Hebrew Highlights 88 SPACE


Shalom, this is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.


          Israel and the United States were once again brought together this week by the tragedy of the Columbia Space Shuttle.  Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon, gave his life along with 6 others, in exploration of God’s creation.

          President Bush’s address after the disaster was very moving, and all of us were proud of him.  He quoted ISA 40:26, “Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power Not one of them is missing.”  Interestingly, the last phrase in Hebrew says, “Ish lo neah’dar”, or “ not one man is missing”.  Since he referred to the stars as a host, or army, it is understood that one “ish”, or man, is one of the stars.  Still, it is comforting to read the Hebrew when thinking of the “men” and women who lost their lives.

          I’ve heard many Christian disputes both for and against space travel.  Some would say the risk to human life is not worth the science gleaned from exploration.  I would point out however, that in 1492, many people would have used the same argument in regards to Christopher Columbus’s sailing westward to unknown parts.  In deed, many more lives were lost on that mission.  If he had not put out to sea, most of you would still be speaking some European, Asian, or African language.

          Another common complaint is that money could be better spent by spreading the gospel.  Okay, I’ll agree that America needs to put more resources into evangelism.  However, you might remember that it is because of the space race, which began, in the late 1950’s, that the transistor was invented.  Without a doubt, untold numbers of people have accepted Yeshua as their Lord after hearing the good news on a portable radio. 

          I have to admit, that I personally would never choose to be an astronaut.   I already spend a good amount of time in prayer when I travel by airplane.  On the other hand, I choose to travel by bus in Israel, two or three days of every week.  Some would make a case that the danger involved is much greater than that of space travel.

          One thing, I do know, is that all of the characteristics of heroes, both great and small, come from God.  Our curiosity about the reaches of His universe, the wisdom and knowledge involved in carrying out human exploits, and the strength and courage of those who venture beyond their comfortable boundaries, are all gifts from our Heavenly Father.

          Let’s read the 5 verses following Isaiah 40:26, “Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the Lord, And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God"?  Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.  He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.”

          The President’s comment following the scripture quote was as follows; “The same Creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today.  The crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to Earth; yet we can pray that all are safely home”.

          I would encourage you to pray for the families of those who were lost.  Each astronaut was also a father, or husband, or mother, or sister, or brother.  Though we all grieve, the true pain is in the hearts of the loved ones left behind. 

          Our seven heroes truly rose up with wings like eagles.  The justice due them did not escape the notice of their God.  We cannot possibly know their thoughts during the last crucial minutes of their flight.  None of us know today what we will be reflecting on in the final moments of our own lives.  We can be sure that God will as always, be whispering to our spirits. 

I am sure, that as contact with earth was lost with Ilan, Rick, Michael, David, Kalpana, Laurel, and William, communication with the Creator who knew them all by name, was loud and clear.  May their memory be blessed.



Shalom, Shalom from Jerusalem.