Ponder the Universe Like King David

What man is doing on Mars right now is remarkable. But it’s nothing compared to what God is doing on Earth.
This illustration shows NASA’s Perseverance rover casting off its spacecraft’s cruise stage, minutes before entering the Martian atmosphere. Hundreds of critical events in the rover’s Entry, Descent and Landing sequence had to execute perfectly and exactly on time for the rover to touch down on Mars safely on February 18.
From the May 2021 Watch Jerusalem Print Edition

On February 18, nasa’s Perseverance rover successfully landed in the Jezero Crater on Mars. Right now, this rover is traveling across the Martian surface, sending back some of the best pictures, video and even audio we have ever had from that planet.

The mission also includes test-flying a remote helicopter, called Ingenuity, and gathering rock and soil samples that scientists hope to bring back to Earth later this decade. On April 25, Ingenuity captured an incredible aerial shot of Perseverance traversing the surface of Mars. It was like a scene right out of the movie Star Wars.

This truly is an amazing and stunning achievement!

But it is nothing compared to what the Bible says God is doing here on Earth. nasa’s scientists are searching for signs of past life on Mars. The overwhelming reality, confirmed by the images broadcast to Earth from Perseverance and Ingenuity, is that this planet is dead and in a state of decay.

The contrast with the planet we inhabit is unmistakable: Mars is dead, but Earth is full of life!

As exciting as this adventure on Mars is, I want to introduce you to an even more exciting truth about Earth and the universe. This truth is revealed in your Bible, and was actually a subject King David and other great men of the Bible meditated on.

The present condition of Mars and the other planets is closely linked with your incredible human potential!

Cause of Decay

The images being beamed back to Earth from Perseverance clearly show that Mars is a wasteland. Like the moon and the other planets, it is in a state of decay. What caused the planets to be in this state? Scientists don’t know. But God does, and He tells us in the Bible.

In Job 38, God recalls the moment He created the Earth and the universe. “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?” He asks Job. “Who determined the measures thereof …? Or who stretched the line upon it? Whereupon were the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner-stone thereof” (verses 4-6). These verses show just how much thought and planning God put into designing and creating the material world and all the sophisticated laws that hold it all together. (You can read about this in more detail in our free booklet Our Awesome Universe Potential.)

Verse 7 gives another important detail. “When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Remember, God is recalling the moment He created the universe. The term “morning stars” refers to the angels, who were obviously present at this spectacular moment of creation.

Sometime after creating the cosmos, God sent the powerful and majestic archangel Lucifer (Heylel) to Earth, along with a large contingent of other angels. You can read about this in Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14. Describing this archangel, God says, “Thou wast in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering … the workmanship of thy settings and of thy sockets was in thee, in the day that thou wast created they were prepared. Thou wast the far-covering cherub [angel]; and I set thee, so that thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of stones of fire” (Ezekiel 28:13-14).

These passages show that Lucifer and his angelic supporters were given the awesome task of beautifying and developing this planet. Earth was to be a training ground for far greater future projects.

Sometime later, however—Scripture doesn’t reveal how long, but perhaps millions of years—Lucifer and the angels over which he had charge rebelled against their Creator and launched a war against Him.

Members of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover team watch in Mission Control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California as the first images arrive moments after the spacecraft successfully touched down on Mars, on Thursday, February 18.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning!” God says in Isaiah 14:12. Ezekiel 28:17 says God “cast thee [Lucifer] to the ground” and “laid thee before kings, that they may gaze upon thee.” This conflict between God and the rebellious angels was the most destructive war ever. It left Earth, the moon, Mars, the other planets and apparently the rest of the universe, which God had created perfect, in a state of desolation.

This was Earth’s state at the time of the events recorded beginning in Genesis 1:2. “Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep ….” This verse describes what the planet looked like after Lucifer’s rebellion and great war with God.

The Hebrew word for “was” means came to pass or became. So the Earth became “unformed and void”—it was not originally created that way by God. Consider: Why would the angels shout for joy if the universe God had just created was barren and ugly? The universe, when first created, must have been impressive!

The Hebrew words for “unformed” and “void” are tohu and bohu. Tohu means waste or desolation. Bohu means an indistinguishable ruin, or emptiness and void. The late Herbert W. Armstrong explained all this in his book The Incredible Human Potential (request your free copy). “Apparently all such planets in the entire universe now are waste and empty—decayed (tohu and bohu)—like the Earth was, as described in Genesis 1:2. But God did not create them in such conditions of decay—like our moon” (emphasis mine).

Right here in the second verse of the Bible, God informs us that there was a time when Earth looked like Mars does today. Look at the photos of that desolation taken by Perseverance. There was a time when this planet was similarly barren!

Mr. Armstrong continued: “Decay is not an original created condition—it is a condition resulting from a process of deterioration. Evidently, if the now-fallen angels had maintained the Earth in its original beautiful condition, improved it, carried out God’s instructions, and obeyed His government, they would have been offered the awesome potential of populating and carrying out a tremendous creative program throughout the entire universe. When they turned traitor on Earth, their sin must have also brought simultaneously physical destruction to the other planets throughout the universe, which were potentially and conditionally put in subjection to them.”

Here we see the plain truth: Earth, the other planets and the universe were destroyed when Lucifer and one third of the angels rebelled against God!

Now here is something cosmically inspiring: That war is the very reason you were created!

After the angelic rebellion, God moved into a new phase of His plan. Mr. Armstrong continued: “As God surveyed this cataclysmic tragedy, He must have realized that since the highest, most perfect being within His almighty power to create had turned to rebellion, it left God Himself as the only being who would not and cannot sin.”

This is a profound truth, and it has everything to do with you. God realized that only beings with His own perfect character could rule this planet and the universe. So He decided on a different plan—a spectacular plan to re-create Himself. This was the basis of His creating human beings. You need to request and study The Incredible Human Potential to fully understand. It will show you that these statements fit perfectly into the master plan of the Bible.

The angels had destroyed the surface of the Earth, so God had to renew it before He could create man. This is what we read about beginning in Genesis 1:2. This biblical chapter describes not the creation, but the re-creation of Earth.

King David understood this. He recalled it in Psalm 104:30: “Thou sendest forth Thy spirit, they are created; And Thou renewest the face of the earth.” After God renewed the planet, He then made human beings—in His own image and likeness (Genesis 1:26)—and put the material creation under our subjection (verses 27-31). This was all part of God’s plan for re-creating Himself in human beings.

The main reason Earth today is full of life—while all other planets are dead and decaying—is that God is using it as a place to sustain humans while they prepare to become part of His eternal Family!

God created human beings with the destiny to remove the decay from Mars and the universe. You have a direct connection to the universe! God wants us to help make the universe look like Earth, like the beautiful Garden of Eden. That is man’s destiny, and you can prove it from the Bible.

David’s Meditations

King David never had access to technology like Perseverance and Ingenuity, but he understood the truth I am writing about. In Psalm 8, we read some of his meditations when he looked up into the night sky. “When I behold Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, The moon and the stars, which Thou hast established,” he wrote (verse 4). This is some of the Bible’s most beautiful poetry, and it sprang from David contemplating the universe.

What did he think about when studying the stars situated quadrillions of miles from Earth? “What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that Thou thinkest of him? Yet Thou hast made him but little lower than the angels, And hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou hast made him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under His feet” (verses 5-7).

When King David looked at the vastness of the heavens, his thoughts would turn to humanity and planet Earth. He marveled that God had given man this entire wonderful planet. He marveled at the incredible work God was doing with human beings, crowning us with “glory and honor.” Doesn’t this reveal how special Earth is to God and to man?

There is something awesome right here on Earth that God wants us to focus on and be inspired by! God wants us thinking about our incredible human potential, which is being accomplished on planet Earth.

In Psalm 19, King David wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God, And the firmament [the universe] showeth His handiwork” (verse 2). He was celebrating the fact that God revealed Himself to us in the universe He created.

David’s poetry about the universe continues, “Day unto day uttereth speech, And night unto night revealeth knowledge” (verse 3). The Hebrew words used here can even mean prophecies. The universe is prophesying to us!

But the universe is dead, so it’s not prophesying in words or sound. Verse 4 says, “There is no speech, there are no words, Neither is their voice heard.” What is the unspoken message inherent within the universe? “Their line is gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them hath He set a tent for the sun” (verse 5). Where it says that the heavens’ “line is gone out through all the earth,” the Hebrew word translated line refers to a measuring rule or cord. It is the same word used in Job 38:5, where God says He “stretched the line” upon the Earth to measure it. Metaphorically the word means a rule or law (as in Isaiah 28:10, which says we must come to understand God’s Word “precept by precept, line by line”). The universe complies beautifully with God’s rule, His measure, His law.

Though the planets and stars are in a state of decay, there is remarkable structure and order. The way the planets, stars and galaxies all interact, creating a universe that is stable and harmonious, reveals a complex system of laws. Even the slightest deviation in planetary movement or gravitational forces would result in catastrophe for Earth. But this doesn’t happen. Why? Because God created cosmic laws that hold it all together!

In this way, the universe proves God’s presence!

The Hebrew word translated line also refers to a musical string, or accord, or harmony. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul quoted this verse and actually used the word sound. He likened the harmony in the heavens to a musical sound.

This illustration of the newly forming exoplanet PDS 70b shows how material may be falling onto the giant world as it builds up mass. By employing Hubble’s ultraviolet light (UV) sensitivity, researchers got a unique look at radiation from extremely hot gas falling onto the planet, allowing them to directly measure the planet’s mass growth rate for the first time. The planet PDS 70b is encircled by its own gas-and-dust disk that’s siphoning material from the vastly larger circumstellar disk in this solar system. The remote world has already bulked up to five times the mass of Jupiter over a period of about five million years, but is anticipated to be in the tail end of its formation process. PDS 70b orbits the orange dwarf star PDS 70 approximately 370 light-years from Earth in the constellation Centaurus.

This is what the stars, planets and galaxies are prophesying. Our free booklet Our Awesome Universe Potential says, “They are speaking about the past. They are teaching us about what is and what should be happening right now. And as we will see, they are also prophesying about the majestic future.”

Psalm 19 shows that there is harmony in the glorious universe. Those heavenly bodies are like a great orchestra God is conducting. What produces that harmony? David continued, “The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes” (verses 8-9). That harmony comes from God and His law!

David was meditating on the universe and all of the laws that hold it together, and connecting this with mankind. “[I]f we apply God’s law in our own lives, in our jobs and relationships and families, it will produce order and harmony …. This is really a prophecy about what the law will do in your life. If you allow God to rule you—if you get in sync with the Creator and Conductor of the harmony of the universe and submit to His spiritual law in the same way that matter submits to His physical law—then that will bring you into harmony with God and other people” (ibid).

Just like the heavens themselves, human beings begin to declare God’s glory when they obey His laws!

Can we begin to see the astonishing connection between the universe and humankind?

Focus on the Creator

Why do scientists want to reach Mars? It gets back to one overall question: Is there life there? But they are asking the wrong question! They should ask, “Why are Mars and the rest of the universe there?” This question leads us to the Creator! Scientists are focused on the creation, not the Creator. And though it may be done in ignorance, it amounts to an exercise in futility and rebellion against God.

Most people—including most religious people—worship science, scientists and the universe, not God. How disgusting and shallow men are when they worship things and beings—the creation—and not the Creator of those things and beings. We ask, “Is there life on Mars?” But we should ask, “Is there a Creator of Mars?”

Scientists can see that Mars and the universe are waste and in a state of decay. Some dream of somehow escaping Earth and introducing life to Mars. Can they do that? Look at what human beings have done to this planet. We are about to destroy all human life on Earth! Even if we “escaped,” we would bring rebellious, destructive human nature with us! Even if we found life on Mars, we would just destroy it in the end!

Scientists are looking for life on Mars. They ought to be learning how to save life on Earth! Our number one problem is human survival! We have done to Earth what Satan did to the universe—only worse! Why is that the case? Because man today is under the influence of the devil, who was once a brilliant angel called Lucifer.

We can only make Mars flourish with beauty and life if we first allow God to change our human nature and help us achieve our incredible human potential!

Sons of God

Your potential is so much greater than that of the dazzling angels! Most of us don’t grasp the deep meaning of the truth David describes in Psalm 8. “Yet Thou hast made him but little lower than the angels, And hast crowned him with glory and honour” (verse 6). God is obviously concerned about the universe. But His main focus is on His masterpiece of creation: man! He wants to crown us with “glory and honour.”

How does God plan to crown man with glory and honor? Verse 7 answers: “Thou hast made him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet.” Today God allows man dominion over the Earth. Sadly, like Lucifer, we have failed in this responsibility and turned Earth into a cesspool. But God has a plan to turn this around.

The present condition of Mars and the other planets is closely linked with your incredible human potential!

Isaiah 9 and many other Bible passages show that the Messiah will soon come. When He does, He will establish His government and law on Earth. This planet and humanity will enter a wonderful new phase, one marked by tranquility, prosperity and unity (e.g. Isaiah 2:3; 11:6-9; 35:1-7; Zechariah 8:5). But this will only be the beginning.

After God has established His Kingdom on Earth and helped men achieve their incredible human potential, He will then set about transforming the universe. This is when Mars, the moon and the rest of the cosmos will be changed from a state of decay to being full of life!

God is going to put Mars and the universe under man’s rule; He just hasn’t done so yet. What jaw-dropping potential we have—much higher than angels!

This world is about to enter a very dark age. Actually, you could say Earth has been in the dark ages throughout man’s history. God is letting the trauma intensify until we finally realize how inept we really are without Him.

In this convulsing world, we need our universe dream. The footage we are receiving from Perseverance and Ingenuity helps us with this. But we need to see the stupendous possibility and the eternal majesty God is offering human beings.

People are intrigued and inspired by the Mars landings. But most will have only a few fleeting moments of inspiration, then the hope will fade. Please don’t let this happen to you. Your potential beyond those pictures is breathtaking and inspiring beyond anything you have ever known. See those Mars pictures for what they truly are: a window into the greatest hope you can ever imagine! Nothing can stimulate our imagination like comprehending our universe potential!