From Gary North’s book Christian Economics: Student Edition
Chapter 5: Inheritance
The original goal of capital creation was inheritance. God created the universe, but it had a purpose. Purpose was built into the creation. He made the sun, moon, and stars for the purpose of giving mankind a way to measure time. He began with the stars.
And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:14–15).
This was astronomical in more than one sense. God created at least a hundred billion galaxies with a hundred billion stars each. Why? To produce the astronomical basis of a calendar. Yet it was not until the twentieth century that men could perceive the magnitude of the heavenly creation: multiple galaxies. All of this is for man’s sake? Yes. There is purpose in the universe. The enormous size of the universe testifies to the magnitude of the sovereign God who created it as a tool for calendar design. Yet calendars today are based the rate of deterioration of cesium atoms. What this means is that God created an extra hundred billion galaxies or so for an unstated reason. Amusement? Showing off? To lure evolutionists into greater rebellion? I don’t know. I do know this. What men do on earth is cosmically far more significant than the silent, slow rotation of a hundred billion galaxies. The galaxies are a kind of afterthought for God: a backdrop to history. The significant action in cosmic history takes place on earth. What you do with your life is far more important to God than your per capita share of galaxies. It is also far more important to you. God did not send His son to die primarily in order to redeem the galaxies. The galaxies do not change in response to the gospel. People do.
God mandated capital accumulation from the beginning. This is a matter of ethics. Again, “a good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous” (Proverbs 13:22). This is what a good man does. The idea that a family should give away its wealth rather than transfer capital to covenant-keeping children is anti-biblical.
Now, a few words in response:
I really suggest that you read the whole book. There’s a wealth of information there… information that demands action. God holds us accountable, to make the most effective and powerful use of the tools we are given, be it a rock or a rocket ship.
But admittedly, the most powerful tools we are given is the Holy Bible, and the great gifts
(not just tools… unless you want to claim that life, air, water and food are “tools”!)
Naturally, we do not merely use tools: God’s people are also “tools” (of an extraordinary sort) of the Holy Spirit: we are to be used by Him, to bring the will of the Father and the Son into the world.
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? — Romans 9:20-24
And, as the implements God uses to bring forth His Will into the world, we should aim to be sanctified, strengthened, and cleaned to uphold His commandments, in an excellent way. We are His servants, and we should be good, trustworthy servants.
To return to the point: the book Christian Economics will be a great tool to expand Christ’s Kingdom, and we should make use of it.
The heavens were created as a way to assist men to measure time. As far as the best science knows, there are a lot of clocks out there: a lot of worlds with moons going around suns, and perhaps even greater orbital and stellar cycles to measure time.
So, why should there be so much material, so much energy out there? So much cyclical movement?
I see it much like the supposedly “junk DNA” which actually proved to be very useful for our biological selves. Or like the ridiculously lengthy number of universal constants – from the nature of water to the nature of carbon-14 – which needs to be exactly right for us to live. (Look up “Anthropic principle” and “Fine-tuned Universe” for details.)
Each of those stars have a name given to them by God (Psalm 147:4), just as Adam named all of the animals. God didn’t waste His time giving names to irrelevant trivia, He didn’t waste all of that material. It has a purpose, and a meaning: something for us to investigate in the eternity that rises before us.
Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? — Job 38:6-7
Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. — Psalm 148:3
Despite North’s mention of cesium atoms, I still feel that the stars are/will be very useful in measuring time, as well as distance and determining the location of any starfarers of the future. I also see them as building blocks, for great gardens and wonderous works that the earth is simply too small to host.
I don’t see them primarily as places for habitation: not if there is no families (and so, no further reproduction) in the New Creation. Although I doubt if God would mind terraforming worlds or building habitats in the Great Beyond, they will never outshine the importance of Earth/the New Jerusalem. “Home will always be here, on earth” simply because (I assume) all of saved humanity will reside (primarily or completely) on earth for eternity.
Also, there is far more wealth to be generated, when people can easily connect to each other, help each other, communicate with each other. This is very difficult to do with interstellar distances.
Even if there are trillions of saved humanity, it doesn’t take that much engineering to create sufficient ‘layers’ for humanity to live in, raised above the earth or in orbit, or in artigrav cities, or in the drained ocean basins. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Revelations 21:1.
“What this means is that God created an extra hundred billion galaxies or so for an unstated reason.”
I don’t know what that reason is. I can make guesses, but I believe that certain secrets will only be revealed after the New Creation is made fully manifest.
When Christ, the One who made the galaxies, walks among us, we can ask Him.
I think it’ll be a great reason. Sure, it could be trivial or amusing, but that does not fit in well with the character of God, as I understand it. If He holds us accountable for every word we say — AND HE DOES! — then the never-to-be-seen moon orbiting the never-to-be-seen world of a never-to-be-seen sun of a never-to-be-seen galaxy exists for a specific reason, as specific as the name of that star (a name that perhaps only God knows.)
God watches every sparrow, and every hair on our heads.
Every jot and tittle of God’s Word has power and might.
Details matter to God.
“I do know this. What men do on earth is cosmically far more significant than the silent, slow rotation of a hundred billion galaxies.”
It is man, men and women, who are created in the Image of God.
Many people made the mistake of worshiping the Sun, when they should have worshiped the Son – Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God.
Big balls of burning gas and cold, dead rocks are as the dust on our feet, compared to the salvation of a single soul.
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
I suggest that a single living sparrows are a good deal more complex, and is a greater miracle, than a distant dead galaxy.
But if God grants us permission, we can make the galaxies live!
(Or perhaps He has an even greater, as yet inconceived by us mortals, plan for all that stuff…)
“The significant action in cosmic history takes place on earth. What you do with your life is far more important to God than your per capita share of galaxies. It is also far more important to you. God did not send His son to die primarily in order to redeem the galaxies. The galaxies do not change in response to the gospel. People do.”
Is it really so surprising, that God values the lives of His adopted sons and daughters far more than any amount of rocks and hot gasses, gold and silver?
It is people — eventually, only saved and redeemed people — who will shape the Creation. And the one who commands is worth far more, is of far greater significance, than the material that is being worked on.
After all, both the Bible and even Jesus Christ talks more about money than about heaven and hell: things to do TODAY, than the glorious and indescribable New Creation of tomorrow.
This is because we are to obey God TODAY.
It is perfectly reasonable and logical to marvel at the Creation; it is encouraging to reflect on the amazing bounty that God has in store for those who love Him.
But these are meant as prods, to drive us forward to obey God even more purely, even more completely devoted to His will and the expansion of His Kingdom, in our hearts, in our families, in our work places, in our societies, and in our world.
Fundamentally, it’s about being a blessing to God and to His People, in a way that pleases God. The number of worlds we can visit (if any!), the piles of gold we own, all that is a secondary matter.
“But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.” — Luke 12:31
Without the wisdom of God, great big piles of stuff merely seal us in hell.
But with obedience to God, the material world can be forged and reforged into something meaningful, something valuable, something Holy to the Lord.
This is our righteous and sacred goal.