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Chemistry in the Bible #3: Sulfur

When talking about chemistry discussed within the Bible, it is almost impossible to avoid conversation about the element sulfur. Sulfur has an atomic number of 16 and can be found within the chalcogens, making it very likely to bond with other elements.

When discussing sulfur, I would love to discuss how brilliant of a material it is and how it is a crucial element for many living things. It would be nice to discuss how beautiful of a yellow hue it holds and how familiar of a smell it may put off when heat is applied; nonetheless, when discussed in the Bible, it is not an element that one would want to come in contact with. Unless of we refer to the wine that is referred to in the Bible, which in the process of oxidation produces compounds known as sulfites which helps preserve the drink (e.g., Isaiah 55:1; John 2:1-11)

Whenever the Bible specifically mentions sulfur, or as the ancients called it, “brimstone” (literally rendered “burning stone”), judgement was afoot.

An obvious example could be of God’s judgment over the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. This judgement was carried out by means of sulfur and fire from Heaven. But not only here is sulfur uses as a conduit in administering the judgement of God, there are many more references (e.g., Deuteronomy 29:23; Psalm 11:5-6; Revelations 14:9-11).

Nearly every reference to sulfur includes a reference or allusion to fire. The final, eternal residency of those who deny Christ’s Gospel will ultimately be in a lake of sulfur (Revelations 20:10). God has provides a means of grace and a means to pour out His wrath. To focus on God’s love but ignore the wrath in His character which results from humanity’s assaults on His holiness is to fabricate another god.

Some references to sulfur even mention wine. One reference pertains to the Mark of the Beast in Revelations. Once again, it is discussing the wrath of God.

And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name (Revelations 14:9-11)

This should not shock you however. God is the God of science and He absolutely knows the chemical structures of the food and drink we ingest.

Despite God’s fearful use of sulfur, we do not have to anticipate such an interaction with it. As a matter of fact, sulfur often interacts with various chemicals and makes incredibly useful salts. That is my goal today. To use sulfur to help “your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6).

There is a Heaven and there is a Hell. God offers Heaven everyday to the unbeliever abundantly through the work of His Son Jesus Christ. Today can be today where you solidify your future, not with scents of rotten egg as sulfur produces with fire, but rather a sweet smelling savor as that given by the sacrifice of Christ (Ephesians 5:2).

Be sure you know the chemistry of faith. You will understand the product of His love.

4 thoughts on “Chemistry in the Bible #3: Sulfur”

  1. Pingback: Chemistry in the Bible #3: Sulfur – The Faith Herald

  2. THis is great. Informative. Amazing the chemistry in Creation and in His creatures too and also specifically with this one with the use of Sulfur motif for judgment; sobering too!

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