The Skies Proclaim His Handiwork Day 2- The Moon: Our Nightlight
And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. (Genesis 1:16, ESV)
He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. (Psalm 104:19, ESV)
My sister is what we would call moon obsessed. She has a decent telescope and loves observing the different phases of the moon and the phenomena that surround it. The beauty of the moon is remarkable, especially on full moon nights and a Strawberry Moon (google it so you can see for yourself). As with its brighter counterpart, the moon also points us to a Creator. It takes more faith to believe these intricate bodies of light could happen by chance than the faith required to believe God created each one with intent and purpose.
I love how Scripture spells out that the moon was made to mark the seasons. Each month is roughly equal to the time it takes the moon to move from one full moon to the next. So indeed, it does mark the seasons.
The earth’s moon is the largest natural satellite, and while it’s about a quarter the size of earth, it’s the 5th largest moon in our solar system. The diameter of the moon is 2,159 miles and is bigger than Pluto. The largest moon in our solar system belongs to Jupiter and is named Ganymede—about 1 ½ the size of ours. While the moon gives us plenty of light for a restful night, it would take about 400,000 of our moons to match the brightness of the sun. What’s interesting is that the moon doesn’t produce its own light—it reflects the light of the sun.
The moon is not perfectly round; it’s filled with craters and its poles are somewhat flattened from spinning, giving it the shape of a lemon. If you were to look at the moon by telescope, you would see there is a dust cloud that surrounds it, made up of dust particles from the moon’s surface. There are moonquakes, which scientists guess measure around 5.5 or less on the Richter scale, showing that the moon has plenty of movement. Our moon looks quite large and even somewhat close to us on those full moon nights. But you would have to travel about 225,623 to 252,088 miles from earth’s surface to hit the surface of the moon. That’s about the distance of 28 to 29 earths away!
The moon’s climate is not suitable for humans to inhabit as it has extreme temperature shifts and no atmosphere to shield it from the sun’s radiation. Depending on where you are on the moon, you may hit temperatures of a smoking-hot 260 degrees Fahrenheit to a bone-chilling -387 degrees Fahrenheit. While the moon is always spinning, we only ever see one side of its surface because of the way it rotates in conjunction with the way earth rotates.
There are at least three known reasons the earth needs the moon. First, its gravitational pull is necessary for the tides of earth’s waters. Second, it marks our time by closing out each day cycle with the night cycle, along with marking our seasons. And lastly, its light is necessary for various reasons. One interesting reason is that predators rely on the light of the moon to find their prey. Without that light, the circle of life would not be able to be maintained, resulting in failure across all forms of life. In short, Someone understood that we need the light of the moon and He designed the earth and the moon to complement each other perfectly.
When we look at the complexity of the moon, it’s almost comical to read the theories that some scientists have proposed as to where the moon came from. One of the crazier theories I read suggested the earth possibly stole the moon from Venus by its gravitational pull, capturing it and bringing it to us. When we consider our moon’s details, the need that earth has of it, and the way it reflects the sun’s light for us to see in the night, it’s impossible to come to any logical conclusion other than the truth found in Genesis 1:16: God made two great lights. God knows all, sees every need, and fashioned the earth and the skies and everything in them. He is the Creator of our moon and has given us all we need. Let us thank Him for providing for our every need—especially our need for a Savior!