By Donald Willis
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be de- sired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from pre- sumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer (Ps. 19).
In this appeal, which the Bible makes to the science of astronomy, we find the statement that this particular branch of science bears explicit testimony to the “glory” and “knowledge” of the God, who made the heavens and wrote the Book. This is clear from the fact that, while the first six verses deal with the testimony of the heavens, the latter part of the psalm, from the seventh verse onward, is occupied with the testimony of the written Word.
Now it will be readily admitted that if the science of astronomy — that is to say, if any of the existing laws in connection with the heavenly bodies — really ran counter to, or in any way tended to disprove the teaching of Scripture, then the heavens, instead of declaring the glory and knowledge of the Creator, would rather witness to the ignorance and consequent dishonor of him who had written a Book which he has magnified, and which is specially called “The Law of the Lord” — but which was found to be opposed in its teachings to some of the other laws already in existence. Now, our minds shrink from such a blasphemous conclusion. However, let us consider some “scientific statements” found in the pages of holy writ; and how did these writers know such scientific facts before they were discovered?!
The oldest book in the Bible, Job reads: Job 26:7 (c. 3500 BC): “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.” How did Job know this? And is not this simple statement scientifically accurate. All the early physicists and philosophers (including Plato and Aristotle) believed the earth was a flat disc of land. Authorities at the Washing- ton Observatory have discovered that there is a vast expanse in the northern heavens without a single star in it — literally an empty place! The heavens declare the glory of God!
Proverbs 8:27 (c. 1000 BC) “When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass (or circle) upon the face of the depth.” This clearly indicates the spherical or globular shape of the earth. Isaiah 40:22 (700 BC): “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in. . . .” Circle means an “arch” or “sphere,” demonstrating the true form of the earth! This is a most remarkable reference to the rotundity of the earth. The heavens declare the glory of God!
The Earth turns upon its axis. Genesis 1:3-5 (c. 1500 BC): “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” One side of the earth, being closest to light, the other side would be dark. These things commenced, yet the Sun and Moon were not set until the fourth day. But, the earth was moving upon its axis from the beginning! The heavens declare the glory of God!
Also consider: Luke 17:34-36 (c. 67 AD): “I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”
When are men in a bed? Night!
When are women preparing flour for the daily bread? Early Morning!
When are men laboring in the field? Broad daylight!
And every student knows that, owing to the rotundity of the earth, the light falls upon only a half at a time, producing day and night at once and making the statement easily under- stood.
The heavens declare the glory of God!
But the context of Psalms 19 establishes that the Bible is the Word of God, that it is perfect to the needs of man- kind! What a wonderful proclamation!
Our duty, therefore, it to be as young Samuel (1 Sam 3:9): “Speak Lord, thy servant heareth.” Jesus is the “way, truth, life” (John 14:6). Jesus is the only way to salvation (Acts 4:12). Science has never delivered one person from sin. Although wonders can be done to the body, science has not yet healed one broken soul!
The Gospel of Jesus Christ can save us from our sins! The heavens declare the glory of God! We must live in acknowledgment of God and to the glory of God!