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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Not Too Far or Close


This is one of the most famous space photographs ever taken. Apollo 8 astronauts took this picture of Earth rising over the moon's horizon in December 1968. They took the picture from the lunar command module just after they came out from behind the moon.  Photo courtesy of NASA


Before the dawn early in the morning on my walking to the bus stop, the morning star Venus shining like a dazzling gemstone in the East sky caught my eyes. The Big Dipper, Orion’s  Belt, Pleiades, Adelbaran, Betelgeuse etc… all of these heavenly bodies would seem to greet me - a child of Jesus Christ, the Bright Morning Star.

On the commuter bus, I checked on my Samsung Galaxy phone the weather of the cities where my children live; Los Angeles, Stockton, Davis and Vallejo, California. Today and tomorrow, the weather in all area is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which is unusually warm weather in the month of October.

I hoped it would not be too warm because one of my college kids walks to her school most of the week.

This kind of thought led me to meditate on God’s Word in Job 26:7;

“ God stretches the northern sky over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing.”

 


“Over the empty place” - על־תהוּ ‛al-tôhû, “Upon emptiness, or nothing.” That is, without anything to support it. The word used here (תהוּ tôhû) is one of those employed Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form and void.”

But it seems here to mean emptiness, nothing. The north is stretched out and sustained by the mere power of God.

“And hangs the earth upon nothing.” - It has nothing to support it. So Milton:

“And earth self-balanced from her center hung.”

There is no certain evidence here that Job was acquainted with the globular form of the earth, and with its diurnal and annual revolutions.  But it is clear that he regarded it as not resting on any foundation or support; as lying on the vacant air, and kept there by the Power of God.

 

It’s a kind of silly question, but I thought about what would possibly happen if God hanged the earth closer to or farther from the Sun than now.

 

The Earth orbits the Sun in a path shaped like an ellipse, or oval. That means that sometimes the Earth is closer to the Sun than other times.

In January the Earth is closest to the Sun: it's about 147 million kilometers away. In July it is at a distance of 152 million kilometers, which is a difference of five million kilometers (about 3 million miles). That difference only affects our temperature a little tiny bit.

If God moved the Earth to the place where Venus is around the Sun, (Venus is about 100 million kilometers from the Sun) the Earth’s temperature would go up about 40 degrees Centigrade. That would be very bad for us.

Dear readers, don’t worry about anything now.

However, during the God’s judgment on evil world, the weather will be way hotter than now as recorded in Revelation 16:8;

“The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire.”


For more reading on this topic, please click the title “Grapes of Wrath -2” posted on Thursday, October 11, 2012.

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