The heat-wave is official – more than 5 days with temperatures over 25 degrees.
Indeed, the mercury soared into the 30ies with 32 degrees being recorded in a few places. And it’s to continue, perhaps dropping a little, for the foreseeable future.
The emerald isle has become the baked brown island! The grass, normally so green, has taken on that burned look associated with hotter climes. There has been little or no growth this week and the cattle and sheep are under stress. In many farms dairy and drystock herds are being fed bales of silage which was cut last month and was intended to be winter feed.
There are difficulties in maintaining water supplies with animals increasing their intake in the heat. Hose-pipe bans are being imposed in cities and may be extended across the country. Irish Water is quite vulnerable in drought conditions as 40% of its supply is unaccounted for. This wastage occurs from old pipework with multiple leaks.
On the other hand, ice-cream suppliers have never been so busy. The school holidays have added to the demand with the produce incredibly being shipped in from England! Perhaps it is a testimony to the normally miserable Irish summers that our remaining ice-cream factory closed down years ago!
Next week, Met Éireann said it would remain warm or very warm with no sign of rain. They have been comparing it to 1976 when the warm and sunny weather continued from Easter until the end of August, with temperatures peaking at the end of June. It makes us appreciate our temperate climate even if it gets a bit too wet at times!
Droughts were relatively common in the Bible. When the prophet Elijah was called by God to rid the land of idols (Baal worship had been introduced by King Ahab) Elijah announced a drought which would last as long as he decreed. This process of teaching the people the lesson that God was supreme and Baal was no god at all reached its climax on Mt Carmel with fire coming from the Lord and consuming the sacrifice on Elijah’s altar which had been steeped in 12 jars of precious water (1 Kings Chapters 17/18 verses 1/40).
This drenching of the altar made fire impossible unless it was supernatural. It may not only have indicated God’s intervention but have served as an oblation i.e. the offering of something sacrificially as was water used in the Festival of Tabernacles.
On the last day of the Festival the Priest made 7 journeys from David’s well to the courtyard of the Temple each time pouring the water on the thirsty ground. Jesus indicated its completion by inviting the people to come to himself and drink (St John Chapter 7 verse 37/8). Believing in Jesus quenches the spiritually thirsty today and promises the life giving stream of the Spirit to come from the believer’s heart to others