“When the earth totters, with all its inhabitants, it is I who keep its pillars steady.” (Psalm 75 NRSV).
Did you know that the earth has a wobble? This wobble, along with a luni-solar action on the bulging matter about the earth’s equator causes what is known as the “precession of the equinoxes.” One wobble of the earth takes 26,000 years. This is sometimes referred to as “great year” or “platonic year”.
As the wobble changes the plane of the earth’s orbit, the points on earth’s orbit where the first day of spring and the first day of fall occur, keep precessing to a different place each year. It thus takes 26,000 years for the spring and fall equinoxes to move completely around earth’s orbit.
Got that? Who’s keeping this wobble under control? Is it going to rattle our dishes, pots and pans out of our cabinets one of these days? “When the earth totters, with all its inhabitants, it is I who keep its pillars steady.” I believe what the psalmist says here. God is in charge of keeping the earth’s wobble or totter under control. And while He’s doing that, He’s tending to each of us and trying to get us to turn to Him. Have you ever seen anybody juggle watermelons and golf balls at the same time? God’s got them beat!
You know, God has gone to a lot of trouble to get everything right for us. He’s provided the right amount of rain; the right amount of sunshine; good soil to grow things in; and a place for all this to happen with just a little wobble to it. My friend Fred has had some revelations lately. He’s been thinking about science and God and how sometimes scientists work and work to find out more about things like the earth’s wobble, the stars, and the universe in general.
When they discover something, they put their name on it and declare it their own. Sometimes they even use what they find out to deny God’s existence. God could tell them about how it all works, if they’d ask. He has been busy though, what with the wobble and all. Thanks be to God.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.