God’s Providence in Nature: Solar Eclipse

This past Monday, a narrow strip of the United States was treated to a total solar eclipse. During this brief time, the sun was completely covered by the moon and it appeared that night time has suddenly set in the middle of the day. This rare event is something that happens every few years somewhere on the earth. The next total solar eclipse will take place on July 2nd in 2019 for parts of South America while the next total solar eclipse that can be seen from North America won’t take place until April 8th, 2024. Many were amazed by this event and filled with awe while seeing the sun blotted for the sky for a few brief moments. What is interesting is that while many had this awe for a simple event that was taking place in our solar system, few slowed down long enough to realize that this was just another example of the order and providence that God has given us.

For an eclipse to take place, the sun, moon and earth must be aligned perfectly for a matter of minutes. If the moon were much smaller, it would not be able to completely cover the sun. If it were a little further away from the earth, the same would happen. If the sun were a little larger (as some scientists say that it will begin to grow later in its life) the moon would not be able to cover it. We could go on with examples, but the point is that God set the sun, moon and earth in the proper position for this event to happen to give us another example of our creator’s power.

We should not have to wait for another Solar eclipse to appreciate the things that God has done for us. There are many other examples we can consider regarding God’s planning and concern for us. We can look at the distance of the earth from the sun. If this distance were to vary significantly, the earth would either be too hot or too cold to support life. God has set the earth at the perfect distance from the sun to allow things like the water cycle to take place. Water evaporates from oceans and lakes, then falls to the earth in the form of rain and snow. If the temperature of the earth varied too much, none of this would take place. Either all the water in the planet would be in gaseous form or we would live on a permanently frozen earth.

God protects us in ways that we do not see. There is a zone around the earth called the Van Allen radiation belt. Now the name of this is no important, but its function is. These belts protect us by severely limiting the amount of dangerous radiation that can reach the earth’s atmosphere where they could literally strip away parts of that atmosphere or cause severe health issues for man. This is just another example of something that God has provided for us. Something that we do not even need to think about on a daily basis, but it is there to protect us.

We could go on and on talking about the things God has given us. The topics vary widely, we could talk about the human body and how it can heal itself (something that scientists and engineers simply cannot replicate). We could talk about the natural resources here on this earth, whether it is solar power or coal or gasoline. We can talk about the way our atmosphere exists in the right proportions to allow us to pull oxygen into our bloodstream and exhaust carbon dioxide back out. We do not have to think about any of these things throughout the course of our daily lives but God has provided them for us so we can live and serve him.

Gen 1:1 – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Psa 19:1 – The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

Col 1:16-17 – For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. (17) And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Psa 8:3-9 – When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, (4) what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? (5) Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. (6) You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, (7) all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, (8) the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. (9) O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

God gave us what we need for life. He provided with everything. We should be thankful of that. Now that we have seen the great care and consideration that God has given us we must realize that this is all temporary in nature and we should be striving to be successful in the spiritual kingdom. Christ himself stated that his kingdom was not of this world. If this much preparation was put into our earthly temporary home, we can barely imagine what may lie in our spiritual home.

2 Pe 3:10-13 – But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. (11) Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, (12) waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! (13) But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Consider the awe that came from a simple eclipse, this can only pale in comparison to the spiritual home that waits for us.

That spiritual home is only available to those who have followed his word and become Christians. If you are not a Christian tonight, you need to hear and believe God’s word (Rom. 10:17), repent of your sins (Acts 2:38), confess that Jesus is your Lord (Rom. 10:10), be baptized for the remission of your sins (Mark 16:16) and live faithfully (Rev. 2:10).

—Daniel Wimpee

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