In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1).
King David said, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him (Psalm 8:3-4)?” Looking up into the sky it is easy to be overcome by the vastness of the universe and wonder at the value of your life.
The Bible tells us that every human being on this planet is valuable to God. Let’s look at the earth that God prepared for humans. The earth is a sphere approximately 25,000 miles in circumference. The surface of the earth is 170 million square miles. Seventy-one percent of the earth is covered with water or 140 million square miles. The other 30 million square miles is dry land. That translates into 19.2 billion acres of land on this planet or 2.4 acres of land for every man woman and child on this planet.
The earth is approximately 93 million miles from the sun. The sun is 865 thousand miles in diameter. The temperature of the sun is about 10,000 degrees fahrenheit. If the earth was closer to the sun our oceans would heat up and the atmospheric temperature would go up accordingly. If the earth was any farther away from the sun our oceans would freeze and the temperature would drop accordingly.
Water is necessary for all life. The earth has 332 million cubic miles of water in our oceans, lakes, rivers, underground and in the atmosphere. No other planet in our solar system has enough water to sustain life. The earth’s oceans provide a vital service for our planet. The oceans absorb between 30 and 50 percent of the carbon dioxide in the planet. Our oceans recycles nitrogen, carbon and the water that flows into it. The oceans produce 70-80 percent of the air we breath. About 25 percent of the protein consumed by humans is produced in the Oceans.
Now let’s look at the benefits that the sun offers our planet. The sun induces plants to make oxygen. Plants convert the sun’s energy into glucose and store it for further use in a process called photosynthesis. The sun lights and warms the earth. The sun is necessary to produce hydrocarbons (fossil fuels). As far as benefits to humans go, the sun produces vitamin D in the body. It bolsters the immune system, strengthens bones and prevents certain bone deficiencies. It also increases oxygen content and sunlight cures depression.
Finally, our planet has an atmosphere that sustains life, unlike the other planets in our solar system. Our atmosphere has trillions of gallons of water in the form of clouds and mist. These clouds contain the rain that waters the earth and provides fresh water for human and plant consumption. The atmosphere also protects humans from the harmful effects of UV rays. The atmosphere is a mixture of 21 percent oxygen and 78 percent nitrogen. This mixture is perfect to sustain life in a healthy balance. If there was significant more oxygen in the atmosphere there would be an increase in fires. Oxygen is a type of corrosive and is harmful to the internal organs of humans which would offset any benefits acquired. Less oxygen would have a negative effect on life on this planet.
When humans see the perfect harmony of the planet that God created, it is easy to understand why the psalmist said, :The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.”
In creation, part II, we will discuss the relationship of our planet to our solar system and the universe.