Bible Review 2:3, Fall 1986

How Can Jeremiah Compare the Migration of Birds to Knowledge of God’s Justice?

By Herold Weiss

In biblical times, aspects of nature that are easily explained by modern science were considered mysteries, and sparked a sense of awe. Although today, a scientific explanation is often available, nature still has the power to arouse wonder in us. On the other hand, once a phenomenon is scientifically analyzed and explained, it may lose its awe-inspiring qualities.

Every day our favorite meteorologist explains to us why the wind is blowing in a particular direction. The direction of the wind, which mystified the author of the Fourth Gospel, no longer causes us to wonder (John 3:8).

The same evangelist explains a seed’s germination as a death (John 12:24). Today’s botanists and geneticists understand the process in terms of chemical transformations. Although the origin of the wind no longer captures our imagination, the germination of a seed continues to inspire our sense of wonder. The silhouette of a sower casting his seed over plowed ground is still a powerful symbol of faith and hope.

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