What does the Bible say about thunder and lightning?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

The Bible contains various references to thunder and lightning, which serve as powerful symbols of God’s presence and power. Let’s explore some of these passages to gain a deeper understanding of what the Bible says about thunder and lightning.

1. Exodus 19:16 – When the Israelites were at Mount Sinai, preparing to receive the Ten Commandments, it says, “On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast so that all the people in the camp trembled.” This passage highlights how thunder and lightning were used to emphasize the awe-inspiring presence of God and to create a sense of reverence among His people.

2. Job 37:2-5 – In the book of Job, God speaks to Job out of a whirlwind, saying, “Keep listening to the thunder of his voice and the rumbling that comes from his mouth. Under the whole heaven he lets it go, and his lightning to the corners of the earth.” Here, thunder and lightning are portrayed as manifestations of God’s majestic voice and vast power, demonstrating His sovereignty over creation.

3. Psalm 29:3-9 – This psalm beautifully describes the voice of the Lord as being accompanied by thunder and lightning. It says, “The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.” The psalmist uses vivid imagery to illustrate how God’s voice shakes the wilderness, flashes forth flames of fire, and breaks the cedars. Thunder and lightning are thus depicted as expressions of God’s authority and might.

4. Matthew 24:27 – In the New Testament, Jesus refers to lightning as a symbol of His second coming. He says, “For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” Here, lightning represents the sudden and unmistakable return of Jesus, illuminating the entire sky and signaling the culmination of God’s plan for redemption.

From these passages, we can gather that thunder and lightning in the Bible are often associated with God’s power, presence, and authority. They serve as reminders of His awe-inspiring nature and His ability to shake the earth and heavens. Thunder and lightning are used to evoke a sense of fear, reverence, and anticipation of God’s divine intervention in human affairs.

It’s important to note that these references to thunder and lightning should not be taken merely as literal occurrences, but rather as symbolic representations of God’s character and actions. They invite us to contemplate the majesty and sovereignty of our Creator and to approach Him with humility and awe.

In my personal experiences, I have witnessed thunderstorms that filled the sky with flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder. These moments have always left me in awe of the power and grandeur of nature, reminding me of the even greater power and majesty of God. They serve as a tangible reminder of His presence and remind me to trust in His sovereignty, even in the midst of life’s storms.

To summarize, the Bible portrays thunder and lightning as powerful symbols of God’s presence, power, and authority. They serve as reminders of His awe-inspiring nature and His ability to intervene in human affairs. By contemplating these representations, we are invited to approach God with reverence and awe, acknowledging His sovereignty over all creation.