Oil in the Rocks
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
When the Bible talks about oil, it means olive oil, but when we talk about oil today, we think of engine oil. Products like engine oil, machine oil, gasoline, kerosene, and diesel oil are all petroleum products. They are all obtained by the fractional distillation of petroleum – or crude oil, as it is often known. The word petroleum reveals its origin. Petros means rock, and oleum is oil. Hence, petroleum is rock oil.
We cannot help but be amazed at the versatility of petroleum – the large number of products which can be obtained from it. Petroleum is largely made up of hydrocarbons, which are a compound of hydrogen and carbon only, and can be found in bewildering complexities, with different numbers of carbon atoms in the molecules' chains or rings.
We rely on petroleum products, not only for the fuels and lubricants mentioned, but also as precursors for plastics, fabrics, and artificial materials of many sorts. From the times of early discoveries of oil in the rocks, people have learned to separate it into simpler materials. Then, as it became apparent that petroleum yielded too much of the heavy materials and not enough of the lighter fractions, methods were developed to convert the less useful molecules to more useful ones.
Of course, there is concern today about the future lack of availability of this useful resource and its ability to cause pollution. But these problems aside, we cannot help but marvel at the way God has provided for our needs through resources like petroleum.
Prayer: Thank You, Father, for Your many gifts. Thank You for the resources that You have provided with which to bless humanity. Help us to be good stewards of Your creation. Amen.
Ref: Encyclopaedia Britannica, < https://www.britannica.com/science/petroleum >, accessed 4/30/2018. Image: Oil well in Texas, license: CC BY-SA 3.0.
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