Monday: The Heavens Declare
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“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his

Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard” (Ps. 19:1-3, see also Rom. 1:1920). How have you experienced the truth of these texts? How has modern science helped us to even more appreciate the power and wisdom of God as Creator?

Not just any kind of universe would be capable of supporting life. In fact, it seems that the universe must be extremely well-designed in order for life to exist. First, the building blocks of all matter-atoms-must be stable enough that stable material objects could be created. The stability of atoms depends on the forces that hold the parts of the atoms together. Atoms contain charged particles that both attract and repel each other. The forces of attraction and repulsion must be carefully balanced. If the attractive forces were too strong, only large atoms would form, and there would be no hydrogen. Without hydrogen, there would be no water, and thus no life. If the repulsive forces were too strong, only small atoms would form, such as hydrogen, and there would be no carbon or oxygen. Without oxygen, there would be no water and no life. Carbon is also essential for all forms of life as we know it.

Not only must the atoms be stable, but they must be able to interact with one another in order to form vast numbers of different chemical compounds. There must be a balance between the forces that hold the molecules together and the energy required to break up the molecule in order to permit the chemical reactions upon which life depends.

The precise fitness of our universe for life has gained the admiration of scientists and has led many of them to comment that the universe appears to be designed by an intelligent Being.

The world also must have been wisely designed in order for life to exist. The range of temperatures must be compatible with life; so, the distance from the sun, the speed of rotation, and the composition of the atmosphere must all be in appropriate balance. Many other details of the world must be carefully designed. Truly, God’s wisdom is shown in what He created.

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Monday: The Heavens Declare — 38 Comments

  1. Not only is the distance from the sun and the speed of rotation important but also the tilt of the earth's axis and the size and position of the moon play an enormously important role in the support of life. These are some of the reasons why the search for another inhabitable world has been so frustrating to scientists.

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  2. God the master architect and buider has not been martched by any other. The Bible narrates every step of his handy work. That no scholar dissaproved. As each day breaks and night falls it just shows the Master builders work.

    Glory be to God.

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  3. I think we should stop to consider that the Bible tells us little about the creation of the "universe." While the lesson mentions the "precise fitness of our universe for life," it should probably have referred to the "precise fitness of our planet for life." This is the subject of the documentary, The Privileged Planet. As a matter of fact, as I understand it, scientists have not found any other place in the universe that they can see that has any "fitness for life."

    Seventh-day Adventists stand apart from other Christian creationists in believing that the Genesis account is all about this planet, not the creation of the universe. In fact, although God created all things from nothing, the Genesis account is not clear about whether or not this planet existed in a disordered way before Day 1 of creation. It says that "the earth was without form and void," but it does not say that it did not exist at all.

    We believe that the rest of God's universe existed before the account of Genesis 1, because angels and other beings existed before that time, as referenced in Job 38:6-8. That also avoids many problems that other creationists have to deal with, such as how the light of distant stars could possibly reach this planet in less than 10,000 years. We see no such problem, because the stars existed much earlier than that.

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    • Inge, while I understand what you are saying and agree that the lesson author probably did mean the earth rather than the universe I also believe that the statement concerning the universe being suited for life on this planet is not entirely wrong. For instance, "Then God said, 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years'" (Gen. 1:14 NKJV) so in a sense we have the involvement of heavenly bodies beyond earth that are also finely tuned including the sun which is the correct size and type. Besides all of that, to a certain extent our galaxy which we call the Milky Way is the correct type and our solar system is placed in the safest part of it according to what I read years ago. So, even though I think it is more correct to say the earth is fine tuned I wouldn't say that the universe is not.

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    • This reminds me of a sermon I gave as a young preacher. I had offered that God created the universe on the fourth day based on the statement about the stars. An elder took me to task over that. While I did not agree with him based on my literal understanding of the text, I have since come to understand the many problems with literalism, an example of which you shared.

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      • The first chapter of Genesis can be read quite literally without having to conclude that the entire universe was created on day four. It all depends upon the perspective of the author and how one reads the seemingly tangential comment about the creation of the stars (as in: "In case you were wondering, God did make the stars as well"). For example, the author of the Book of Job suggests that the universe and intelligent beings existed before the creation of life on our planet - and that the sons of God sang and shouted for joy during this time (Job 38:7).

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    • Rightly said. Angels were created first. Lucifer's fall out landed them into this earth. Then the earth was without form and void. Then the creation. Simple chronology of events matter.

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    • Hi Sister Inge, when as part of the week of creation it includes our sun, moon and stars I would say it includes our Galaxy. There is no greater record so I go no further, but at least hat much.

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  4. In fact the lesson and the comment bring to light the strong possibility that the earth was placed in orbit or position where life can exist, to the extent that even if the moon was placed exactly where the the earth is, you could grow a cabbage on it. We can only speculate on this great artistic and Divine work of creation by the Creator. I pray that when He comes, He should take us home because the mystery of the universe will no longer be a mystery any more. The fact that man has become much knowledgeable and advanced in science, is evidence of His soon coming. I wish to be on the sea of glass. Let us go together in spirit brethren and sisters.

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  5. Everything in our universe is so precise, it must have been deliberately planned. To conclude it was all an accident is not objective. It is truly a Marvel.

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  6. Inge, One thing I am very grateful and happy is that we all agreed that the world was created by God. Either the universe or planet is just a choice of words. What is paramont is our acceptance of the sovereignthy of Gods power to creat. Disbelieving this is nullifying the sabbath, fall of man and need for the redemption. In fact in a book titled the trip to the supernatural said" the devil trieves to make us nullify linkin the account of creation of God.

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  7. Glory be to God for His wonders. We creatures were all created by the Almighty Creator. We should therefore continue to worship Him.

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  8. Well, the Physics laws that rule the atoms and molecules just as all the celestial bodys are quite similar to the ones that rules the functions of the cells and organs in our body. What they teach us about God is that he is wiser than all creatures on this planet together. They also tell us God is PERFECT. That's why we find accurate fitness in all things created. Aside from fitness, there's balance, interdependence, co-existence and so on. Any change in the smallest thing created will certainly cause a chain reaction bringing about a chaos. I have a feeling that scientists have already experienced it while exploring many possibilities of change. God is PERFECT and we can prove that by checking the things He brought into existence.

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  9. We humans, because of our limited intellectual capacity, and finite knowledge can only make sense of what we see and experience by compartmentalizing what we wish to investigate. However, the heavens declare day and night that every heavenly body in the universe impacts and influences the existence and behaviour of the other. The earth is only fit for life because our infinitely loving, wise and powerful Creator God ordained the composition, position and motion characteristics of every successively distant heavenly body from the earth. Just AWESOME, beyond our ken! I just want to be with Jesus for eternity so we can explore this vast universe TOGETHER!!!!

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  10. I studied this lesson with my front door open, while the sun rose, the wind blew and the birds sang their songs. The heavens truly does declare the Glory of God.

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  11. I have always found the creation fascinating. One thing that has intrigued me is if Genesis 1 1-2 are part of the "7 day creation period" or if that happened long before. In other words when it states the world was empty and darkness was over the water. Does that mean that water was created before the actual creation week started?

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    • This is a very good question, Josh

      As I read Genesis 1, I see that the creation week covers the formation and population of our world, but I see a ball of water at the start -- and there is no clear indication of when the ball was put there.

      Ultimately, as the Bible is the story of God's relationship to mankind, original, post-fall, post-restoration, we are not given that detail. I do look forward to learning about it in the earth made new, however. :)

      -ASB: http://XeeMe.com/AndrewBaker

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  12. We must remember that when God created the world it was perfect. There was no element of sin but man sinned and God had to ensure that man would not contaminate the entire universe with sin. Personally,I am inclined to believe that man would be able to travel outside of the Earth and life would be supported before sin but sin's entrance resulted in restrictions. The heavens declare the glory of God, as the text states, has no language barrier, all we have to do is look up and around us and we have reasons to praise the Lord. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.

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  13. I would appreciate any posts that can help me understand Creation. I was raised as an atheist. When I became a Christian, I took it by faith that God created the universe, but I would greatly appreciate any posts that explain why this is obvious to you...especially if you are scientifically-minded.

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    • It might help to start into this topic by watching a three-part video series on Creation that I presented a little while back. You can see them at:

      God, Creator of the Universe
      http://www.detectingdesign.com/videoclips.html#Universe

      God, Creator of Life
      http://www.detectingdesign.com/videoclips.html#Life

      God, Creator of Time
      http://www.detectingdesign.com/videoclips.html#Time

      Sincerely,

      Sean Pitman

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    • Hi Claire,

      I was born into a Christian family, and it was on simple faith that I accepted the creation account. As I became older, and began studying more about the world, and also about salvation, I began to more clearly see the creative power that God employed. I can see the precision, the planning, the establishment of rules and laws, and God's control over them.

      As a technologist myself, I am painfully aware that things don't just happen in the way you want them to without planning. In fact, things tend towards disorder and chaos when no/poor planning is involved. As I saw the simplicity and completeness of the Genesis account, and studied the complexities, contradictions and incredible suppositions of the evolutionary perspective, it has become very clear to me that God created everything, and also that He can recreate anything.

      His creative power ensures our re-creation on a spiritual level and on a physical level. In terms of understanding creation, there are still some things that can only be grasped by faith, but I am able to see that it could be done, and appreciate the nuance of the things that were done.

      Is there something specific you would like to understand about Creation week?

      -ASB: http://XeeMe.com/AndrewBaker

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    • Dear Claire,
      May I suggest you start with the resources right here on Sabbath School Net, the Creation/Science page under "Resources" in the menu.

      There you will find articles from the elementary to the complex - all on the subject of how science, rightly understood, harmonizes with the Genesis account. I note that Dr. Sean Pitman responded to you on another post, and we have listed his site among many others.

      I believe that true science is an investigation of God's creation, and, until less than a couple hundred years ago, scientists viewed themselves as investigating God's creation. But the definition of science has changed, and today it is only considered "science," if the explanation of any phenomenon is presented without reference to a Creator. That's just fine in the lab, but when scientists presume to explain the origin of our cosmos in naturalistic terms, they are no longer doing science, but philosophy, because their theories can not be tested or falsified. Yet most scientists defend their naturalistic philosophy as ardently as any evangelist defends the resurrection of Christ.

      In spite of that, there are still scientists who believe that God created the universe and all that is in it. I trust that you will enjoy exploring what they have to say by following the links in our Creation/Science section.

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  14. Ps 19:1-3 reinforces the truth that God has a calendar (Gen 1:14), a measurement of time that the Devil cannot get his hands on to change times and laws (Dan 7:25). It amazes me why we continue to worship the Creator according to an artificial man made system of calendation. Hasn't the author of our current lesson described so beautifully how science supports that the universe is designed by an intelligent living Being. Better than any Swiss watch maker for sure. I believe its time we came out of Babylon.

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    • Barry, I believe that Ps 19:1-3 refers to the fact that God's greatness and infinity are revealed in the heavens. Each time we invent a more powerful telescope we see more evidence of His great creativity. Ps 19:1-6 constitute a wonderful poetic stanza describing the greatness of the heavens and the journey of the sun "as a bridegroom." And Gen. 1:14 refers to the fact that the sun and moon are used to measure the days, seasons and years. That was so in the beginning of creation and is still so now, even though the seasons in the northern hemisphere are different from those in the southern hemisphere.

      God has not given us a "calendar," but He has given us the week. The Hebrews had one sort of calendar, and by the time of Christ, they followed the Roman calendar, as did Christ Himself. But the week remained unchanged. It is unchanged still from the time of Christ, and we can be sure that the Sabbath we keep now is in the same seventh-day Sabbath Christ kept--the Sabbath that reminds us of God's Creatorship and the reason to worship Him. The message of Rev 14:7 is a direct call back to Creator worship and all that it means: "Fear God and give glory to Him who made the heaven and the earth and the fountains of waters." That is the message of God's remnant church for the rest of the world. It is a call to come out of the babylonish confusion of worshiping gods that are no gods but creations of the minds of men, back to the worship of the Creator who established the seventh-day Sabbath as a sign of His Lordship and a sign that those who keep it are being sanctified by Him.

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      • thanks so much for this insightful comment on the consistency of the week over the years. this settles my mind on issues of the lunar sabbath and so forth... postings by the 'worlds last chance' documentaries. God is indeed wonderful.

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      • Good morning Inge...I am in harmony with your thought that Ps 19 speaks to the evidence of God's creativity.
        However when I look at Gensis 1, I see God focusing on two dimensions that we live in. That of space and time.(Ecc 3)
        To be in harmony with the creation of God I find that the two cannot be separated and that they support each other in our relationship with our creator. Especially as He restores us back to the spiritual dimension.
        With respect to Gensis 1:14 I have come to understand that the word seasons refers to Gods appointed times namely the feast days (Lev 23) and not to fall, winter, spring, and summer as commonly viewed today.

        Inge how do you relate to your continously cycling weeks, months, yemars? Is it not to the current practise found in a pagan/papal man made calendar. My research has revealed to me that the calendar has been changed from the time of Christ. From the time of pagan Rome to Pope Geogory. Even the Jews admit to their doing away from the Lunar Solar calendar.
        Our Adventist roots (1844)have thier foundation in the Lunar Solar timing let alone our attempt to line up the cruicifiction date with our present papal calendar. One website I have found very helpful in beginning my own research is the [website edited out].
        Because God has hid His Sabbaths when His people have been taken into captivity, it is only when He has led them out of captivity that He restores the old paths.I believe it is only when we seriously desire to come out of Spiritual Babylon that we see its truth.

        I agree with you that God's glory is the restoration of His character. I see that it is not only knowing who He is but what is He doing now in setting straights paths for our feet to travel.

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        • Thank you for your reply, Barry.

          The way I see it, what kind of calendar the world uses matters little, as long as the weekly cycle is kept continuously. The "calendar changes" to which you refer did not tamper with the weekly cycle. We are actually very fortunate right now that the whole world seems to be on the same calendar.

          I believe it is not difficult to demonstrate that the Jews followed a weekly seven-day cycle all their history, along with a lunar cycle for the festivals connected to the sanctuary services. These are really not relevant for Christians today, since they were shadows of the ministry of Christ. Now that we experience the reality of his Presence, we have no need of the shadows.

          I don't believe that God has ever "hidden" His Sabbath, but God's people often neglected to honor the Sabbath. Nevertheless, I believe there was a continuous line of faithful people who kept God's seventh-day Sabbath through the ages right up to the present day.

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  15. Creation and the creator certainly has a great inpact on the creatures. but one day we will all go home to live with the Creator God. O what a glory that will be when the ransomed home we'll see, what a halleluia band when we march in to the land . what a glory that will be.

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  16. It is duling the 1000 years we shall understand better matters regarding the earth creation, more espeally the God did not reveal in the Bible and spirit of prophecy

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  17. Ellen White makes the statement that heaven is a school,and that all the treasures of the universe will be open to the study of God's redeemed. With
    Undimmed vision they gaze upon the glory of creation,suns and stars and
    Systems, all in their appointed order circling the throne of Diety.
    Gc.p.677,678. By his grace I am looking forward to being there.

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  18. All the comments posted here are very interesting, but either the Earth was created before or at the same time that the rest of the universe does not matter. Everuthing else we can say shall be just mere assumptions. Let it be explained in the eternity by the same Cretaor. What really matter is that GOD and only He created all the universe ex nihilo.

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  19. An interesting discussion would be...was creation designed for us or were we designed for creation....did God design the rest of the universe with us in mind or were we designed with the universe in mind ?

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  20. Who else could have such power to form this existing creation.Only God can do such wonderful creation for creatures like you and me to dwell in even though sin has messed it up. He is indeed our creator

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  21. As I read this lesson earlier this week, I became more aware of the balance God replicates in everything He has created. It makes me want to be more in harmony with His arrangement for my life. I can look at His uniformity, and trust in Him all the more.

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  22. Like the saying goes if a watch has a maker why should the universe not have? In particle physics 4 forces are mentioned which keep balance btn atoms, molecules, massive bodies such that a minor alteration will be chaotic, glory be to God

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  23. The comment in the lesson that the universe appears designed for life means exactly that. The properties of the universe itself are so finely balanced that a slight change in any one of many of those properties would result in a universe where life, at least life as we know it, would be impossible.

    One example of a finely tuned parameter is the balance between the force that holds protons together in the nucleus (the "strong nuclear force")and the force that repels protons from each other (the "electromagnetic force"). If the repelling force were slightly stronger, atomic nuclei would fall apart into single protons and the entire universe would be made of hydrogen. If the attractive force were slightly stronger, protons would clump together and form only atoms with large nuclei. There would be no hydrogen, hence no water, hence no life.

    The stable existence of atoms and molecules, the chemical laws that govern their interaction, are precisely tuned. If the tuning were only a little bit different, the universe might not have any atoms or molecules at all.

    There is a considerable body of scientific writing on this topic, and many scientists recognize that the universe has the appearance of being finely tuned in a precise way that makes life possible. These scientists do not necessarily believe in the Christian God, but they can see that the universe has the very precise properties needed to permit life to exist and flourish.

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