“Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.”
In a number of places in the Bible, we learn that God has stretched the heavens. For example, in Isaiah 40:22, we read “[God] stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in.” The word for heavens is the same as that used in Genesis 1:1 – shamayim – and suggests the whole of space in the universe. Therefore, the Bible seems to be teaching that the fabric of space itself, for want of a better term, is being stretched. The same phenomenon is being described in Isaiah 45:12, Job 9:8 and Psalm 104:2. Most significant of all, the very word for space, firmament, or expanse, used in Genesis 1, is raqîa, which seems to imply a stretching out, as with hammered metal.
We have mentioned before in previous Creation Moments the concept of Red Shift. This phenomenon was first studied by Edwin Hubble. The so-called Hubble’s Law notes that the distance of an object from the Earth is proportional to its Red Shift. The constant of proportionality is, therefore, known as Hubble’s Constant. This suggests that the further away an object is, the faster space is stretching. If one thinks of space as a stretchable sheet, then Hubble’s Law makes sense. We should note that for Hubble’s Law to be true today, we do not have to assume that it was always constant in the past. In fact, Hubble’s Law measurements are consistent with the majority of the stretching of space having occurred on Day Two of Creation.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Prayer: Father God, Your word always speaks true. We stand in awe at the magnificence of Your creation. Amen.
Ref: Lisle, J. (2006), Taking Back Astronomy (Green Forest, AR: Master Books), p. 30. Image: NASA, Public Domain.