The God of Seasons

“And Noah builded an altar unto Jehovah, and took of every clean beast, and of every clean bird, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar. And Jehovah smelled the sweet savor; and Jehovah said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man‘s sake, for that the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” Genesis 8:20–22

As the bright, blistering days of Summer give way to the brisk, beautiful days of Fall and finally turn into the barren, blustery days of Winter, we are reminded that we live in a changing world, governed by an unchanging God. The changing world of nature around us is predictable, however, precisely because the God who controls it all is unchangeable. That which we most often take for granted is indeed a great blessing, for we are dependent creatures, who, apart from His providential care, cannot so much as live and move.


Being our Creator, God does not have to be informed about our dependence; He made us so. Fact is, we are the ones who need a constant reminder that He is in charge of all things, and has promised to care for us and supply our needs.

Such a reminder was particularly appropriate immediately following the total destruction of God‘s created world by the flood. After the waters had subsided, and Noah and his family and all the occupants of the ark were safely on dry land, Noah prepared an altar to bring a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God. It was in response to that sacrifice that God promised never to destroy the world again as He had done in the flood; but on the contrary, as long as the earth would remain, there would be seasons, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night. Man would still earn his daily bread by the sweat of his brow, but the conditions to enable him to do that would always be present.

Consider the reason why God made this promise. “I will not again curse the ground any more for man‘s sake, for that the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” Does it seem possible that God would not send such total destruction again as in the flood because the thoughts and desires of the human heart are evil? That would appear to be more of a reason to destroy mankind than to spare him! But no! This is precisely why God intervenes! Because the human heart is evil from youth up, because evil is innate or inborn in man, he is in desperate need of the forbearance of God. Mankind is dependent on God’s mercy. Man can neither gain nor earn God’s favor, and thus it must come to him as a gift.

Is not that also God’s motive in the giving of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ? There is no reason in us why we should be the objects of His great love. But it was exactly for this same reason, because the thoughts and desires of the human heart are evil from youth up, that God had to intervene for our every physical need, is also the God of our salvation who gives the gift of life eternal.

Let us then give heartfelt thanksgiving to our gracious God for the bountiful blessings He daily supplies. He may not always give us a bumper crop, or a bigger one than the year before. For His providential care also includes reminders to us that we are dependent upon Him for all things. But He does promise that the order of the seasons will always occur, and challenge us to ever more obedient service with promises like this: “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32).

Let the words of Psalm 147 be our thanksgiving refrain:

The heavens with clouds He covers, He sends the cheering rain; The slopes of all the mountains He fills with grass and grain; To beast and bird His goodness Their daily food supplies; He cares for all His creatures, Attentive to their cries.

His statutes and His judgment He makes His people know; To them as to no others His grace He loves to show; For matchless grace and mercy Your grateful praises bring; To Him give thanks forever, And Hallelujah sing.