There is nothing more fascinating than the study of the heavenly
bodies. The amazing exploits of the spacemen and the space vehicles
has focussed our attention on the starry heavens. Dr Merlin Neff
made this statement in his book ‘The Glory of the Stars,' pg. 15,
"We rush headlong in the rut of everyday existence, failing to lift
our eyes to the pageant of the stars; the Eternal Jewels of the
night." Only a very few ever spend some of their time examining
the stars, those celestial wonders which twinkle nightly.
Have you ever read these words found in
Psalm 19:1, "The heavens declare the glory of God…"
How true! Sights such as the Crab Nebula in Taurus and many
other remarkable sights.
Man has come a long way since those early days when the
Montgolfier brothers flew the first gas filled balloon in 1783. Then
the first motor propelled aeroplane flew by Orville Wright on
December 17, 1903. Today the thrust of jet power is driving planes
and missiles across the sky faster than sound.
It was news that startled the world when Russia launched Sputnik
1, a three stage rocket into orbit around the earth. On October 4th
1957 the space age was born. The historic landing on the moon by
Neil Armstrong and Edward Aldrin. Then the successful return of
Space technology is continually advancing taking us beyond the
horizons of space.
Genesis 15:5 says, "…Look now toward heaven,
and tell the stars; if thou be able to number them…"
31:37 says, "Thus saith the Lord, if heaven above can be
measured…I will also cast off all the seed of Israel…"
These texts tell us that the stars of heaven could not be numbered.
The stars cannot be numbered
For hundreds of years learned men laughed in scorn at poor old
Jeremiah. They had counted every star they could see in the sky and
they knew that there were just 5,119. Then in 1610 Galileo pointed
the first crude telescope at the sky and discovered thousands of
additional stars never seen before by man. Jeremiah looked toward
one barren, dark area in the sky and saw a third magnitude star
Now our scientists turn the 12 story high 500 ton Hale telescope at
that dark patch of sky and with eyesight improved 700,000 times view
thousands of stars, eg Eagle Nebula in serpens, Centaurus galaxy,
and E.T.A Carinae in southern Milky Way. It is interesting to find
that the scientists have looked into space as far as one billion
light years in every direction and have found no edge to the
Universe. Dr Fritz Kahn says, "Photographs with more than 10,000
such galaxies on one plate have been made." (Design of the
Universe, pg. 167)
So you can see that Jeremiah was absolutely correct when he said,
"…the host of heaven cannot be numbered."
Bible ahead of science
The Bible was written at a time when me believed that this world
was stationary. Probably upheld by some mighty Atlas, standing on a
elephant, supported by a sacred turtle. That the earth was supported
they were sure. It frightened men when they first realised that our
world is actually hanging in space with no visible support. The
thought of this strange phenomenon caused Sir Isaac Newton as a lad
to have nightmares, for he dreamed that this world had crashed into
Isaiah 40:22 says, "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the
earth…that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and speadeth
them out as a tent to dwell in."
A modern version says, "He sits over the round earth."
2,500 years ago God stated that the earth was round. Men of
science could not believe it but they know it now.
Job 38:31 says, "Canst thou bind the sweet influence (cluster) of
Pleides, or loose the bands of Orion?"
Isabel Lewis of the United Stated Navel
Observatory tells us, "Astronomers have identified 250 stars as
actual members of this group all sharing in the common motion and
drifting through space in the same direction."
Psalm 19:1 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God."
These statements from
the Holy Scriptures reveal facts that are known today but were
unknown to men 3,000 years ago.
Bible quotes about the stars
Job 38:32, "Canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?"
Garrett P. Service (noted astronomer) wrote, "Arcturus, one of
the greatest suns in the universe is a runaway whose speed of flight
is 257 miles per second. Arcturus we have every reason to believe,
possesses thousands of times the mass of our sun."
1,000,000 miles in diameter the moon and its orbit would only
extend halfway to the edge. Then there is another giant sun,
Bart J. Bok, Harvard astronomer says of the Milky Way:
"In it could readily be stored a million times as many stars
without much chance of colliding." (Coronet, June, 1954, pg. 65)
Dr Merlin Neff says, "The suns of the universe blaze with varicoloured lights
that vie with the rainbow for beauty."
(The Glory of the Stars pg. 15)
1 Corinthians 15:41 says, "There is one glory of the sun, and
another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one
star differeth from another star in glory."
1 Corinthians 15:41 says, "…one star differeth from another star in
H.M Warren says, "We are charmed with the variegated flowers
in our garden on earth but He who makes the fields blush with
flowers has planted his garden of space with colored stars."
(The Stars and the Bible pg. 11 HMS Richards)
Isaiah 40:26, "…he calleth them all by names by the greatness of
his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth."
"And while He guides the universe by miracle divine, and calls a
million stars by name, he’s not forgotten mine!"
A trip to the planets
Out in space we see our earth as we have been accustomed to see
it since the Apollo probe. We have a look at the moon as we make our
way out into space. It has always had the greatest fascination for
man, I guess because it is the nearest to us. According to the
Genesis record of creation, it was made for the purpose of giving
light to the earth along with the sun.
Isaiah 30:26 says, "Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the
light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold…"
Just imagine that! It does not mean that the sun will be seven times hotter.
The lighting system will be completely changed.
Beyond our Earth lies another planet called Mars. There is a lot
of speculation regarding Mars. For years it has been believed that
Mars was inhabited. It is a small planet, only 4,000 miles in
diameter and shines in the heavens with a reddish glow.
Neptune, 5 times as large as Earth with a diameter of 31,200
Next comes two giants of the system, Jupiter and Saturn, each
75,000 or more miles in diameter.
Saturn is noted for its beautiful ring system. It also has (at
least) 9 moons.
Jupiter, a planet that has fascinated astronomers for centuries.
We must not go on without mentioning Mercury 36 million miles
from the Sun, must be very hot.
The Sun is very important to this Earth. We would not be here but
for the sun. It was Galileo who first discovered sunspots which were
quite unstable. The Sun is a great ball of fire that keeps on
burning without going out. By placing a disk against the Sun’s
surface it is possible to see great tongues of fire. There are known
as prominences. This one (in a slide) is 75,000 miles in length,
another is 140,000 miles.
No talk upon the subject of the stars would be complete without
mentioning the comets.
Mystery of the comets
"By being seldom seen, I could not stir, but, like a comet, I
was wondered at" (William Shakespeare Henry IV). Comets, like the planets, are perfect timekeepers.
Back in 1682, a
comet, now know as Halley’s comet attracted wide attention. Halley
predicted that on Christmas Eve of 1758 the comet would appear and
sure enough it did.
Then there is a comet of 1843, which pays the
sun a visit every 2,000 years. It was the late General Mitchell
astronomer General U.S.A who said, "At his bidding every planet
and satellite and comet, and the sun himself, fly onward in their
Omniscience of God
The question is asked, how would you comprehend the omniscience of
God? Well here is something to help you. Dr Fritz Kahn says, "According
to present estimates the Nebula in Andromedia is about 1,500,000
light years away." (Design of the Universe pg. 165)
Dr Fritz Kahn says, " We too, see the Andromeda Galaxy
not as it is today but as it was 1,500,000 years ago, we do not see
it where it is now but where it was then. We do not know where it is
Genesis 1:1,2 says, "In the beginning God created the heaven and
the earth… and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
God formed this world of ours but before he did this he made the
universe. The Holy Scriptures also tell us that there is not a
single thing that Jesus did not make.
St Paul says in
Colossians 1:17, "By him all things consist."
Our universe did not come about by chance. There was and there
is a 'master' designer. No wonder the Psalmist was inspired to say in
Psalm 14:1, "The fool hath said in his heart there is no God."