Empirical Evidence – 18
Planetary Motion and Whirlwind:
In Ecclesiastes 7:13, written about 1000 BC, we read, “Consider the work of God; for who can make straight what He has made crooked?” In Jude 13, written about 66 AD, we read, “… Wandering stars, to whom has been reserved the gloom of darkness for eternity.” The ‘wandering stars’ are the translation of the Greek word, planhths (PLANETES = planets). In Ezekiel 1, 3, 10, 11, 23, 26, and Daniel 7:9 we read about the wheels, especially of “wheels in the middle a wheels” (Ezekiel 1). It is to say that Jehovah traveled on chariot with wheels within wheels. In Ezekiel 1:4, we read that when Jehovah spoke to Ezekiel, he saw a stormy wind out of the north. The Hebrew word translated as “stormy wind” is ñוּôﬣ (SUPHAH), means “hurricane.” In KJV, it is translated as “whirlwind.” The motion of this wind is circular. This Hebrew word appears in Job 37:9, Proverbs 1:27, 10:25, Isaiah 5:28, 17:13, 21:1, 66:15, Jeremiah 4:13, Hosea 8:7, Amos 1:14, and Nahum 1:3. In Nahum 1:3, written about 700 BC, we read, “… Jehovah,--His way is in the whirlwind and in the storm.”
What is the significance of saying that the ways of Jehovah are in the whirlwind? When we swing a stone on a thread and whirl it over our head, it will go in a circular orbit. The stone is trying to fly off at a tangent, and it will happen if the string breaks or it is released. That path is perpendicular to the force that is pulling the stone to the center of the circular path. This force that is pulling the stone to the center of its circular path is known as ‘centrifugal force’ and is used effectively to separate heavy matters from lighter ones. In a hurricane or whirlwind, the forces are not outward, but they are acting toward the center. This is different from the centrifugal forces. This inward force is known as ‘centripetal force.’ A similar centripetal force is given to the man who is a new creation in Christ by the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus Christ told us about his in John 14-17. We also read in the Old Testament that His ways are in the whirlwind. God’s ways towards His creation is not to make it to go away from Him, but to make it come closer to Him. Having created it that way, he could let it go. He does not have to control it by a ‘string,’ so to say. However, He does it by changing us into a new creation having a desire to be imitators of Christ, He being the center of our life. Contrary to this, the tendency of this world is to go away from God at a tangent to the path that God established. What God established should be our desire.
In both the cases, centripetal and centrifugal forces, there is a force that acts toward the center. In the case of centrifugal force, the force to go away from the center is trying to be greater than that of the force toward the center. In the centripetal forces, the force to go away is diminished to zero. The spiritual application of this in connection with Nahum 1:3 is left for the readers.
I wish to spend some time about the planetary motion, not in detail, that is mentioned in Jude 13. In the solar system, all planets revolve around the Sun in an elliptical orbit. An elliptical orbit is like a flattened circle with two foci, or centers.
The Sun is at one of the foci, while there is nothing on the other focus. The movement of the path is controlled by the attraction or gravity between the planet and the sun. At the same time, the planet behaves as if it is controlled by another body at the other focus, which does not exist. When God created the Sun and established it in relation to the earth, He made the earth and other planets to behave in this manner. It was made to do so, as a shadow of good things to come. What is that good thing to come? In Zechariah 4:2, we read that the Son, Lord Jesus Christ, is the “Sun of Righteousness.” The elliptical path of a planet around the sun is a shadow of one who became a new creation in Christ. It is not a straight line, it is a crooked line. It is not a circular one, it is elliptic. We always struggle and there is another one who influences us in our daily life. It is the enemy, Satan. We are not to be influenced by him. We are to resist him. Unfortunately, we fail, and our life on this earth resembles an ellipse, as the path of the planets. Satan is not to influence us. Unfortunately, we behave as if he does. He is not supposed to be at the focus. Nevertheless, he is there. After being under his influence, we overcome his influence and come back to the influence of the Son by the help of the Holy Spirit. Here, gravity or the attraction between the Son and the believer is the shadow of the Holy Spirit. There is only one focus with a Person, the Son, for us to be attracted to or follow. This is what God established as a shadow of good thing to come at creation and revealed to us using Moses and other prophets and apostles, for our edification. I am leaving the rest for the readers to study.
The elliptical orbits of the planets are also mentioned by Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1:12-15, “I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I applied my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: this grievous occupation has God given to the children of men to weary themselves therewith. I have seen all the works that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and pursuit of the wind. That which is crooked cannot be made straight; and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.” When Solomon was considering the creation of the heavens and the earth, he exclaimed about straightening what God has made crooked. An elliptic orbit for the heavenly bodies is a crooked one. Jude wrote about ‘wandering stars’ and we read that in Jude 13. The Greek expression for wandering stars is πλανετης (PLANETES), or ‘planets.’ Both Solomon (1,000 BC) and Jude (first century AD) wrote about the planets having a wandering path or crooked path. Solomon asked whether that could be made straight. When Kepler discovered the elliptical path of the planets around the Sun and formulated the laws of planetary motion, he did that by deducing it from data collected by his mentor. On the other hand, when Sir Isaac Newton provided the same laws, he did that by deducing using the Euclidian logic from Plane Geometry. This was in the 15th through the 17th centuries. God revealed that in 1,000 BC. There was about 2,400 years of elapsed time for science to discover what was in the Scriptures.
I also wish to look into another aspect of planetary motion. This is known as the Bode’s Law of Planetary Motion. Consider the following numbers, starting with Zero, and then add three to it, then include the numbers resulting by multiplying the three by 2, up to 96. We get the following series:
0 3 6 12 24 48 96
Add four (4) to each of them and receive a new series as follows:
4 7 10 16 28 52 100
Now, divide each by 10 and receive:
0.4 0.7 1.0 1.6 2.8 5.2 10.0
The significance of this series is that these numbers represents the distance of the planets from the sun in ‘astronomical units’ (AU). An AU is the distance between the sun and the earth. It is about 93,000,000 miles. These numbers are the corresponding distances of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Asteroids, Jupiter, and Saturn.
The distance between the sun and the earth is considered as an astronomical unit. Therefore ‘1.0’ is the distance of the Earth form the Sun. Mercury is about 0.4, Venus is about 0.7, Mars is about 1.6, Jupiter is about 5.2, Saturn is about 10.0, and Uranus is about 19.6 astronomical units from the Sun. Between Mars and Jupiter, there are a number of small bodies, Asteroids, and they are about 2.8 astronomical units from the Sun. We read in Psalm 33:9, written about 1000 BC, “For he spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” This standing fast was in a meaningful mathematical series. They traversed the space at their designated position in a crooked path.
What was written about 1000 AD was accepted by science in the 16th century. There was a lapse of about 2,600 years, because of unbelief in the inspired Word of God.
The recent discoveries in the early 20th century, of Neptune and Pluto, have compelled science to discard Bode’s Law of Planetary Motion. However, in the 1990s, there is another interesting development and that is by using certain mathematical transformations, it is found that all the planets are in a straight-line formation.
(To be continued)