Study Guide

1 Kings God's Power (Nature)

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God's Power (Nature)

God's power is manifest in a lot of ways throughout 1st Kings, but it's never more in-yo'-face than through natural phenomena. Whether it's a drought (18:2, 5), ravens (17:4), or spectacular sudden firebolts (18:38), God announces his presence in a big way through the forces of nature. Then again, though, there's that fascinating passage that says God is neither in a great wind, nor an earthquake, nor a fire (19:11-12). So is God in nature, or isn't he? We dunno, but he sure does seem to show up outside a lot, whether on Mount Carmel (18:37-38), in the wilderness (19:4-8), or on Mount Horeb (19:9-18).

This is pretty consistent with other books in the Bible (and much of recorded history, for that matter). Ancient cultures attributed all kinds of natural phenomena to deities, and Israel is no exception. Whether it's increasing the frog population to ridiculous levels, doing weird things with the ocean, or making it rain food, the Bible makes it clear that nature does pretty much whatever God tells it to. It just makes sense for the Israelites to associate God with nature—he's the one who created it, after all.

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