Some of my readers might recognize the title of this post, since it is also the title of a book that was written by Josef F. Blumrich in 1974. Blumrich was Chief of the Systems Layout branch of NASA, and helped develop Skylab and the Saturn V rocket. So he was no “tinfoil hat” type of guy. For some of my readers who may not be familiar with that expression and the craze over UFOs that happened about the time of the writing of this book, – there were people who believed that the alleged extraterrestrial beings in such ships were reading our minds and that a cap made of Reynold’s Wrap would somehow prevent this. As an added bonus, these hats were also supposed to foil government surveillance.
Even back then, I wondered why a species able to travel in space would be interested in a technologically backward race like ours.
I read the book a long time ago, then it sat on a shelf until recently, when I decided to read it again.
Is there “intelligent life” “out there”? Who knows for sure? Evolution says, why not? If it could develop here, it could develop somewhere else. Looking at it as a Christian, I have no problem with the idea; after all, God created it here; why not elsewhere? One thing I am absolutely certain about. There would no repetition of what happened in the Garden of Eden and most certainly not another Calvary. The Father would not put the Son through that horror a second time. At the same time, Scripture is concerned with what happened on this planet, not what may or may not have happened on other planets. If there is intelligent life out there, I’m pretty sure that this planet would be off-limits – “quarantined” – because of something far worse than COVID-19….
Blumrich spends the first part of his book using Ezekiel’s opening verses to demonstrate, as he thought, that Ezekiel was visited by, and himself traveled on, a space ship. Now, I’m pretty sure that Ezekiel saw no such interplanetary travelers in his visions. The thing is, in the years since that book was published, we have actually been able to duplicate many of the features Ezekiel describes in his visions, and we have traveled to the moon and back. And, no, we won’t get into the conspiracy theories about that!
The question is, why would God give him such “far-out” visions? And things that have actually been shown to be possible. At the time when Ezekiel saw his visions and wrote his book, 2500 years ago, Israelites traveled on foot, on a donkey or camel, and had only a very basic kind of wagon or cart, cf. Genesis 45:19-27. Even though we still don’t know for sure how the Egyptians built the pyramids, there’s no evidence that Egypt or Assyria or Chaldea or any of the other ancient civilizations had anything more than such wagons or carts.
So why this vision?
Remember, even though Israel had been “redeemed” from Egyptian bondage and had been made into a nation, still her OT history is one of rebellion and backsliding and subjugation to other nations. In Ezekiel’s time, they were under the thumb of Assyria. Even though Israel became a nation again in 1948, there is a lot of unrest and uncertainty in that region of the world and Scripture teaches that there is coming a time when it will seem that Israel has finally, once and for all, been defeated, Zechariah 14:1, 2.
The message for the Israel of Ezekiel’s time was that their God was so far removed from the pagan deities they were so infatuated with, that He could do things that they had no concept of. He is God! He can’t be reduced to some clay image or even pictured by such a thing.
The message for our time? He is God! If He were so inclined, He could give us visions of things so far beyond us that we would be dumbstruck. He saw to it that we would have this record from Ezekiel to point that out. And in a way, He has done that: He gave us the Gospel. As we wrote in our last post, He is the God Who Goes Beyond.
I don’t know how this COVID-19 thing is going to play out. I don’t know how the next election will turn out, or as I read have elsewhere, if Trump should win, the Democrats will refuse to concede defeat and will not accept the results of the election. Indeed, I don’t know for certain what will happen in the next minute, if I’ll be able to finish this post or not, but one thing is certain, whatever happens, in the next minute, the next year, the next century, it will not surprise God.
My hope and prayer for this country is that God will be pleased to forgive our rebellion and sin and turn us back into being a nation which has some respect for His Word, and for the rule of law and order. We’re not perfect, by any means, and never have been, as some are quick to point out, but we don’t have to build walls to keep people in.