The Bible has given the gem truth of all the great scientific discoveries of these modern times, including astronomy. It has anticipated scientific discovery, and, -- as the laws and operations of nature are worked out by man, they are found to be in perfect harmony with facts that were stated in the Bible centuries ago.
"All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more and more the truths that come from on high, and are contained in the Sacred writings." -- Herschel, an English astronomer.
"By the word of the Lord was the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth." -- Psalms 33:6. "He hath established the earth," -- "Upholding all things by the word of his power." He has made all the laws of the universe, and filled nature with many such marvelous possibilities as radio, telegraphy, and air transportation. "Oh the depths of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God." -- Rom.11:33.
Law of Gravity
Sixteen centuries before Christ, Job declared that God "hangeth the earth upon nothing" (26:7), indicating that it was poised in space, without any support from beneath as the ancients supposed. Paul says that He "upholds all things by the word of his power." -- Heb.1:3. This is the "Law of Gravitation," worked out in more modern times by Sir Isaac Newton, -- the power that is keeping the heavens and earth which "God created and made," in their perfect relation one to the other as they are suspended in space.
Rotundity of the Earth
Isaiah speaks of God as, "He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth" (Isa.40:22), showing that its surface was round and not flat as formerly supposed. There are a few who still think that the earth is flat, and many who do not believe the Word of God.
Men have traveled around the world and found that it was round, a circle, without supports, "hanging upon nothing," as the Bible had said many hundred years before.
Movement of the Heavenly Bodies
God also said to Job, "Canst thou guide Arcturas and his sons?" (Job 38:32), showing that Arcturas and his sons were in motion, -- moving. Since then we have learned that Arcturas is one of the largest suns in the northern sky, gigantic in size, and controlling the movements of other large suns in the same system. This Arcturas, known as the "runaway sun," moves through space in its orbit at about the rate of 257 miles per second (our earth in its circuit around the sun moves at about the rate of 19 miles per second).
While Arcturas is moving through space so rapidly, his sons are moving with him. Here was suggested to Job the movement and magnitude of the heavenly bodies, long before Galileo had figured it out, and still there are people who doubt the word of Inspiration.
"Let God be true, but every man a liar." -- Rom.3:4. The Bible proves itself. "Canst thou guide Arcturas and his sons?"
Incomprehensible Distances in the Universe
This Arcturas is more than two hundred trillion miles distant, and is two million times farther from the earth than our sun, which is 93,000,000 miles away.
The distance of some of the stars is so great that they are measured in "light years." "A light year" is the distance that light will travel in one year, traveling at the rate of 186,000 miles per second (this is the rate at which light travels). The distances of some of the stars are so remote, -- that, although our earth is 6,000 years old, still light from some of these distant orbs is constantly reaching the earth for the first time.
"Lo, these are parts of his ways; but how little a portion is heard of him?" -- Job 26:14.
If we stand on the "outskirts" of the fartherest star visible to us, with our most powerful telescope, we could still see the faint flicker of other stars in the impenetrable depths of the universe, -- "more beyond."
The ancients used to count about one thousand stars, and thought that was the limit, but as instruments were discovered and time progressed, more and more stars were counted, until now we know that there are millions.
The Stars of Heaven Innumerable
In Abraham's time, several thousand years ago, God said, "Look now toward heaven and tell the stars if thou be able to number them." -- Gen.15:5. "So many as the stars of the sky in multitude;" "The host of heaven cannot be numbered." These are some of the Bible expressions, showing that the stars are infinite in number and cannot be counted. In every case, it has always worked out that the Bible stated the facts centuries ago.
There has never been a discovery of true science that has ever conflicted with the "thus saith the Lord."
"Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number; he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power not one faileth." -- Isa.40:26, Psalms 147:4.
The imagination of man is capable of covering considerable. Try to comprehend the complicated complexity of a universe of stars as innumerable as the "sands of the sea," some millions, billions, trillions of miles away, all in motion, some at the rate of several hundred miles per second; moving, system about system, and all systems moving about some great "center of the universe." Man's mind is too puny to comprehend such immensity.
"How far the unknown transcends the what we know." -- Longfellow.
Our sun has eight or more planets moving around it, in exact and regular time as they follow the course of their orbits. Our planet, the earth, requires one year to make the circuit of the sun, going at the rate of nineteen miles per second; while it is doing this, it is turning over on its axis once every twenty-four hours; and, all the while, the moon is moving around the earth at the rate of once every month, and together they do the circuit of the sun, -- quite a little complexity right in our own solar system, which is one of the simplest.
The other planets, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Uranus, Saturn, Neptune and Jupiter, make their circuits around the sun on fixed and regular schedules, accompanied by their moons (some having several) all moving in harmony and with exact nicety.
At the same time that our planetary system is circulating about the sun, the sun is rapidly moving about some greater sun. Numerous suns and their systems, all together move about some greater center of attraction, and thus on ad infinitum.
Astronomers have thought that there might be some great center of all the universe of God, but this is one of the "hidden things" that has not been revealed; there is much close by us in nature that we have not yet been able to comprehend.
The harmony and complexity of this gigantic system of the universe did not just happen. All astronomers recognize this fact and are led to believe in a God -- "The Great First Cause," who originated the "musical spheres," "Forever singing as they shine, the hand that made us is Divine."
So exact and dependable is the movement of the heavenly bodies, that astronomers can predict the return of a comet, or figure the time of an eclipse, many years ahead, and there is never a disappointment. "Thy word is verity."
When we get beyond our depth in understanding the ways of God, then we must go by faith. "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." -- Rom.10:17.
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