“… a mist went up from the earth which watered the entire surface of the ground.” – Genesis 2:6 – Hebrew Bible (Old Testament)
Fog. Vapour suspended in the atmosphere at or near the earth’s surface, obscurity caused by this…
The Concise Oxford Dictionary, 1964
Mist. Water vapour descending in fine drops smaller than raindrops and causing obscuration of the atmosphere. Ibid.
H₂O. Water. Water gives life. Life needs water. Science fiction and fantasy aside, everything we know about life requires water for it to exist, to come into being, to persist in being, to evolve, according to both the evolutionary and the creationist paradigms of life.
You may have seen episodes of science fiction series and films in which life somehow has come to be in crystalline or gaseous (not water-vapour) form. There is no evidence for that anywhere, and no science that can even propose how it could ever happen. Such episodes have crossed from science and even science-fiction into shear fantasy.
Even the standard evolutionary tale we have been given for the last 160 years since Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859) is not so much science or even science fiction as science fantasy. Somehow all the gaps and “missing links” are filled in without much more to go on than some fragments and deposits often found in the wrong geologic sequence but pry-barred into appropriate position in the chronology to maintain the tale. Meanwhile, the Flood Story is relegated to some sort of Jungian “collective, species memory” engraved in our genes by our remote ancestors fleeing in terror from a local cataclysm. More pry-barring!
Micro-evolution is indisputable. It is observable. “Extinction events” are indisputable. They too are observable and the geological evidence is everywhere. But macro-evolution is highly disputable, as even honest evolutionist academics will admit. They will justify it because “there is no other possibility” in a materialist, closed universe – as Stephen Hawking famously did in his conclusion to A Brief History of Time.
Let us therefore admit that our a priori presuppositions create “obscuration of the atmosphere”. Let us admit that every culture and people since time immemorial has operated with such presuppositions and that now, in this Age of Reason and Science, our presuppositions have obscured the perception of the fine, delicate mist which envelopes us and, in its quiet omnipresence, has become invisible to us.
Here we have an amazing fact – a blue and green water and oxygen clothed planet teeming with life, a water-based system which is so delicately balanced to renew and replenish itself that, allowed to function as it is designed to do, and as long as good ole Sol, our local star, keeps doing its regular thing, it closely approximates the mythical “perpetual motion machine” imagined by early modern physicists operating under a Newtonian paradigm.
However, “unNewtonianly”, it is not an inanimate “machine” but a pulsating, living, breathing oneness, a co-dependent, interdependent and incredibly wonderful, beautiful, miraculous contradiction of everything that mindless matter and chaotic energy should ever produce, regardless of however many eons of time may be allotted by those seeking to open the door to it without conceding that other option – a Creator-Designer-Executor.
We have made ourselves spiritually and intellectually blind to the “mist [going] up from the earth which water[s] the entire surface of the ground”. The presence of water ensures life, and water vapour is physically present in every nook and cranny of planet earth –“the entire surface of the ground”—even in the hottest and coldest, remotest deserts.
Two thousand years ago, a man named Yeshua said some outrageous things about water and himself. He called himself “the water of life”. He said that if we would drink of the water that he gives to drink, we would never thirst again. He said that it—He!—would give us eternal life.
Once, to show his intimate connection to and command over water, the very essence of life, he wordlessly (as far as we know, although he may have prayed some silent words) changed about three hundred liters of water into the finest wine at a wedding feast. Many would love to have a power like that at their command!
On another occasion, he commanded the wind and waves of a violent storm to be still, and they became so. There were twelve eye-witnesses to this event. Who can command both air and water?
As to the water-into-wine story, some have tried to understand why Yeshua, a much revered holy man, made it possible to keep a crowd of people happily tipsy at a days-long wedding celebration when the standard image of his followers is that they’re such party-poopers and sour-pusses when it comes to celebrating and cutting loose. I certainly don’t subscribe to some of the more dour interpretations of this indubitably real event in Yeshua’s public life in ancient First-Century Israel. Contrary to such sanctimonious interpolations, it was not non-alcoholic wine he made! Sorry, but that is Queen Victoria era evangelical theology talking anachronistically. In its details, with the singular exception of having a real-life prodigy-worker in its guest-list, it is entirely consistent with the Jewish culture and society of that time. And Jesus was fully a First Century Palestinian Jew.
I have my own theory about the marriage at Cana episode where this transformation occurred. Water means life and wine means enjoying it. Yeshua wanted to gladden the hearts and lift the souls of the people there in a time when life was really pretty hard and often grim.
Which raises many questions, such as, “Why did the Creator make a universe with life? Why did the Creator make (material) life such that it cannot be without water?” Here on Planet Earth, the only world of life we know, and the only one where life can in some respect know the Creator and be in personal relationship with Him, water is a physical testimony to the Creator’s omnipresence and our total dependence on Him.
The judgment on land life of Noah’s time and tale was by water, the very means and primary agent of life. Life was given via water in the beginning –whether you believe in direct act of creation or a process of (Divinely-directed?) evolution. Life was temporarily erased from the land (but not the water) by the Creator’s direct action, just as it was His direct word which made it in the first place by calling life out of the waters He had separated “in the beginning” (see Genesis Chapter 1).
The cause of the cleansing of the Noahic Deluge was the depravity of humanity. Humans had betrayed their mission to cause earthly life to flourish and abound and to care for it. They had so polluted and befouled the land that the Creator decided to purify the land. Although He would leave a remnant to regenerate it, God knew that the root of corruption in human hearts was not really healed.
But the permanent healing and restoration of the earth and of humanity’s brokenness requires a new kind of water. This water would fill the heart, renew the mind, and give eternal life to the spirit so that broken, polluted human nature would be healed and conformed to the image of Himself God had put there in the first place. Mere physical water cannot do this.
To make it happen, the Creator came in person as Yeshua, Israel’s promised Mashiach (Messiah) who brought the water of life—Himself! Coming into direct relationship with the Creator’s “Son” – an actual living, flesh-and-blood human being who would bridge the chasm between the Creator and His creation. The spiritually renewing water heals the heart and fills the soul.
One of the most poignant water stories in the New Testament concerns a meeting between Yeshua and a woman of Samaria at a town well. It is found in John’s Gospel, Chapter 4. It was to this lost woman whose life was a mess and who was an outcast that Yeshua said that He could give water that would quench the inner thirst. It was Himself, as healer and renewer and redeemer—Israel’s and the world’s Messiah!
That offer is still valid and open to anyone who wants such water, such life everlasting. “Come to me all who are loaded down [burdened] and heavy-laden [with cares and troubles of whatever type] and I will give you rest for your souls…. I will give you water for your spirit such as will heal your heart for good and bring you into eternal life.” (That last bit is my interpolation.)
Thus, it is no accident that you absolutely must have water to live, both physically and spiritually. You need it for cleansing, healing, comforting, soothing, warming, cooling, nurturing, and on and on.
Let us open our eyes to see through the fog and see, and be enveloped in God’s omnipresent mist. Open your ears to hear His waves splashing and crashing all around you. Be reminded when you look at a river, sit by a shore, paddle on a lake, sail on the big waters, take a refreshing drink when you are parched, or when taking your shower or bath to cleanse your body. Receive the water that washes you clean, inside and outside.
And thank God that He has put water everywhere to remind you constantly that He is very near, as the Muslims put it, “Closer than your jugular vein!”