The Old Testament: Job III – God Controls the Weather

I have big teeth, and perhaps because of this, my bite was a mess until my orthodontist went to work on the mouth that he told my parents was the worst he’d ever seen. My teeth are also stubborn, so it took a while for them to fall out.  I was dreading losing them, in part because I didn’t know what to expect.  Though my imagination was less daunting than my father’s playful threats about yanking out the loose ones with a pair of pliers.

Like most kids, I was also a big fan of money, and this is perhaps one reason my parents assured me that once I lost a tooth, the tooth fairy would bring me cash.  This thought not only eased my anxiety over the terror of losing my teeth, it also warmed me to the idea.  In front of my bathroom mirror, I nudged each and every tooth, wondering just how much cash I could expect.

In the Book of Job, his friends do a whole lot of nudging; they try desperately to get him to accept that he’s sinned and that he needs to get right with God in order to end his intense suffering.  One of the things they use to establish God’s work is the weather.  Apparently, it quelled a lot of anxiety back then to think of God using the weather as punishment (37:17). Perhaps this made living through a disastrous (or simply unpleasant) storm palatable?

Given what people knew back then, I can see why they would pin weather on God—who wouldn’t think a crazy thunder storm was fueled by an angry force, especially given the damage one of these (or any severe storm, really) storms can wreak?  It’s comforting for things to happen for a reason.

It is curious, however, that there isn’t ever a point where someone says that sometimes things just happen, for no good reason other than they can. Sometimes weather happens and you just deal with it. Does it say something about us that we always need a reason?

Still, if people say everything in the Bible is true, perhaps they should consider how much attention is afforded the weather.  If what is included in the Bible comes with an all-or-nothing dictum, it’s a shame.  Clearly we know now how to explain the weather, especially in ways people centuries ago would never have been able to. How many other things like this can now be answered that books in the Bible ascribe to God’s power?

Although I learned the tooth fairy wasn’t real, I was happy to believe in her for a while.  Her existence made losing my teeth a whole lot easier. But I’m also glad to be an adult who doesn’t have a need for such an entity.  Although if I had a child, I’d mention her when the time came.

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About virgowriter

Brad Windhauser has a Master's in English from Rutgers University (Camden campus) and an MFA in creative writing from Queens University of Charlotte. He is an Associate Professor (Teaching/Instruction) in the English Department at Temple University. His short stories have appeared in The Baltimore Review, The Santa Fe Writer's Project Journal, Ray's Road Review, Philadelphia Review of Books, Northern Liberty Review, and Jonathan. His first novel, Regret (a gay-themed thriller set in Philadelphia) was published in 2007. You can read more about (and buy) it here: http://goo.gl/yvT24K His second novel, The Intersection, is being published by Black Rose Writing September 2016. He is one of five regular contributors to 5Writer.com. On his solo blog, he is chronicling his experience as a gay writer reading the Bible for the first time: www.BibleProjectBlog.com Follow his work at: www.BradWindhauser.com VirgoWriter@gmail.com
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