In modern times we often want to think that science has all the answers, that they have figured everything out. Science is making great strides in our understanding of the world around us and we think we are getting to know and understand our world in ways that ancient people never could have. One of the things that you may have learned about in school as a child is the water cycle (hydrologic cycle). There is a mystery that scientists were trying to figure out for thousands of years. Where did the water in the rivers all come from, and why didn’t the ocean’s water level constantly rise?
In the 1600s, two Frenchmen, Pierre Perrault and Edmé Mariotte, showed that there was enough water from evaporation and rain to explain how water reached the land and then flowed back to the sea. Finally, these scientists came up with a theory that seemed to explain where the water that flowed down the rivers and into the sea came from. However, thousands of years before this God was sharing this information with the Jewish people and we find hints of this in the Bible.
The book of Ecclesiastes hints at the fact that the water that comes down the river will return back to the beginning or the source of the river again. “The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again” (Ecclesiastes 1:6-7).
The Bible makes it clear that the water that comes down as rain is from evaporation. The prophet Amos writing over 2800 years ago wrote, “The One who builds His upper chambers in the heavens and has founded His vaulted dome over the earth, He Who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the face of the earth, The Lord is His name” (Amos 9:6).
The book of Job does an even better job of painting a picture of the water cycle describing the evaporation and distilling of water into clouds that rain down on the streams. “He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams; the clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind” (Job 36:27-28). The Bible continues to show us how wonderful our creator really is. We have so much to learn and the Bible can continue to teach us.
Brad Tolbert, Monticello church of Christ Monticello, AR