GUEST VIEW: God knew before Galileo

By Van Yandell

Amos 5:8 “Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.”

The Bible truly is a book that is out of this world! From a spiritual and supernatural point of view it is beyond the realm of human understanding. To think of the Bible as a science book may seem foreign and out-of-place to some, but the fact remains, God was the first scientist and He literally created science.

With the invention of the telescope, mankind gained the ability to view the heavens as never before. To magnify a distant planet or a microscopic organism may use similar inventions but the purposes of the users are somewhat different.

Many believe that Galileo was the first astronomer to invent and build a telescope. If we reduce such inventions into areas of use and purpose, that may very well be correct or at least in the arena of truth.

The credit for the invention of the telescope usually goes to a Dutch lens maker, Hans Lippershey. According to Diplomatic Report of Holland, “He was handsomely rewarded for copies of his design.”

Prior to the inventions associated with magnification; the concepts of the universe and the microscopic world were not known by mankind.

There is considerable confusion concerning the invention because so many were instrumental in the development of such devices as telescopes and magnifying devices. Numerous individuals worked with such tools and developed differing abilities of them.

At any rate, the development of magnifying tools changed the way mankind regarded the invisible (microscopic) world and the universe. Development of such devices actually dates back to the fourteenth century but serious use was not in place until the 1600s.

We may find it amusing to consider the conventional wisdom of humans in past times. A mere 500 years ago, mankind thought the world was flat and the stars, the sun and moon revolved around this flat earth.

While this line of thinking may be humorous to us in today’s world, this was taken as fact. I wonder what humankind will discover and learn 500 years in the future that will make our conventional wisdom of today seem laughable.

To further emphasize our blindside, if humanity had considered the Word of God, written 2,000 to 3,500 years ago, many of the questions (or misconceptions) would have been avoided.

Two of the most pressing questions of life have been where did we come from and where are we going? Genesis chapter one and the entire New Testament of the Holy Bible answer those questions. We, however, fail to consider the many other questions of man as being answered in the Bible.

I really enjoy my time spent on clear nights sitting outside looking at the stars. Wondering about the stars from which the light left them 250 years ago is intriguing and awakens my “little boy” mind. Watching the satellites pass over amazes and creates an appreciation for the work, creativity and intelligence of humans.

Also, we find it enlightening to consider what God told us in the Bible. Many would not think of the Bible as being a book of astronomy. Perhaps we should think again.

Job 26:7 “He stretches out the north over the empty place, and hangs the earth upon nothing.” We know of course, the earth is in constant motion at speeds that are incomprehensible to the average human. The speeds and distances in space control the locations of the celestial bodies and keep them from falling into each other.

While it is unclear exactly when Job lived, Bible scholars seem to be mostly in agreement, the Book of Job was written about the seventh century BC. Regardless of the time period, there is no way mankind understood the design of the solar system or the planet earth.

Man would assert our solar system, galaxy and universe all came about accidentally, but the perfect balance, synchronization and organization of those tell me otherwise. For some conditions there is no other logical explanation rather than intelligent design by a Creator.

The spinning, seasonal tilting and orbital path of the earth have been in perfect balance for millions of years. Those will very likely continue in their current movements for millions more years.

Isaiah 40:22 “It is he that sits upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretches out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in.”

God could of course, view the earth from what we call outer space. From this position, the earth would appear as a circle. Being spherical in three dimensional shape would be determined by extended viewing and noting positions moving.

Aristotle believed the earth was round in the third century BC but his theory did not catch on with the general population. He observed the earth’s shadow on a quarter moon and thought, “The earth casts a curved shadow; it must be round.”

Jeremiah 33:22 “As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.”

Jeremiah and God realized the number of stars as the grains of sand were too numerous to count. Only with the placing in orbit of space telescopes have astronomers realized the stars can never be counted.

Numbers of stars, galaxies and solar systems are now being numbered in the billions (some are even using the trillion figure). Many scientists and astronomers are promoting the thought the universe is endless and it is expanding beyond the speed of light and we will never be able to see the absolute end of it.

Even the most adamant critic of God and the Bible should pay attention to the facts given in the Bible thousands of years before mankind determined their reality.

The people in the day of Christopher Columbus could have known the earth was round had they read the Bible. Astronomers would have known prior to the space telescopes, the stars were too numerous to count had they read Jeremiah.

If God knew these things, why would anyone doubt His word that He sent His son Jesus to this earth to suffer and die for the sins of mankind?

The Bible teaches there is only one eternal salvation. That is by a faith-based belief (Ephesians 2:8) that Christ Jesus was crucified (Matthew 27:35) for the remission of sin (Romans 4:25) and resurrected (Matthew 28:6).

Van Yandell is a retired Industrial Arts teacher, an ordained gospel evangelist and commissioned missionary.