THE STARRY HEAVENS AND THE MORAL LAW
Immanuel Kant is one of the philosophers every university student must study in philosophy classes. There were but two things that amazed him. He said: “Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.” Kant was not an evangelist for biblical faith, but he was deep thinker.
Notice two Bible passages in the Scriptures:
Psalm 19:1 — “The heavens declare the glory of God.”
Proverbs 20:27 — “The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord.”
Life is full of mysteries. Why does your stomach produces enzymes to digest food? Why is it impossible to cross breed-horses and cattle? How can Canadian geese, hatched in Canada, find their way to Mexican wintering grounds they have never seen? Why is the sky blue and the grass green? And why do your baby teeth fall out so you can then grow your permanent teeth? Kant left a million mysteries unexplained but he did wrestle with two…the starry heavens and the moral law.
Psalm 19 says “the heavens declare the glory of God.” Modern telescopes broaden our ability to see much more than in past centuries. We now know that our universe is millions of light years broad and expanding constantly. Also we know that the billions of stars and planets that crowd the heavens above us move in precise orbits. The Big Bang theory would suggest that they were tossed into space uncontrolled by any order…just a chaotic mass of debris.
But that's not the way it is. Abraham looked into the sky and saw the Big Dipper exactly as we see it, cart-wheeling its way through space, guided by an unseen hand exactly as I see it even after the passage of thousands of years.
Immanuel Kant was no fool, but his giant intellect had no answers for the precision of the stars. Why don’t they smashed into one another? Why is their a movement more precise than the finest Swiss watch ever invented? And who keeps them going?
The Psalmist told us that “the heavens declare the glory of God. Day unto day uttereth speech and night unto night showeth knowledge.”
There was a second mystery of that baffled Immanuel Kant—“the moral law within him.” What did he mean? He was talking about human conscience—that people everywhere separate the good from the bad. People are not sheep and goats.
When you lie, you feel guilty. What is that all about? Surely, it can only be explained by Proverbs 20:27, “the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord.” This is proof of the Creator. Man has inborn proof of the Creator. High school and colleges everywhere today teach Darwin’s theory of evolution. Spontaneous generation…the upward thrust of evolution…the survival of the fittest…chance mutation. It all sounds so intellectual. And some will question your intelligence if you question them. But no science teacher in the world can explain what Emmanuel Kant struggled with—“the moral law within him.”
Two thousand years ago, a converted Pharisee from Tarsus, by the name of Paul, wrote a letter to people in Rome who believed that God had come to earth in a Person of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and died on the cross and rose again in power to free them from the guilt of sin and give them eternal life.
In Romans 2:14 he wrote: “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves.” And in verse 15 he wrote: “Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness.”
That is what Kant, the philosopher, I was talking about. A moral compass embedded in him by his Creator. And awareness of accountability, not imposed by a stern grandmother, but written on a man’s heart.
This is true of you…wherever you are. You don’t have to own a Bible. You never need to darken the door of a church. You are not the victim of child abuse when asked to memorize Psalm 23. You are a human being. Deep within your inmost nature is this conviction that you are more than a tree, or a stone, or a horse. You have never-dying soul to save and fit it for the sky.
The starry heavens above us; the moral law within us. The only question left to ask of you is this:
“What will you do with Jesus?
Neutral you cannot be.
Someday your soul will be asking,
What will He do with me?”
“Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” Romans 1:19-20