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We saw previously how God not only created the earth's atmosphere but in his wisdom made sure that our air would always contain enough oxygen to keep us alive. In connection with the earth's water God has also established a regular order to make sure that there is plenty of pure water for plants, animals and people. There is lots of water in the sea but we cannot drink sea water. Such water is too salty. We rely for our drinking water on water in streams, rivers and lakes. The rivers run into the sea but the rivers do not run dry except in times of drought and the sea does not become full. Let us see why this is so. We read in Job (Chapter 38) that God has covered the sea with mist and cloud. We like the sea-side best when it is sunny and clear but most of us have arrived at the beach at some time to find it covered with fog. This fog consists of small particles of water and shows us that water vapour is rising from the surface of the sea all the time; sometimes more quickly, sometimes more slowly. It is the water vapour rising into the colder air above our heads that forms clouds as it condenses. We are used to condensation on our kitchen windows. When the kettle and pans are full of boiling water steam is given off. On a cold day the glass of the kitchen windows is cold and very soon becomes 'steamed up' with tiny drops of water which have condensed on the glass. Some children take advantage of this to write their name on the window or to draw a picture but mother might not approve. As the clouds in the sky become heavier and encounter mountains or high hills the water falls as rain, snow or hail.
All this water, whether fresh water or salty sea water, is one of God's greatest gifts to us. Fresh water is essential for living. Without it we would die. Perhaps you have heard of serious droughts in other lands? Because of the lack of water, plants and trees die. Animals die. Men and women, boys and girls all die. We should never forget to thank God for plenty of water to drink. The water cycle results from evaporation from the surface of the seas, condensing of the moisture into clouds, precipitation or rain and the run off of water into the rivers and in them into the seas again. The water cycle is spoken of in the Bible: "All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again". (Ecclesiastes 1.7)
We also use plenty of water to keep clean. We wash ourselves, our dishes, our clothes and many other things. If we did not do so our lives would be in danger. Dirty dishes can spread disease. Keeping our bodies clean is one way of keeping fit and well.
We also use water for power. A simple example is the water wheel. Water wheels can still be seen on some old buildings. They were used to drive simple machines inside the building Water contributed to the Industrial Revolution because it was used in steam engines. These engines could drive much larger machines in big factories. This meant that more and more goods, such as clothing and materials could be made. Water is also used for making electricity. Watch out for an hydro-electric dam whenever you pass a large lake or reservoir. Such a dam not only stores the water behind it but it generates electricity using the water allowed to flow through it.
Water is also full of many other things that we need. We call these things 'resources'. They may be animal, vegetable or mineral. In this connection animal includes fishes and vegetable includes any plants including sea-weed. The sea is also full of various minerals, especially common salt but also uranium, magnesium and even gold and silver. These can be extracted and used in our manufacturing industries.
Water also makes life more pleasant because it is usually beautiful to look at. In mountainous countryside you can see violent rushing streams called torrents like silver ribbons shining in the sun. In other parts you can find still waters, quiet lakes, lochs or tarns. Sometimes the waves of the sea have white foamy caps and at other times the sea looks almost as still as a farmyard pond. Never overlook the beauty of water and always give God the glory for it.
Water also has a darker side. It is connected with judgement. Many people will not believe this and do not want to accept it but God, who surrounded the land with water in the beginning, also covered all the land with water in the days of Noah, "whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished." (2 Peter 3.6) This was because "the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and ... every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Genesis 6.5) When we go on in sin we turn God's blessings into a curse by provoking him to anger.
Drought, vapour, condensation, encounter, torrent, industrial, factory, resources, violent, tarn.
1. Draw and paint your own pictures of water in different places.
2. Make your own rain using condensation and precipitation experiments with the help of an adult.
3. Make your own chart for a week:-
MY USE OF WATER
TIME OF DAY
1. Find books to tell you about some of these great explorers of the sea: Marco Polo (1254-1324), Bartholomew Diaz (died 1506), Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), Vasco de Gama (1460-1524), Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), Francis Drake (1540-1596), Martin Frobisher (1535-1594), Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), James Cook (1728-1779).
2. You can read about the great flood in Genesis chapters 6-9.
Psalm 95.1-5 (Common Metre)
O come, let us sing to the Lord:
come, let us ev'ry one
A joyful noise make to the Rock
of our salvation.
Let us before his presence come
with praise and thankful voice;
Let us sing psalms to him with grace,
and make a joyful noise.
For God, a great God, and great King,
above all gods he is.
Depths of the earth are in his hand,
the strength of hills is his.
To him the spacious sea belongs,
for he the same did make;
The dry land also from his hands
its form at first did take.