Far too frequently we are presented with a false dichotomy, pressed to choose between two ostensibly opposing concepts. We can choose God or we can choose science, but we cannot choose both because they are said to be at odds and, as such, cannot coexist.
No folly could possibly be further from the truth.
God is not anti-science. Rather, God invented science, and I submit that humanity’s greatest scientific achievements are but child’s play to Yahweh, the one who brought about everything from nothing using nothing but his spoken word.
In hydrology, scientists study the occurrence, distribution, movement, and properties of water as it moves through a process known as the hydrologic cycle. Living where we do, in the Pacific Northwest, Alean and I have a front-row seat to this God-created, natural phenomenon.
We have the Pacific Ocean via the San Juan Islands on our shoreline to the west, Cascade Mountains to the east, and Coast Mountains to the north. We see rainfall off and on throughout the year. Each winter we watch as the mountains become snow-capped. Mount Baker, just a few miles to the west of us, still holds the world record for annual snowfall at ninety-five feet during the 1998-1999 winter season.
Come spring, the mountain snow melts, the streams and rivers swell with the runoff as the melt makes its way to Bellingham Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Evaporation from solar radiation draws the water to the skies where it is moved here and there by wind currents. From there it falls to earth again as rain or snow and the cycle repeats itself.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
– Isaiah 55:10-11, ESV
Just as the waters come and replenish the earth, providing life-giving sustenance and refreshing, Gods word proceeds from his mouth, provides life and sustenance, accomplishing what he purposes. His word falls on us like the rains from heaven.
Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak,
and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
May my teaching drop as the rain,
my speech distill as the dew,
like gentle rain upon the tender grass,
and like showers upon the herb.
– Deuteronomy 32:1-2, ESV
God’s word is sent forth as a healer and a champion.
He sent out his word and healed them,
and delivered them from their destruction.
– Psalm 107:20, ESV
He sends out his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
– Psalm 147:15, ESV
The word from God is more than vocal vibrations that excite molecules of air. It acquires form. It runs. It protects. It preserves. It heals. It creates. It does not return to its speaker until it has accomplished the purpose for which it was sent. It is an eternal word, forever fixed in the heavens.1
Just as the rain supports growth resulting in a harvest, so the word of God striking the soil of a softened human heart brings for a harvest of life. His word is bread to our souls.
And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
– Deuteronomy 8:3, ESV
1. Psalm 119:89