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Psalm 144:5

“Bow thy heavens, O LORD, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.”


Everybody knows two “facts” about volcanoes. First, they are large cone-shaped mountains, and second, they send streams of lava flowing across the countryside, like hot treacle. But, of course, these “facts” are not facts at all. They are, in fact, mutually exclusive.

The large cone-shaped volcanoes are stratovolcanoes, produced by thick, viscous lava that will not usually flow across the countryside. Such volcanoes typically occur where crust is being destroyed or subducted, as at Mount St Helens – the volcano where I live. Low viscosity red-hot lava flows usually occur from shield volcanoes in places where new crust material is being formed. The volcanoes of Hawaii are mostly like this.


As I write, Kīlauea – Hawaii’s best known volcano – has been erupting for several days. The crater itself is full of red-hot lava liquid, but one of the interesting sights that we have seen – for those of us who have viewed the eruption only on the TV news – is that of fissures opening up many miles from the central crater. These fissures themselves are spewing lava from just below the surface. On the TV news bulletins, it almost appears as if a fissure, throwing lava high into the air, opens up in a neighbor’s backyard, throwing lava high into the air.


God made a world that was perfect. It is almost certain, therefore, that it contained no volcanoes. The first volcanic activity would seem to be the fountains of the deep that began the Flood. Like other volcanoes, Kīlauea is a reminder that the Flood was a real, historical, geological event.


Prayer: So often we witness Your awesome power in the events that happen in the Earth. Keep Your people safe, we pray, and may many hearts turn to You. Amen.


Ref: May 23, 2018, Hawaii's erupting Kilauea volcano, < >, accessed 5/31/2018. Image: USGS, Public Domain. 



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