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Wonders of Creation - Water

Water. We drink it, we generate electricity with it, we soak our crops in it, and we crack it to produce hydrogen and oxygen. Its uses are almost uncountable. The history of Mankind begins with water, and could not continue without it. In our comparatively wealthy Western world, we think nothing of turning taps on, while in other countries a day's journey to a well brings back one small container of the precious liquid.

But what is water? The encyclopedia tells us that it is an oxide of hydrogen, and that it has no colour, no taste, and no smell. It is a combination of two gasses. It makes up 60-70% of our body. Roughly half of this amount is in our cells, a quarter elsewhere, and the remainder in tissues and blood. If we lose just 3 or 4 litres we start to have hallucinations, and a loss of about 10 litres means death. In a hot environment most humans without water last only 2-3 days.

About 70% of the Earth's surface is water, most of which is undrinkable, but a cycle of evaporation and condensation ensures a steady supply of fresh, clean water to much of the world's land. What does not fall as rain, comes down as snow and compacts as a storage supply of ice, which slowly melts and feeds streams and rivers through dry seasons.

As a liquid, water is almost impossible to . . .

Water. We drink it, we generate electricity with it, we soak our crops in it, and we crack it to produce hydrogen and oxygen. Its uses are almost uncountable. The history of Mankind begins with water, and could not continue without it. In our comparatively wealthy Western world, we think nothing of turning taps on, while in other countries a day's journey to a well brings back one small container of the precious liquid.

But what is water? The encyclopedia tells us that it is an oxide of hydrogen, and that it has no colour, no taste, and no smell. It is a combination of two gasses. It makes up 60-70% of our body. Roughly half of this amount is in our cells, a quarter elsewhere, and the remainder in tissues and blood. If we lose just 3 or 4 litres we start to have hallucinations, and a loss of about 10 litres means death. In a hot environment most humans without water last only 2-3 days.

About 70% of the Earth's surface is water, most of which is undrinkable, but a cycle of evaporation and condensation ensures a steady supply of fresh, clean water to much of the world's land. What does not fall as rain, comes down as snow and compacts as a storage supply of ice, which slowly melts and feeds streams and rivers through dry seasons.

As a liquid, water is almost impossible to compress. Man has made use of this property, by using water to blast land away, as with the gold dredging of Otago, and precision metal-cutting, with a thin, focused stream. It is because water cannot be compressed that people die when they strike it from a great height ? the water is as solid as concrete at the point of impact.

When frozen, water expands by one eleventh of its volume, making it lighter than its liquid form. It therefore rises to the top of oceans, streams and ponds. If water did not do this, life would be extinguished from the floor upwards to the top, but as it freezes from the top down, life is preserved under it. Salt in water inhibits it from freezing, which is a good thing, for without salt in the oceans vast areas of the north and south would become solid ice.

Water has the highest known specific heat, which means it 'soaks up heat? very efficiently. You can use this property on a hot day, by holding a wet flannel to your face. The heat rapidly transfers from your skin into the water and leaves your skin cooler. Evaporation off wet skin can lower your skin temperature by roughly one degree per kilometer of wind speed. Water also acts as an efficient solvent, especially when hot. Water is also excellent for dissolving things, yet it never combines permanently with the things it dissolves. It is the purest liquid for cooking with - we find that even the toughest vegetables can become soft after only a few minutes of boiling, yet because it is harmless, we can eat our food with the water still in it and come to no harm.

The Bible tells us that, before God created anything additional to the Earth, it was a ball of water (Genesis 1:2) Out of this pure liquid beginning God created land, and then life. All life contains water, and without water all life would die. It is therefore to be expected that the subject of water is found through the whole Bible.

One of the most curious contradictions in modern science today is the enthusiastic efforts many scientists are making to prove that dry, barren Mars once had water on it ? yet at the same time these same scientists throw out the idea that our Earth was once covered in water! Hello? 70% of our planet is already covered, and 80% of all land above sea level is sedimentary rock ? a kind of rock that is formed by water.

The Bible devotes several chapters to describing a global flood, and the New testament treats these chapters as if they are true historical narrative: ?For this they are willingly ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water, whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.? 2 Peter 3:5 ,6

It was water that turned into blood to punish the Egyptians and it was water that parted to allow Israel to cross the Red Sea, it also gushed from a rock when Moses struck it, and in many other situations it obeyed God.

When we come to the New Testament the first recorded miracle by Jesus was when he changed water into the best wine. Jesus also walked on water, and commanded a sea storm to cease. He used the concept of water's purity when he said ?But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.? John 4:14

Surely Jesus, the Creator of the world, knew what he was talking about?

Richard Gunther, Copyright 2005

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