Does Earth’s Backward Location Conflict With The Message Of The Bible? - The Warrior's Journey®

Does Earth’s Backward Location Conflict With The Message Of The Bible?

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My childhood home was filled with strife. My mom and stepdad fought ferociously and frequently. And my only way of escaping was to go outdoors and absorb the sights – the sun, the blue sky, and the sea.

There’s something wonderful about going outdoors. Whether you escape your house by day or by night, there are wonderful things to see. These wonders will draw a troubled soul away from his personal, family, and professional problems and bring a measure of relief.

I’ve found the same is true whenever I hike mountain trails. Ascending to the top of a peak has the added advantage of physically lifting a person above their troubled world. And on their ascent, they can look back and watch it get smaller and less threatening the higher they climb. Indeed, that menacing situation below is lost in the vastness of the sky, the cloud formations, and lofty mountain grandeur.

I suspect the same sensation occurs for the astronomer who peers into the universe and is overwhelmed by the infinity of space. It helps the observer see just how small his earth-bound problems are by comparison.

There’d be a problem, however, if my strife-filled house constituted the very center of my universe? For instance, suppose I was the chief advisor to a tyrannical king – one who made my life miserable. The king’s toxic presence would be inescapable – unless I wanted to risk losing my position, power, and wealth. Outside of the king’s court there’d only be poverty and starvation. The king’s court, as hellish as it might be, would be the center of my universe. Under these circumstances, it would be preferable to be born in a backward place, in a small village hut. This way I’d have the whole world to escape to.

I thought about this recently when pondering why God ever placed humanity on such a backward planet. Now, the earth is certainly blessed – far more than any other terrestrial habitation. Its proximity to a star with a steady output of energy, its abundance of liquid water, its thick oxygen-rich atmosphere, its wind and ocean currents, and its protective magnetic field make Planet Earth a beautiful and rare oasis in a hostile universe. Though damaged by sin and the divine curse, Earth is still the best place in the physical universe to live.

But over the past 500 years, we’ve seen Earth shrink down from the center of the universe to being nothing but a pale blue dot. Yes, we’ve gone from a geocentric worldview to being just one of eight planets that circles the sun (heliocentric). From that demotion we’ve plummeted further – to our sun being just one of millions of other stars in the Milky Way. Then, from this humiliation we’ve descended to our Milky Way being just one of billions of other galaxies. With each new astronomical discovery, our humble planet is seemingly pushed further and further into the background.

It’s been a painful process, going from the center of the universe to becoming a little Podunk planet on its outskirts. But, a more important question is, “Does Earth’s humble location conflict with the message of the Bible?”  For according to the Bible, Earth is at the center of God’s redemptive activity.

No, Earth’s humble position does not conflict with the Bible. For our backward location benefits us immeasurably. Being Earth-bound creatures, we are all like the little boy who escaped the pain of his home by going outdoors – where the beauty of the world eclipsed his family problems. In such a backward place, the most wonderful and thrilling portion of our physical universe lay beyond Planet Earth – and we can see it all. Not all of us can physically escape Earth’s boundaries by going into space. But through Earth’s great picture window – the night sky – we can observe the heavens beyond us.

So don’t look down on the “backward” location of our little planet. True, we’re far from the center of the universe. But this is all to our advantage. Honestly, we’re not even near the center of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. But that’s a good thing. At the center of our galaxy is a dangerous black hole that allows nothing – not even light – to escape its crushing gravitational pull. Plus, the energy levels near the center of our galaxy are so high that complex life as ours could not survive there.

It’s also a good thing that Earth’s solar system isn’t even located in one of our galaxy’s spiral arms. Earth is located in the empty space between them. But that’s good. Within a spiral arm there’d be such a congestion of stars that we wouldn’t be able to view the universe. There’d be too much light pollution.

Yes, Earth may be in a sort of cosmological “nowhere-ville,” but that location is quite privileged. For it allows us to have an unobstructed view of the rest of our universe. From this “backward” position we can view such wonders that will never cease to draw us away from Earth and dwarf its little problems. Therefore, Earth’s backward location does not, in any way, conflict with the message of the Bible – which tends to place great importance on this planet.

Besides, doesn’t God love to show His favor and focus on the small, weak, foolish, and forgotten things of this world (1 Corinthians 1:26-31). The great King David didn’t come from royal birth. He came from the least family in Israel, and he was the least of his family (2 Samuel 7:8-9). The Gospel of Luke tells us that when Tiberius was Emperor and Pilate was governor and Herod, Philip, and Lysanias were tetrarchs and Annas and Caiaphas were high priests – God gave His divine message to an obscure man in the desert – John the Baptist (Luke 3:1-2). And wasn’t our Lord born in a stable rather than a royal palace? God always bypasses the high and mighty to reach down to the humble. It’s perfectly in keeping with God’s character and ways to make little-old Earth center stage for His great redemptive plan.

True, we seemed like nothing but a pale blue dot when, in 1990, Voyager I turned its camera back toward Earth to photograph it from 3.7 billion miles away. Who would have guessed that this tiny blue speck, far away from the limelight, would be ground-zero for the climatic battles between good and evil. Only, those familiar with the Bible and God’s mysterious ways will ever understand.

PRAYER:  Dear Father in heaven, rather than wallow in disappointment and self-pity over the humble location of Planet Earth, I will glory in its privileged position. For, from Earth I can gaze into the heavens and see the greater and more glorious part of Your creation. And with the eyes of faith, I can look beyond this troubled existence to view the greater glories of eternity and my future reward with Christ. Give me eyes to see, O God, I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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