One of my favorite magazines is National Geographic, which may seem kind of odd coming from someone who holds a worldview quite different from that of the award-winning publication.
But while National Geographic may be void of explicit Christian or even theistic commentary, each month it does a stellar job in showcasing the wonders of God through its pictures, illustrations and text – even if the editors and writers don’t realize it.
God wants us to marvel at His creation, but in the irony of ironies, it’s often the naturalists who spend the most time doing it. Too often we Christians distance ourselves from science, viewing it perhaps as boring or even at war with Scripture.
The biblical writers didn’t see it that way. In fact, if you look at only one aspect of science – astronomy – the writers of the Old and New Testaments spent a great deal of time thinking about it. The Bible mentions stars more than 40 times, such as: “He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names” (Psalm 147:4). Or this one: “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host” (Psalm 33:6).
In case you haven’t heard, this month we’ll get our first-ever look at Pluto, that tiny body in our solar system that was discovered in 1930 but is so far away that it merely looks like a speck of light through telescopes. If you’re of a certain age, it was the ninth planet for decades and decades before (wrongly) being demoted to “dwarf planet” status.
NASA in 2006 launched a piano-sized spacecraft called New Horizons, which has taken nine years to trek 3 billion miles even though it is traveling at 38,000 mph. National Geographic writers, though, shouldn’t be the only ones fascinated with this mission. God’s people should be at the forefront. In fact, if Abraham, King David and even the Apostle Paul were alive, I think they would be gathering around computer screens, waiting for the latest images of Pluto to display.
Here are three lessons about God we can learn from the New Horizons mission – and can teach our children: