All of nature is God's domain, “They do not say in their heart,
'Let us now fear the Lord our God, who gives rain, both the former and
the latter, in its season.” (Jeremiah 5:24), but in a special way, thunder
is heard playing a role in God's theophany, and the slashing
rain-storms reveal His presence:
"The waters saw You, O God; the waters saw You, they were afraid; the
depths also trembled. The clouds poured out water; the skies sent out a sound; Your arrows also
flashed about. The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; the lightnings lit up the world;
the earth trembled and shook." (Psalm 77:16-18).
"He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, Who makes the
clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of the wind, Who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a
flame of fire." (Psalm 104:3-4).
"He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not
rent under them. He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it.
He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end." (Job 26:8-10 KJV).
"The Lord will cause His glorious voice to be heard,
and show the descent of His arm, with the indignation of His anger
and the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, tempest, and hailstones."
“When He utters His voice— there is a multitude of waters in the heavens:
'He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightnings for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries.'”
"Or who shut in the sea with doors, When it burst forth and issued from the
womb; when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band; when I fixed My limit
for it, and set bars and doors; when I said, 'This far you may come, but no farther, and here your
proud waves must stop!' ...Have you entered the treasury of snow, or have you seen the treasury of
hail, which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war?... Who has
divided a channel for the overflowing water, or a path for the thunderbolt, to cause it to rain on a
land where there is no one, a wilderness in which there is no man..." (Job 38:8-26)
What is the significance of these revelatory downpours? How can
such a prosaic aspect of earthly life intimate God's presence? God
made this lower world to be like a child's picture book, with colorful imagery providing us a lesson
in color of God's eternal design. Nature and revelation are works
produced by the same author, and accordingly display common themes:
"There is a certain type of thought which God has followed in all
things. What He made with His Word has a similarity to the Word itself
by which He made it; and the visible is the symbol of the invisible,
because the same thought of God runs through it all." (Spurgeon,
Charles H. (2010-05-18). Lectures to My Students (p. 406). Zondervan.
Kindle Edition.) Thus, the visible rain-storms signify and symbolize the
spiritual rain: "See, the streams of living waters, Springing from
eternal love, Well supply thy sons and daughters And all fear of want
remove: Who can faint while such a river Ever flows their thirst to
assuage? Grace which, like the Lord, the Giver, Never fails from age
to age." (John Newton, Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken).
The thunder-storm shows God's grandeur, power and majesty:
"When in a sultry summer day the sky gets overcast, and
angry clouds gather thick upon its brow, and bush and brake are
silent, and the very cattle, like human beings, draw close together,
standing dumb in their untasted pastures, and while there is no
ripple on the lake, nor leaf stirring on the tree, all nature seems
struck with awe, and stands in trembling expectation; then, when the
explosion comes, and a blinding stream of fire leaps from the cloud,
and as if heaven's riven vault were tumbling down upon our head, the
thunders crash, peal, roar along the sky, he has neither poetry, nor
piety, nor sense, who does not reverently bow his head and assent to
the words of David, 'The voice of the Lord is full of majesty.'"
(Thomas Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, Chapter XXII, Kindle location
When you walk out of the house in the morning, the tableaux that
great your eyes, the impromptu symphonies you hear, come from the
hand of the Master artist: "Slowly I became aware of the melodic
sound of the water striking the keys of thousands of river rocks as
it flowed downstream. I sat there almost mesmerized by the music that
rose from the river as the water crashed and bounced off the rocks.
Then, I heard God speak to my heart."
(2010-01-01). Hearing God's Voice (Kindle Locations 928-930). David C
Cook. Kindle Edition.)