It happened 49 years ago today, on a Sunday evening, July 20, 1969. I will never forget it. Norma Jean and I returned to our little apartment on Bearss Avenue in Tampa, Florida, after preaching out of town that day.
We got home just in time. Turned on our little black and white TV and watched in amazement. At 10:56 p.m. EDT, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, 240,000 miles from earth, stepped off the lunar landing module Eagle and uttered those famous words heard by more than a billion people: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Armstrong had become the first human being to walk on the surface of the moon.
I can remember as a kid growing up many Christians saying that man would never reach the moon. God put us on earth. Not the moon. And if he wanted us there He would have provided a way. Somehow, they must have thought such an accomplishment would be a threat to our faith and the Genesis record of creation. However, just the opposite was true.
Eight years after President John F. Kennedy challenged Congress to commit itself to landing a man on the moon, following many challenges and some serious setbacks, the goal was achieved.
There were 5 more successful lunar landing missions. The last men to walk on the moon were astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt of the Apollo 17 mission.
Now, here’s the irony. Evolutionists believe the moon just happened, while the Apollo program required intelligent planning. It was an expensive and labor-intensive endeavor. It’s estimated that over 400,000 engineers, technicians, and scientists were involved. Its cost exceeded $24 billion, which would be about $100 billion in today’s dollars.
Some believe the moon was “formed 4.51 billion years ago, not long after the earth.” Wikipedia says, “The most widely accepted explanation is that the Moon formed from the debris left over after a giant impact between Earth and a Mars-sized body called Theia.”
Here’s what the Bible says in Genesis 1:16-19.
Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
The moon did not evolve by random chance, no more than landing on the moon was an accident. For Armstrong and the other astronauts to reach the moon it required precise calculations, following the laws of the universe that demonstrate order, design and purpose.
Jehovah God not only created the cosmos, but He made man “in his image and according to His likeness.” We are made just a little lower than the angels. We’ve been blessed with intelligence. Rationality. And creative genius. We have the ability to plan, dream, and achieve lofty goals.
So on this day, as we reflect on man’s great achievements in space exploration, remember that “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
Indeed as the Psalmist exclaimed the sun, moon and the stars praise God and testify to His power, glory, and greatness. (Ps 148:1-4)
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?
For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman