Wednesday, January 4, 2012

STARS: Another thought


If you have not taken a moment recently to go out a look at the stars on one of these cool dark nights, I encourage you to.

Scripture has a lot to say about stars:

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place . . . “(Psalm 8:3, NIV)

He made the stars with a purpose, both as signs and light: And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth." (Gen 1:14-15).

. “He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.” (Psalm 147:4). “Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” (Isaiah 40:26).

The Bible names some constellations: “Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion? Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs? Do you know the laws of the heavens?” (Job 38:31-32. See also Amos 5:8)

The stars have an order or procession. “Who is this that appears like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, majestic as the stars in procession?” (Song of Solomon, 6:10).

In Genesis 9:12-13, God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”

But, there is a perceived problem with the distant stars He made in Genesis on Day 4. Many point out that the light could not reach here in the 6,000-10,000 years of Biblical history.

To think through this issue, understand that light is currently believed to travel at 186,000 miles per second. A “light year” is traveling at this unimaginable speed for a whole year!

The closest star (other than our sun) is Proxima Centauri, which is 4.22 light years away. That is 24,800,000,000,000 miles (or about the length of the line at Walmart when I am in a hurry.

This distance is used by old earth proponents to argue for an ancient universe approaching 13 billons years old or more. Given their assumptions, that is not unreasonable.

However, notice the assumptions that are made: 1) The speed of light is constant; 2) the distance is fixed and unchanged for billions of years; 3) processes have always been exactly as they are right now. (this is called “uniformitarianism”).

If you suspend just one of these assumptions, everything changes. For instance, what if many of the visible stars were created quite close to the earth and accelerated away at great speed? Their light would remain visible now. It would be like having a flashlight and throwing it. The light is visible as it leaves.

There is some reason to suspect something like this might just be the case. In at least 11 places, the Scriptures speak of God ‘stretching out the heavens’ (e.g. Job 9:8, Isaiah 40:22 and 42:5, Jeremiah 10:12, Zechariah 12:1) and in Genesis 1:15 the words ‘And it was so.’ are recorded in connection with the events of Day 4 of Creation Week, implying the completion of the events described on that Day. It is a reasonable conclusion to draw that God stretched out the heavens to the vast extent of the observable universe in just one 24-hour day and then ceased the action of ‘stretching out’.

It is interesting to discuss, but the only one that was there was God. One must chose to trust in an ever-changing science book or the unchanging Bible. I choose Scripture.


Mr. Peel star gazes from his Arlington area home, and seeks justice for those injured in car accidents, work place incidents, medical malpractice, and nursing homes. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Mr. Peel may be reached though wherein other articles may be accessed.