

Listen!

Listen to the thunder of his voice.

Listen to the rumbling that comes from his mouth.

Under the whole heaven he lets it loose.

His lightning goes to the corners of the earth.

After it his voice roars.

He thunders with his majestic voice.

He does not restrain the lightning when his voice is heard.

God thunders wondrously with his voice.

He does great things that we cannot comprehend.

To the snow he says.

‘Fall on the earth.’

The shower and the rain,

His heavy shower of rain,

Serve as a sign on everyone’s hand.

Thus all whom he has made may know it.

Then the animals go into their lairs,

They remain in their dens.

From its chamber comes the whirlwind.

Cold comes from the scattering winds.

By the breath of God ice is given.

The broad waters are frozen fast.

He loads the thick cloud with moisture.

The clouds scatter his lightning.

They turn round and round by his guidance.

They accomplish all that he commands them

On the face of the habitable world.

Whether for correction,

Or for his land,

Or for love,

He causes it to happen.”

God as the weather man continues in this hymn to the power of God. The voice of God can be heard in thunder. His lightning reaches the ends of the earth. He makes snow fall. He sends rains, heavy and light. We feel the rain as a way that God touches us. Animals know when to get out of the cold. God sends the cold and ice as he freezes up the rivers. God causes all this to happen here on earth. This is a Theo-centric climate concept. All comes from God, not man. He guides the climate to correct us, help the land, and show his love. God makes it happen. Humans are merely passive to the actions of God. This is very poetic and thus not literal. It is anthropomorphic in that we assign the voice of God, who has no voice, to the thunder. God does not literally speak to us in thunder.