Lightning Then Thunder – The Bible and Science

Job 37

He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven and sends it to the ends of the earth. After that comes the sound of his roar; he thunders with his majestic voice.  When his voice resounds, he holds nothing back. (NIV) The underline is mine.

As a cloud is getting ready to discharge lightning it sends out a leader, which is like a path for the electrons to follow. (They are seen with special high-speed cameras.) The leaders actually “step” their way to the ground going several yards at a time.  When the leader touches the ground the electrons are released and we see a bolt of lightning.



As the energy goes through the air it is super-heated to as much as 50,000 degrees, which causes the air to expand very rapidly.  This causes the thunder that we associate with lightning.

In a respect, this is very much like God when He speaks to His people through prophecy.  God sends prophecy a little at a time until the moment arrives and what He has been speaking comes into being.  Jehovah started speaking about Jesus and His coming to redeem man in Genesis 3 and it was talked about or foreshadowed in the next sixty-five books until Jesus came in the Gospels.

∞Father, whether it is a whisper or bolt please speak to us and show us Your energy.

Lightning 2 – The Bible and Science

Job 37:11 He loads the clouds with moisture; he scatters his lightning through them.

The bolt of lightning is really just a stream of electrons that is jumping from the cloud to the ground or another cloud.  These electrons are “scrapped” off of atoms/particles because of the movement of ice, water, and air within the cloud.  This movement comes from the convection current caused by warm air rising and cold air falling in the cloud.  As the particles hit each other electrons charge the middle of the cloud while Lightning formationthe positive particles charge the top of the cloud.  But without movement, there would be no energy release.

We see the same principle at work with the power of God in our lives.  We know the power is available but until we start to “move” that energy will not be released.

∞Jesus, may we live the Great Commission and have your power as we go and preach your Word.

Graphics and referenced:

Lightning – Consider God’s Wonders

Job 37: 14 “Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders. 15 Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash? (NIV)

Lightning in the Bible is a wonder of God that biblical man attributes as His weapon and an awesome act of God that is used to describe glorious things.  Elihu in this verse ask a question,” Do you know how He makes lightning flash?” Fast-forward to 2014 and you would imagine that we know the mechanism and principles of how such a common occurrence as lightning is controlled.  The truth is we have a better understanding of clouds and lightning than Elihu and Job but we do not understand completely how this wondrous and awesome act of God happens.

∞Father, help us to always consider Your wonders and to stay in awe of Your mighty works.

See Comparison of Jeremiah 10 and 51 for more on lightning.   good graphics

Jeremiah 10 and 51

While reading on lightning in the Bible I noticed that Jeremiah 10: 12 – 16 and 51: 15– 19 are almost exactly the same.  Having the same theme run through a book or even several books is not unusual, after all, God can repeat Himself if He wants.  But if God repeats Himself it is usually to stress a point or confirm what was said, or in the case of the History Books – Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles two different people wrote for two different audiences. (See Kings and Samuel)  The repetition here seems to be for making the point of God’s power and authority to do the acts that were to follow.

In Jeremiah 10:12 -16, the passage is introduced by a statement that false gods did not make the heavens and earth, the NIV has a footnote that it is written in Aramaic.  (Probably for the people of/in Babylon or as a further study has found, it was a common language of the day.)  God is angry because of the idols His people are making and worshiping.  So after the passage, the destruction of Israel and Judah is foretold.  This apparently made people mad because Baruch son of Neriah, his scribe, notes that the people of Anathoth, his hometown, wanted to kill him.  Jeremiah is a member of the priestly class and Anathoth is a city that was set apart for the priest by Joshua and Moses; nothing like making your family mad, especially if they are church leaders.

In Jeremiah 51: 15 -19 the introduction to the verse is the prophesying that Babylon will be filled with men eager to destroy the place, and it is followed by the acts that will happen when the city is destroyed.  The end of this story is chapter 51:59 – 64 where Jeremiah asks Seraiah, Baruch’s brother, to pronounce complete and lasting ruin on Babylon. (Saddam Hussein tried/started rebuilding ancient Babylon before the Gulf War, it came to a stop.)  It is interesting that the last sentence is, “The words of Jeremiah end here.”

The final part of this study is found in Psalm 135: 7.  The passage about the lightning, rain, and wind is also here as it is found in Jeremiah.

He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; he sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.” (NIV)  In a previous post I compared Psalm 135 and 136 for similar content (see that post).  But the same themes in Jeremiah are here also:

  1. The Lord does what pleases Him. (vs. 6)
  2. The destruction of an enemy is told. (vs.8 – 11)
  3. Idols are worthless pieces of silver and gold. (vs. 15 – 18)
  4. Jacob and Israel are treasured possessions. (vs. 3 – 4)

I can still see David writing Psalm 135 but the prophetic nature of this Psalm now becomes even clearer.  Ok, maybe Jeremiah/Baruch did write it and threw in verses 19 – 21 just to aggravate his kinsmen.

Bible studies are fun, you start with lightning and end up comparing prophesy in Jeremiah.