Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 27, 1968
NUMBER 42, PAGE 6c,7b-8a

God's Man In God's World

Gordon J. Pennock

When astronauts, William Anders, James Lovell Jr. and Frank Borman, read the first eight verses of the first chapter of Genesis, while orbiting the moon more than 200,000 miles away, we received the thrill of a life-time. Of course, the circumstance was not the only factor enjoyed. It was truly gratifying to hear these three courageous and confident men thus honoring God as the Creator of all things, while they themselves were engaged in the greatest scientific and technological operation of our time. Under the prevailing circumstances, the simple-words: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," seemed most appropriate, and doubtlessly, became more meaningful to them, as it did to those of us who listened.

Thoughtful men are always overwhelmed with a sense of littleness and insignificance whenever they ponder the vastness, majesty and mystery of the cosmos. In the long ago, David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote:

"When I consider the 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?" Psalm 8:3,4

Yet, when they compare themselves with other forms of life, they readily recognize their superlativeness and superiority. In this same Psalm, the writer responds to his own question, "What is man?" by declaring:

"For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels,

And hast crowned him with glory and honor.

Thou 'widest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands:

Thou hast put all things under his feet.

All sheep and oxen,

Yea. and the beasts of the field:

The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea,

And whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas."

Psalm 8:5-8

Man's uniqueness lies in the fact that he was created inferior to Deity, yet superior to the rest of creation. It has been accurately said that "man is not an organism: he is an intelligence served by organs." He is a spiritual and intellectual being dwelling in a physical body. And, in this body which is "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Ps. 139:14), he is similar to other creatures: yet, in mind and in spirit he has an affinity with God, in whose "image" and "likeness" he was created. (Gen. 1:27)

This God-like nature of man is the secret of his constant restlessness, resulting in his marvelous discoveries and scientific accomplishments. Included in the first command God gave to him was that he "subdue" the earth. (Gen. 1:28) In pursuit of this purpose he has written the astounding record of scientific research and discovery. And still it may be that "the half" cannot yet be told!

In uncovering and harnessing the elements and energies about him, man has enjoyed both startling and stupendous triumphs. He has explored the length, breadth and depth of land and sea, bringing forth their treasures. He has studied the elements and forces about him and has succeeded in bringing them into his service. He employs them in travel, transport and communication, by land, sea and air. They are used in his mighty utility and industrial plants. The resources and powers of nature are used in the fabrication of fearful weapons of war, as well as tools for peace. He has unlocked many of nature's secrets, enlisting them into his combat of disease and death. He has erected beautiful homes in which to live, equipped with automatic and push-button conveniences and luxuries, far surpassing the wildest dreams of generations past. He has by selection and cultivation increased the productivity of the animal and vegetable kingdoms, and has learned to process and preserve these products for the feeding and clothing of the ever-increasing population of the world. His experiments and attention are now focused upon a "conquest of the stars"! How successful he will be in this venture, only the Father knows!

"The Bible tells us that God made man in his own image," wrote Robert South, and then added, "science gives us the proof of it." Truly, man at his best, reflects kinship with his Creator.

Fervently we hope, that as man pursues the conquest of his natural environment, that he will increasingly be aware of the existence of God: and that He "made the world and all things therein." (Acts 17:24). May he be ever conscious that "the whole duty of man" is to "fear God, and keep his commandments," knowing full well that "God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." (Ecc. 12:13,14)

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