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JWST and the Knowledge of God

January 16, 2023

I’ve been following the James Webb Space Telescope since its launch on Christmas day, 2021. Over six months I followed its trajectory and course correction burns out into L2, which is a gravitational eddy on the outside of the moon’s orbit, farthest from the sun. Webb is a million miles away from the earth. It’s the farthest space telescope ever placed. It’s the pinnacle of man’s knowledge and achievement. It is a 20 year, 13-billion-dollar effort of the best minds to peer back into the history of the universe to see the earliest galaxies that were formed after the so-called “big bang.”

These early galaxies have spun into a red part of the light spectrum. As light travels, over time, it slows down, so that the peaks of the waves are less steep. This is called red shift, a shift of light waves into infrared light, which of course is undetectable to the human eye as most of the light spectrum is. Webb has four infrared-detecting instruments on it, and it sits out in L2 where there are no occlusions to impede its view – no atmosphere, and minimal space dust that could interfere with its vision.

Last night I read an article that said that Webb’s recent discoveries are baffling scientists because the earliest galaxies are far more orderly and far more numerous than the current cosmological theories would allow.

This morning I was worshiping the Lord and I realized how merciful He is that mankind would build this tower of Babel of sorts, and that he would allow them even still to see His nature, from that dizzying height. He is inviting mankind to the knowledge of Him. How merciful He is that mankind, in the name of humanism and self-worship, built this as a testament to itself, and that He would allow them to peer back and to see His nature even still.

And I’m praying this morning for the astrophysicists and the scientists, for the philosophers and the cosmologists – for those whose minds are boggled right now – that they would come to knowledge of God. He is shockingly merciful to let us go to the extremes in our pride and rebellion, and to pull us in, even then, to the knowledge of Him, which is everlasting life.

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

- Romans 1:19-20

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