First Baptist Church of Rahway, 177 Elm Ave., Rahway, New Jersey 07065 is a multi-cultural congregation that has a Blended English Service on Sunday Mornings, a Latino Service at 12:00, and a Service in Telugu at 3:30PM. For more information, call (732) 388-8626. Or click here to send an email. If you wish to help the Mission and Ministry of First Baptist financially click the Donate Button.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Miraculous Sun

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:14-18 NIV.

My friends, I just have to tell you what an incredible job God has done on our neighborhood star. The Sun is an amazing object, created in perfect equilibrium, to bless us with warmth and light. I’ve been reading a book; Stars, Their Birth, Life and Death by Iosif S. Shklovskii and I am here to tell you just how wonderful is that burning ball of gas we all know and love.

Stars start out in dense clouds of molecules. Space is not empty, it is full of stuff. Mostly the stuff is hydrogen, the most common element in the universe. But there is plenty of other stuff out there, and stars do not form around hydrogen, they form in dense, cold clouds of hydroxyl (OH). Related to water, hydroxyl sends out radio waves, which is how we know they exist. The cold temperatures and gravity cause more molecules to be drawn into the cloud. As more material is gathered the cloud starts to heat up and emits the radio signals that are the first evidence of a proto-star.

And thus we have the first miracle. As the cloud gathers more stuff, it creates more gravity. The higher gravity should cause the material to collapse in upon itself creating something other than a star. However, as gaseous material builds up it creates pressure and that pressure wants to push the molecules away. That would cause the proto-star to disburse. Instead the two forces come into balance, called hydrostatic equilibrium. Thus, our sun stays constant and unchanging, because God caused the cosmic forces at work to be in balance.

The second miracle is the production of heat and light. Our blazing ball of gas would either not give us enough heat and light or would burn out if all it did was produce these elements through pressure. Our Sun needed to ignite the internal fire of thermonuclear radiation. When the heat and pressure of the core of our sun reached a certain level, nuclear reactions commenced. With thermonuclear reactions heating ongoing, our sun can radiate heat and light for a very long time, which is good for us. Here’s the real miracle. The hydrogen atoms in our Sun do not posses enough energy to fuse and create radiation because of the Coulomb Barrier. This barrier is the reason I can’t put my hand through the table in front of me. The energy field around electrons won’t allow it. If the hydrogen in our Sun had enough energy to pass the barrier, our Sun would have burned out a long time ago. However, a very small amount of hydrogen does posses enough energy to pass through the barrier and fuse. Just enough to create just enough heat and light with just enough hydrogen fuel left over to keep the Sun going for a long, long time. Miraculous!

The third miracle involves the limits to the production of heat and light. Despite the Coulomb Barrier, our Sun produces so much energy in its core, that if all of that energy were released we would be burned to a crisp. However, the Sun reabsorbs the energy before most of it can pass through the many layers and into space. The Sun has heavy elements within it, some were created by thermonuclear reactions and others gathered in from space during its formation. These heavy elements regulate our star to release just the right amount of radiation to heat our world without turning us all into little strips of fried bacon. Isn’t that amazing!

With this brief description, I hope you can see what an incredible miracle the Sun truly is. I praise God for it, and I hope that you will as well.

“God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.”

God bless you,

Pastor Bill 

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