Never before in the long history of man has he been brought to a consideration of the heavens as he has during the past months. When our astronauts set foot on the moon, and provided us with pictures that the vast majority of men will never personally see, we are surely made aware of the words of the Psalmist: "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man that thou art mindful of him?" (Psa. 8: 3-4). Every person who loves God's natural wonders has thrilled to the sight of earth's satellite, silvery in the heavens on a clear night. Yet, I believe we can now appreciate it even more.
Some have looked upon man's progress in the field of space travel as near-sacrilege. We hear statements such as," if God had wanted us on the moon, He would have put us there." May as well say, "If God had wanted us to fly, He would have given us wings." Yet, nobody that I know of objects to taking a plane ride on the grounds that it violates God's laws. While in a coffee shop the other morning, I could not help overhearing two individuals involved in a heated discussion over whether or not man had any business going to the moon. I was more than slightly amused as the one opposed to man's space travels said, "Well, I'm interested in this earth right here ~ I'm not interested in that earth up there." Some have felt that man violates God's laws when he attempts such feats as trying to reach the moon. One was even heard to express his fears that when our astronauts put their space vehicle on the lunar surface, it would disturb its orbit with terrifying results. Of course, the moon has been bombarded for centuries by countless meteors, some of them many times larger than our LEM, and striking the moon's surface with infinitely more velocity, but I suppose the individual doesn't consider this.
Personally, I am intensely curious and interested in God's universe. I believe the more we know about it, the stronger our faith will become in the one who created it. It does, as the Psalmist suggests, make us aware of our smallness and insignificance. No, God would not have necessarily placed us on the moon had he intended for us to go there, but we ought to be thankful that he gave us the intelligence to get there for ourself. We are appalled at such statements as have been attributed to a Russian cosmonaut, who reportedly said that he had been out in space, and did not see God; therefore he didn't believe in Him Such shallow reasoning, and yet this is the evidence that some put forth to deny the existence of God. I fail to see how one could be privileged to take such an illustrious journey and not believe in God. Certainly, we cannot confine God to a given location, but I cannot help but think of the words recorded for us of old: "Is not God in the height of heaven? And behold the height of the stars, how high they are!" (Job 22:12)
The material universe is evidence for God's existence- not against it. "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork." (Psa. 19:1) Nearsighted indeed in the one who looks at the heavens and fails to see the glory of God! How much deeper is our impression of the familiar statement of Job; "He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing." (Job 26:7) On another occasion, when Job needed to be reproved for his ignorance, God said: "Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words - without knowledge? Gird up thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof; when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (Job 38:1-7)Yes, it was God that did all this, and we are never to lose sight of this fact.
We have made progress, to be sure. Yet, let us be reminded that in spite of all our progress and research, we are still small. How much more progress man will make in the field of space exploration, God only knows and only time will tell. Man in his vanity often times is prone to pat himself on the back and say, "Look what we did." But still, we are insignificant, and have only "scratched the surface" in our work along this line. Let us not be carried away into thinking we can approach the greatness of God just because of one great feat. After all, it was only great in the sight of man - not of God. Abraham Lincoln once said, "I can understand how one could look down upon this earth from the heavens and say 'there is no God,' but I cannot stand here and look into the heavens and say the same thing."
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV: 2, pp. 28-29
November 13, 1969