Lift Up Your Eyes!
I recently viewed Ron Howard’s documentary—In the Shadow of the Moon and left the theater mesmerized. It brought back wonderful memories from nearly 40 years ago. Who can forget Neil Armstrong’s magical words as he stepped from the footpad of Eagle onto that soft, powdery dust of the moon’s crust: “That’s one small step for man—one giant leap for mankind.”
I had forgotten about how much that lunar landing impacted all of mankind. As Time magazine noted at the time, “Although the Apollo 11 astronauts planted an American flag on the moon, their feat was far more than a national triumph. … It was appropriate that the event was watched by ordinary citizens in Prague as well as Paris, Bucharest as well as Boston, Warsaw as well as Wapakoneta, Ohio. In practically every other corner of the Earth, newspapers broke out what pressmen refer to as their ‘Second Coming’ type to hail the lunar landing” (July 25, 1969). One astronaut interviewed in the documentary remembers the worldwide reaction this way: “Instead of saying, ‘Well, you Americans did it’—everywhere they said, ‘We did it—we, the human race.’”
Besides planting the U.S. flag on the moon’s surface, the astronauts left behind a silicon disk with comments of goodwill and solidarity from four U.S. presidents and 72 other world leaders. Inscribed on the lunar module’s platform, left behind after the spacecraft blasted off for its return flight, were these words, printed above President Nixon’s signature: “We came in peace.”
It was as if the whole world was united for a brief moment in time. Somehow, 3 billion human beings were able to lift up their eyes 250,000 miles above the surface of this Earth and view something that was literally out of this world! “The spectacular view might well help [man] place his problems, as well as his world, in a new perspective,” Time wrote.
But even before Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere, mankind’s attention had quickly returned to its mounting problems and evils.
Today, those curses have multiplied many times over.
Message of Hope
In many ways, Time’s coverage of the “Mars rock” in 1996 was every bit as enthusiastic as the lunar landing story from 1969, but for different reasons. News of the rock, Time wrote, “landed on the front pages of newspapers around the world and seized the imagination of all mankind” (Aug. 19, 1996). For the most part, though, it only seized the imagination of scientists, academics and media elites who have so much invested in the unproven, anti-God theory of evolution. “This is the biggest thing that has ever happened,” said John Pike, director of space policy for the Federation of American Scientists.
“If that evidence stands up to the intense scientific scrutiny that is certain to follow,” said Time, “it will confirm for the first time that life is not unique to Earth. That confirmation, in turn, would have staggering philosophical and religious repercussions.”
In the end, the rock turned out to be a regular old rock, as we had predicted. I told our Trumpet readers at the time, “The truth is, this discovery has virtually no significance whatsoever! That is because the focus is on microfossils in a small rock assumed to be from Mars. Our vision should be on the all-powerful God who created Mars and the universe!” (September-October 1996).
That is what made the lunar landing in 1969 so inspiring! That is why it captivated the world’s attention in a way the so-called Mars rock never did—it projected mankind’s vision far beyond this Earth. The moonwalk was a moment that “symbolized man’s wondrous capacity for questing, then conquering, then questing yet again for something just beyond his reach,” Time wrote. “But the black vastness that served as a backdrop for the two astronauts’ walk on the moon also was a reminder of something else. Stargazer, now star-reacher, man inhabits a smallish planet of an ordinary sun in a garden-variety galaxy that occupies the tiniest corner of a universe whose scope is beyond comprehension” (July 25, 1969; emphasis mine).
How true! And the amazing thing is, to the residents of this tiny corner of the universe, God says, “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth” (Isaiah 40:26). The great omnipotent God created and sustains our vast universe, which runs with the precision and order of a great master clock. God calls each one of the virtually infinite number of stars and planets by name.
Why is man so intent on linking us to animals, fossils and rocks, when God wants to bring us into His Family and—His Word reveals—to give us jurisdiction over the entire universe?
The sweet psalmist of Israel, King David, 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? For thou hast made him a little lower [or, for a little while 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” (Psalm 8:3-6). The Apostle Paul paraphrased this psalm in Hebrews 2.
In Romans 8, Paul said the whole creation, meaning the vast, limitless universe, is waiting “with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation [including all the suns, planets, stars, moons] was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. We know that the whole creation [stars, suns and moons now in decay and futility] has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for [the birth] as sons” (verses 19-23, Revised Standard Version).
No truth is more exhilarating! What an eye-opening passage of Scripture!
Notice what Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about this passage in his book Mystery of the Ages: “This passage indicates precisely what all astronomers and scientific evidence indicate—the suns are as balls of fire, giving out light and heat; but the planets, except for this Earth, are in a state of death, decay and futility—but not forever—waiting until converted humans are born the children of God; born into the very divine Family of God, forming the Kingdom of God. … Put together all these scriptures I have used in this chapter, and you begin to grasp the incredible human potential. Our potential is to be born into the God Family, receiving total power! We are to be given jurisdiction over the entire universe!
“What are we going to do then? These scriptures indicate we shall impart life to billions and billions of dead planets, as life has been imparted to this Earth. We shall create, as God directs and instructs.”
I hope you will request a free copy of this wonderful book because it contains a message that will truly lift up your eyes on high—and keep them there for eternity.