A Starting Point and a Destination
As astronaut William Anders read from moon orbit on December 24, 1968:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
In verse 27 of Genesis 1, we learn about God’s creation of man.
God created man in His own image,
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.
From the beginning, men and women have interacted with the heavens and the earth which God made. Because we are made in the image of God, we can do amazing things with the raw materials God has given to us, both on the earth and in the heavens. In Psalm 8, David praises God for displaying His “splendor above the heavens” (Psalm 8:1). Beginning in verse 3, he marvels at the reality that our powerful Creator would pay attention to people.
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained . . .
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth!
One of man’s responsibilities is to praise the One Who made us. In Psalms, we learn that it is not only people who praise God, but the heavens praise Him, too.
Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all stars of light!
Praise Him, highest heavens,
And the waters that are above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For He commanded and they were created.
Psalm 148 goes on to call for praise from the oceans, weather, land, and animals and from all people, whether powerful or ordinary, whether old or young.
On the one hand, it seems unfathomable that people were able to go to the moon. Two facts that the Bible teaches us explain how man could succeed at such a great endeavor.
- We are made in the image of God.
- God created an orderly universe.
When Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins lifted off from the coast of Florida in 1969 and headed for the moon, they were confident that the moon would be exactly where they thought it would be. God had given it a “fixed order” that they could depend on.
Thus says the Lord,
Who gives the sun for light by day
And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar;
The Lord of hosts is His name . . .
In 1712 Joseph Addison expressed this beautifully in this hymn.
Of the Glory of God in the Starry Heavens
The spacious firmament on high,
with all the blue ethereal sky,
and spangled heavens, a shining frame,
their great Original proclaim.
The unwearied sun from day to day
does his Creator’s power display,
and publishes to every land
the work of an almighty hand.
Soon as the evening shades prevail
the moon takes up the wondrous tale,
and nightly to the listening earth
repeats the story of her birth;
whilst all the stars that round her burn,
and all the planets in their turn,
confirm the tidings, as they roll,
and spread the truth from pole to pole.
What though in solemn silence all
move round this dark terrestrial ball;
what though nor real voice nor sound
amid their radiant orbs be found;
in reason’s ear they all rejoice,
and utter forth a glorious voice,
for ever singing as they shine,
‘The hand that made us is divine.’
Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins had a starting point . . .
and a destination.
We have a starting point and a destination, too. So do our children and grandchildren and all the generations after them. Now we live on Earth beneath an awe-inspiring sky, but someday God will provide something far better. Our purpose now is to prepare ourselves and our children for that wonderful someday by taking advantage of the free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ and living our lives for His glory.
And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it,
for the glory of God has illumined it,
and its lamp is the Lamb.