Psalm 19, Scientifically Accurate

By Wayne Jackson

About a thousand years before Christ, David announced:

“The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork” (Psa. 19:1).

The amazing universe reveals the glory of God in that:

  1. It shows his power. The universe is vast; it is estimated to be 20 billion light-years across. That is the distance light would travel in 20 billion years at the rate of 186 thousand miles per second.
  2. The universe demonstrates God’s wisdom. The amazing “mathematical orthodoxy” of the Cosmos is the reflection of a Mind that is far beyond the “genius” status.

Within this context, the Psalmist speaks regarding the source of energy for our planetary system, the sun. The sun is described as a body appointed to “run his course” (19:5b ASV); indeed, the sun is said to have a “circuit” in which it travels (19:6b).

This is a very accurate description scientifically, because our entire solar system is moving (at the speed of some 600 thousand m.p.h.) in a gigantic orbit within the Milky Way galaxy. Make notes reflecting these facts in the margin of your Bible.

Not only is the sun traveling in a circuit (orbit), it makes a complete rotation on its axis once each month. Carl Sagan, the prominent atheist-astronomer, refers to the sun as “the motionless sun” (Sagan, 16). Surely he knows better. His language must be “phenomenal” (i.e., he speaks of the sun as it appears from earth).

Why do skeptics feel free to use this sort of figurative language when they write, and yet they criticize biblical writers when they speak of “the rising of the sun” (Psa. 50:1)? This is not a fair approach.

Sources/Footnotes
  • Sagan, Carl & J. N. Leonard, 1970. Planets. Time-Life: New York, NY.
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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.