The Compass And The Barometer

compassThe night was as dark as pitch and time was running out. A group of young soldiers were deposited on the side of a Kentucky road with instructions to gain the objective in only a few hours. With nothing to guide them but their senses and good luck the soldiers lumbered through the dense woods and crevices stumbling blindly as they tried to make sense of which way to go. The class in compass orientation was of no value because there were no compasses provided, no flashlights to guide the way. The only guide was the periodical burst of flare that would eventually bring the bone weary troops to safety. The lesson was learned about being lost without direction. It was one of the most confusing and sometimes frightful nights of my life.

A little over a thousand years ago man discovered the use of a compass in navigation. Compasses were originally developed when lodestones, a mineral that has naturally magnetized iron ore, were suspended above a board with the ability to pivot and turn. It was discovered that the stones would always point in the same direction, and align themselves with the north/south axis of the earth. No matter where you stand on Earth, you can hold a compass in your hand and it will point toward the North Pole.

A barometer is an instrument for measuring atmospheric pressure. Evangelista Torricelli invented the first barometer, known as the “Torricelli’s tube” in 1643. The thermometer is an instrument that measures temperature as it changes. The common factor of the barometer and thermometer is how they change with the weather. A compass does not change with the weather. Here is the lesson: God’s word is a compass in a storm that does not change. It is not a barometer that will change with the whims of man.

The great failing of man is the idea that God’s word changes with the needs of society. There is a prevailing thought that religion should change with the times and accept what may not have been accepted before. The law of man changes over time; the law of God does not. “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides” (Psalms 119:89-90). God’s word is a truth that does not change with time. Mathematics does not change because of culture, ignorance or societal views. One plus one will always equal two whether it is the year 1145 in the dark forest of Germany or 2015 in the plains of Kansas. The law of gravity is the same today as when Newton was hit in the head with an apple (and gravity existed before he sat under the tree). Nothing has changed.

Space exploration that is so often used as a vehicle to prove there is no God is based upon factors that have been held in constant by the Creator since time began. When the Lord spoke those words recorded in Genesis 1 the world has remained the same (2 Peter 3:5-7). Jesus proclaimed, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matthew 24:35).

The moral code given by God is not a barometer that changes with the desires of man. Critics of the Bible will say that we live in a time when morality should not be judged by an outdated book. Sexual promiscuity is acceptable because society accepts it. Rick Atchley writes in his book ‘Sinai Summit’: “Some years ago … the U.S. Supreme Court wrote the legal definition of ‘obscenity.’ The court basically said that something is obscene if it is considered so by the local community. The court wrote this definition hoping it would stand the test of time, but do you know what is wrong with this definition? It makes the definition contingent on the values of changeable people. Thus, we are being exposed to literature, movies, and artwork today that ten years ago would have been considered obscene, but which our ‘communities’ no longer find shocking. What has changed – the content of the material, or the people who are the materials judges?” (page 34).

I learned as a young soldier the dangers of going without a guide to safely carry me to my objective. Life is fraught with danger when we try to navigate the deep crevices of our lives without a compass. The word of God is there to direct us in the right way – the only way (John 14:6). When I put my full trust in God and obey His word then I will be brought safely to a peaceful home in heaven.

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