What do you know about space? I found a bunch of cool information in the “Handy Science Answer Book.” For example, do you know which planets are visible with the naked eye? (Answer: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.) Did you know that the earth really isn’t round? (It is actually an oblate ellipsoid-a sphere that is slightly flattened at the poles and bulging at the equator.) Did you know that Venus actually rotates “backwards” or in the opposite direction with relation to its orbital motion around the sun?
Did you know that Pluto is not always the outermost planet in the solar system? According to the answer book, “Pluto’s very eccentric orbit carried it inside Neptune’s orbit on January 23, 1979. It remained there until March 15, 1999.” Did you know that Halley comet returns about every 76 years? Its last appearance was in 1985/6 and is expected back in 2061. And apparently its appearances have been noted since 239 BC.
I recently got focused on space topics like these because a friend of a friend sent me an amazing website that contained a number of incredible pictures taken from the International Space Station. They are well worth your time. Go look at them here or at www.triggerpit.com.
As I rolled through those wonderful pictures from space, I could not help but think of how God used the subject of space and the immenseness of the universe to give Job some perspective on life. You know the story. God allowed Satan to all but destroy Job and his family. As Job struggled to respond correctly, he begins ranting and raving in Chapter 31 about what a great guy he is. His friends insert some worldly advice for a couple of chapters, but then God steps in with His own response in chapter 38. He thunders out His first question, “Who is this that darkens my counsel without knowledge? ” And then rapidly fires off a long series of questions meant to drive Job to his knees.
God asks, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Have you ever given orders to the morning or shown the dawn its place? Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons? Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? “And the Lord finishes off His thoughtful interrogation with the summary thought, “Will the one who contends with Almighty correct Him? Let him who accuses God answer Him!”
Job rightfully responds in humility, “I am unworthy, how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer, twice, but I will say no more.” Job got the message. The same message that James reminds us about in James 4:10, “Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up.”
So the next time you have the opportunity to stare up into a dark, moonless night. Take note of the billions of stars, consider the amazing rotation of the planets and contemplate the mechanics of a universe with millions of galaxies like our own Milky Way. And remember Isaiah 45:6-7, “So from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting, men may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness.”
Space-and all it contains is a great perspective giver!
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel