Is Your Life Like a Drop of Water?

Is Your Individual Life Like a Drop of Water?

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Water-drop-into-ocean

For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater. (Isaiah 55:10)

When criticizing Biblical teachings, skeptics often attack God’s character.(1) So, when someone denies the precious worth of human life, as not that valuable, that clashes with the truth of how God made and cares for His human creatures.(2)

For example, an astrophysicist professor, advocating New Age mysticism, once used Hinduism’s drop-of-water analogy, to imply that an individual life’s unique value is but an illusion, or ephemeral at best, because our earthly journeys, as mortals, ultimately empty into a common “one-size-fits-all” dead-end. What weird and pessimistic theory was he really promoting?

drop-in-the-ocean

According to [Hinduism’s] Upanishadic view, what happens … is that the individual Atman [personal identity] merges into the cosmic Brahman [oneness], much like a drop of water which, when dropped into the ocean, loses its individuality and becomes one with the ocean.(3)

The drop-of-water analogy suggests that individual drops of water are nothing permanent, and thus nothing special—because they quickly lose their individual identities when they enter oceans, lakes, or other bodies of water.(3) This confuses inconspicuousness with becoming nothing—because water molecules don’t cease to exist!(4)

Notice also that anti-personhood notions clash with the Bible’s teaching about God creating humans in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27).  The Hindu mythology concept, that individual personhood is swallowed up into the impersonal cosmic “one”, assumes that our human lives have no permanent uniqueness. However, that fanciful fiction rejects the Creator-God’s very personal choices to create each one of us, permanently, as exactly the individual humans that we are and continue to be.(2),(3)

Furthermore, the drop-of-water metaphor is false even at the chemistry level—because each human has unique genetic and epigenetic identity, whereas all drops of (pure) water are composed only of H2O.(5)

Unsurprisingly, as with many other errors, wrong thinking is traceable to both ignoring Scripture and inadequately appreciating God’s providential power (Matthew 22:29; Mark 12:24).

water-cycle.USGS-chart

In fact, God knows all about—and sees and interacts with—all raindrops, snowflakes, and other tiny bits of water, everywhere. Earth’s entire water cycle is just one of the interactive systems that God carefully made, owns, and operates.(2),(5),(6)

For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater. (Isaiah 55:10)

Imagine filming or writing a documentary of the ongoing adventures of a single drop of water, as it moves through its individual journey in Earth’s water cycle, day after day, for weeks, then months, years, centuries, and beyond.

Water-drop-ripple.Unsplash-pic

Hard to imagine!—yet God doesn’t just imagine where each water drop is, at every moment since Creation Week; God actually keeps track of them all—within oceans, evaporated into clouds, raining down as raindrops, free-falling as snowflakes, trickling in streams, etc.

Human eyes (and brains) can’t keep track of all those water drops, but God can—and He does. Billions of people don’t know you (much less, how unique you are), or see where your life (which is much more valuable than water drops!) is going—or came from—but God sees it all, and He cares!

So the mystical astrophysicist was wrong, because God cares personally about us as His human creatures, and that is permanently true.

Psalm102.18-FamilyHistory-slideReferences

(1) The serpent (i.e., Satan, the father of lies) falsely accused God, in the Garden of Eden, of selfishly misleading Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:4-5).

(2) Psalm 102:18.  See also James J. S. Johnson, “Grackles and Gratitude”, Acts & Facts, 41(7):8-10 (July 2012).

(3) Quoting James Lewis, The Encyclopedia of Cults, Sects, and New Religions, 2nd edition (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2002), page 145.

(4) All of the world’s nations, relative to God, are like a “drop in a bucket” (Isaiah 40:15)—yet even the smallest of drops is not a nothing.

(5) James J. S. Johnson, “Infinite Time Won’t Rescue Evolution”, Acts & Facts, 47(6):21 (June 2018).

(6) Isaiah 55:10-11; Ecclesiastes 1:7; Job 36:26-27; Psalm 135:7; Jeremiah 10:13; Luke 12:54; Acts 14:17.


 

 

 

 

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