I sent out a science article earlier this year, and asked if a NASA spacecraft had discovered the firmament. https://www.streamsinthenegev.com/did-nasa-spacecraft-discover-the-firmament/
Apparently it had not, even though they found a “wall”. (But, then, maybe they have.) Also, the LORD speaks through the prophet Jeremiah that no one is going to be able to measure the heavens, because if they do, then He will give up Israel (and everyone else goes, too, in that case – Jer 31:35-37; 33:14-26)
Nonetheless, there really is a firmament, not only an expanse of space. Both the Old and the New Testaments make mention, either directly or by implication, that there is a divider between the universe as we know and see it, and between the Heavens above where God’s Throne and Temple are.
Are we going to ridicule this because of strange drawings and other renderings by persons living before the possibility of space exploration, even with simple telescopes? Are we going to dismiss this because we will seem to be unscientific, or unintelligent, or against the minds of the best and the brightest? The Scriptures are the Word of God, all God-breathed through its multiplicity of writers writing over a period of approximately 1600 years. They can make the simple wise. (Ps 19:7) YHVH made it very clear to Job that there were no human eyewitnesses for His creation week of six days, and therefore Job – nor any other person – could know the answers to God’s questions that pertained to His creative works. Nor can anyone rightly judge God! (Job 22:12-14; 38) Faith believes in God; and faith believes God.
We are given minds to seek knowledge and understanding of the world that God created and made. The fear of YHVH is the beginning of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. Who casts truth to the ground by leaning on our own understanding that leads us to claim that the Bible is not true in all matters? If I decide that it is not true on this matter, and you decide that it is not true on a different matter…then where is truth, and who decides? The Word of our Father in Heaven is the truth, and Yeshua/Jesus came to confirm that, and to demonstrate that He is the Truth: He is the Word of God. The Holy Spirit leads believers into all truth (not just knowing that Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God), and helps us to accept the very Word of God that He inspired the writers to record for us. What was truth earlier is also truth later.
The Scriptures are written for us living at the end of the age, and God knows the end from the beginning, and He does not change. Where He has made some changes and differences in the New Covenant from the Old, the Scriptures tell us so. As believers, we need to renew our minds with the truth of God, so that we will not be conformed to the thinking of the world (that we were saved out from), and so that we will less likely be deceived by the lies and errors of the devil, even through the elect (believers), which only makes the alternative narrative an even mightier stronghold. There are different narratives, but not all are of equal validity.
I meet believers who are disturbed to think that there is a firmament, or that Sheol/Hades is located in the lower parts of the Earth, despite the many Biblical passages which say so. (Ezek 31:14-18; Eph 4:7-10; Phlp 2:9-11; Lk 16:19-31) Why do these things upset us? If we ask someone why they do not believe in Jesus, oftentimes it is because they have been told not to by the “authorities” (like I was growing up as a Jew); or because they have never examined to see if He is the Messiah and Son of God, or not (like I didn’t, because I was not supposed to, or was intellectually lazy, and because it would put me in an uncomfortable situation in “my world”). Yet God has revealed things to us about things above, and of things below, neither of which can be discovered by the searches of mankind. (Jer 31:37) It is His world! Yet we let mankind form our “opinions or theories”, as if it is knowledge and truth, even though the LORD has it written that they cannot know. We have a choice to make as to whose voice we will hear; just as we do with respect to His covenant faithfulness to the seed of Israel.
The dead will rise from the dead, and for those in Christ/Messiah, they will precede those alive in Christ at the time of the first resurrection and rapture, and meet together on the way up to meet the Lord in the air. Why do we prefer to believe the lying deceit of the serpent that God does not really say what He means, or mean what He says, unless maybe we can first prove it?! This may ensnare us at some future crisis of faith as godless deception grows stronger in the end-times.
Science and scientists have accomplished amazing things for our lives. Modern technology has opened up the vastness and wonders of “outer space”, and of the depths of the seas, and of the incredible worlds of nature, both of plants and of animals, of medical marvels, and of modern communication in ways unimagined not so long ago. For those who know the One who made such marvels — and made possible such quests — we praise and worship Him for such wisdom and power and fascination. For those who do not, they attribute some other source or means as to how these things exist and what our responsibility for it is.
Below are a number of recent scientific articles which tell of recent discoveries, which dispel earlier understanding that they – Man – thought that they knew. (God’s truth does not change; His Book still abides, despite all of the changeable scientific theories.) God will always be found true, and His word truth. Scientific discoveries confirm Scripture, but they are interpreted otherwise than what God has revealed through the pages of Scripture. Even when they are correct in their findings, they do not credit or honor the Lord, but they honor themselves for as long as they can. Institutionalized Science, like religion, is a faith system, and both can be without true knowledge of the one true living God. And, as such, it opposes the truth of the glory of YHVH God, and of our need of a Savior. The only true God gives meaning and purpose in life, and a goal towards which all creation is moving, under Yeshua’s/Jesus’ sovereign control. (Mt 28:18-20) Even if we are indeed born-again, we should desire to demonstrate the truth of God’s Word, and not be satisfied with agreeing with those who choose not to. This is a spiritual battle for the hearts and minds, and of how we approach the Bible for what it is – the Word of God?, or the word of men?
Regarding the firmament, these articles relate to various aspects that correspond to descriptions given in the Bible, but the persons involved are either ignorant of that, or choose to ignore it, or reject that, and seek to come up with explanations that are anything else, without any substantiation. I give just a snippet of thought related to the articles; after the articles, I have given some Scriptures which do describe some attributes of the firmament from the whole of the Bible, that would help give us an understanding to the findings of the scientists. We will still have questions, but, by the grace of God, He will help us give Him glory and to gain more understanding and wisdom with the knowledge that we have. And for the rest, we will simply need to wait for the answers until after the resurrection!
Water on Mars… https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02751-1
When the windows of Heaven in the firmament were opened during The Flood in Noah’s day, then rain would have passed through our Earth-Sun system, and left water on Mars, for instance. Some of that would now be ice, and some may be liquid underneath. It proves nothing regarding Mars ever being a habitable place.
Our Universe Could Be An Expanding Bubble…
This article acknowledges that the universe could be spherically enclosed, which is what the firmament accomplishes.
Diamonds Around Distant Stars…
Bright crystalline objects are part of the make-up of the firmament, and would create visible effects different than if the stars are just gaseous fire.
Hidden – Unveiling the Universe’s Dark-Matter Signals
The firmament blocks out the light from above it, which is where God and His light are; and, it is dark beneath. (Is 50:3)
There’s Too Much Gold in The Universe, and No One Knows Where It Comes From
God has made the firmament something rigid and crystalline that is stretched out, so gold could be scattered in the second heavens (outer space). The scientists admit to not knowing from where the gold comes. Well now! We may not either, but allowing for the firmament at least gives a plausible explanation based upon the Word of God in the Bible.
Why Does Outer Space Look Black?
Despite all of the stars, space is dark/black in the vast empty spaces, suggesting that God placed the stars in the blackness of the firmament of the second heavens. The stars give us some night-time light on the Earth, but not sufficient to see by.
Stars Don’t Just Produce Light; They Reflect It Too…
The stars are not suns, but a separate created “things”. (Col 1:15-17) Whether they produce light or not, it is not like the Sun’s light, which is unique. (Gen 1:14-19; Ps 19:1-6) And as we have seen with the gold and the diamonds, stars apparently have reflective material that reflects light.
Giant ‘Mirror’ Planets Found…
Again, the effects of a “mirror” imply reflective material to make that possible.
Jer 31:35-37 cannot measure the heavens, or search out the depths
Ex 24:10 under His feet sapphire (crystals and bright elements)
Dan 12:3; Rev 21:19-24 shining like the brightness of the firmament
Gen 7:11-12; 8:2 windows of Heaven opened, and then stopped
Job 22:12-14 thick darkness under the firmament; light above
Rev 4:6 God’s throne upon sea of glass like crystal
Is 50:3 I clothe the heavens with blackness (outer space is dark; can not see the light on the other side of the firmament, where God’s throne and temple are – the third heavens (and where Jesus is now – Eph 1:20-23; 4:10; Heb 8:1-5; 2Cor 12:1-4)
Gen 1:6 firmament in the waters and divided the waters
Gen 1:14-17 2nd heavens: Heavenly lights: the Sun is not a star; stars are not suns (1Cor 15:40-41; Jer 31:35)
Gen 1:20 1st heavens: fowls of the air
2 Pt 3:5-7; Gen 1:9-10 in the world before The Flood, the Earth and the dry land standing out of the water and in the water
Thanks, Mike, for letting me know that I am not coming across dogmatically. I’m glad for that, even though I do believe God will be found true, and, if need be, every man a liar.
I do remember you and the family. Either Michelle or Sammi visited a couple of years ago. So you have moved from Melbourne.
Thanks for staying in touch. Shalom!
It is refreshing, Howard, to read of you “having a go” at understanding the Earth from a Biblical perspective… you are not dogmatic but keep a healthily speculative view whilst keeping the mystery of what My Father wants to keep, as such. Michelle and Sammi Elder attended your Shul from March 2006 til April 2007, whilst Linda and myself attended the Conservative Shul across the road from our God given dwelling 200 metres away, occasionally attending yours too. As christians, we were able to go where no Messianic Jew could go… what a priviledge. We are now, subject to Covid 19, attending Beit HaMisheach in Caulfield, Victoria, Australia. Our new centre openned last week, though we are not yet allowed in. Come Yeshua Come… but we also know that a few prophetic conditions have yet to be fulfilled, however, the years will not, we believe, be long. Shalom, Mike Elder