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Beautiful Words Blog | Eternal Navigation By Pastor John Moropoulos | Gateway Christian Fellowship

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May 29, 2024

Psalm 8: 3-4

The wisdom of God is all around us. There is much to be gained by just looking carefully. The Psalmist wrote,

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

The Psalmist looked thoughtfully at the heavens and concluded that man, aside from God’s loving care, is insignificant. God’s affections however, change that.

For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.

I was considering the heavens last night, enjoying one of the unique pleasures of being in the southernmost state, Hawaii. I was looking at The Southern Cross. This marvelous constellation is visible in the United States only from Hawaii (they say it can be seen from the Florida Keys but I’ve never been there). The Southern Cross is a wonderful arrangement of four stars in a simple cross pattern. From the perspective of Earth it is the smallest of the major constellations. When it is visible however it immediately draws the eye because of it’s brilliant light. Delta Crucis, on the constellation’s right, is eight times larger than our sun.

I like to think about the ancient sailors who used the Crux to navigate their way, just we might use the Pole Star. The upper and lower stars point directly to the Earth’s southern pole. Before modern navigational devices, these signs in the heavens were absolutely vital.

One thing that amazes me is that the ancients learned how to use these celestial signs simply by observation. There is no reason to believe that God handed one of them a text on astronomy and said, “Study this. It’s going to be very useful to you.” They learned it by simple, careful, observation,

The Greeks studied the constellation carefully. And they discovered something really amazing. The Cross is moving, at least relative to us. It is moving southward. The very fact that the Greeks could see it is extraordinary. Since the fifth century the constellation hasn’t been visible anywhere in Europe. Today one must be below 25 degrees north, and then only at certain times of the year.

What the ancients discovered, again by observation, is something called Axial Precession. In short, the tilt of the earth’s axis is changing, swinging a circle like a top when it slows. All of this was known by the second century BC.

The point of all this is simple. God has made so much available to those who will look for it. The Psalmist said, “When I consider the works of Your hands…” Writing to the Roman church Paul said,

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

There it is, being understood by that which has been made.

So man is without excuse. Mankind looked into the heavens, and without a telescope or

computer, or any of the precision electronics of our day, determined that the earth was tilted and that its rotational axis was changing in a constant, measurable and predictable pattern. That is no accident.

Paul continued,

For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their reasonings, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools,

Capable of measuring the stars, yet unwilling to honor their Architect and Maker. Surrounded by navigational aids we were nonetheless lost. Then God revealed Himself, in His Word and in the Person of His Son. Through relationship with Him through His Son and knowledge of His Word I can do what sailors of antiquity never could. I can navigate Eternity.

We often hear of Heaven as “that distant shore” or other, similar descriptions. There is truth in that. We all have a journey to make. Within ourselves we are clueless. No “internal compass” will get us there. In the Incarnation of God’s Son, and in the teachings of His Word, we have the compass we need to get home.

Thanks be to God.


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