The question of whether to mine or not to mine could more aptly end with a dollar sign than a question mark. I think it's safe to say that no one really cares for ethics as it relates to money and something floating apparently uselessly in space miles away. Or do they? We know America layed-off the space shuttles, and will be relying on private companies such as Space X to take our astronauts into space by awarding contracts by bid. But, with a folding economy, private enterprise can certainly do it better, even when it comes to extending our reach into space.
The Dragon is a free-flying, reusable spacecraft, with a pressurized capsule for transporting people. That compartment on the back is a "trunk" and is for hauling cargo. I rate this vehicle a "Perfect Cool!" I wanna ride.
He who builds his lofty palace* in the heavens and sets its foundation* on the earth, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land— the LORD is his name. Amos 9:6 (NIV)
* The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
* The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
*The Greek ma`alah (mah-al-aw') elevation, i.e. the act (literally, a journey to a higher place, figuratively, a thought arising), or (concretely) the condition (literally, a step or grade-mark, figuratively, a superiority of station); specifically a climactic progression (in certain Psalms):--things that come up, (high) degree, deal, go up, stair, step, story.
Other versions word this differently. I think the word palace is more poetic and figurative. The King James uses the term "stories," as in upper stories of a building. As you can see from the NIV notes above, the translators of the NIV couldn't decide on a meaning for the Hebrew word. But, the word stories does make it seem like we are talking about the layers of the upper atmosphere around our planet being the stairway to God's Palace.
Stories, or layers, or the Lord's Home, the upper reaches of space and beyond are soon to be exploited for man's natural resources.
Small, water-rich near-Earth asteroids can be captured by spacecraft, allowing their resources to be extracted, officials with the new company Planetary Resources say.
CREDIT: Planetary Resources, Inc. http://www.space.com/15395-asteroid-mining-planetary-resources.html
This of course brings up the aforementioned ethics questions. I was under the assumption that this wouldn't happen, because of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, where all space-faring nations agreed that no one would own outer space, just like Antarctica. Supposedly, this would have kept both Russia and America from claiming ownership of the moon, and prevent the unfair advantage over less developed countries. I guess it's ok to use the resources up, just so long as we don't put our name on it.
But, it sounds too much like the online Game Eve to me. I chose to be an Explorer, not a miner :) So, it's obvious I don't see the point nor really how we can cost-effectively exploit these asteroids for water. But, then again that's why both Larry Page (co-founder of Google) and James Cameron (Avatar & Titanic producer) have more money than me. Larry Page was the one who thought up the idea of indexing and ranking pages on the internet with algorithms. So, if he thinks we can make money from space rocks, my bet is on him. And, they are the ones with the money backing this mission.
I just can't erase the video game images from my mind though, and I am sure we will see the day of space pirates very soon as well. Picture some intergalactic Johnny Depp, long-leggedly sauntering through space, tethered to a space craft, ordering all on board the Dragon to walk the plank...without a tether. 8} No matter who writes the checks or tags their name on it, when God owns it all, aye matey?!
Jeremiah 18:3-4 Jeremiah told the parable of the Potter. He reminded us that we are like clay in God's hands; a fitting analogy considering we are made of dust. But, this striking parable, literally, is a painful picture for God's children. Jeremiah 18:6 Jeremiah had his ears open apparantly. Isaiah, probably abot 70 years of age by the time Jeremiah was born, had warned Judah (the capital of Israel) that God was their Potter. Isaiah 29:16
Jeremiah had heard or read old Isaiah's words about being clay in the hand of our Maker, and was moved to visit a pottery shop himself, to see what old Isaiah was talking about, to allow God's voice to open this Scripture for his heart. Israel hadn't had their ears open. They had fallen to the Assyrians while Isaiah yet preached. Not everyone listening to the preacher buys the sermon, I guess. Jeremiah 17:7-8
Amos (think hayseed farm boy turned evangelist) preached his heart out. He told in one sermon how God showed him visions of grasshoppers, fire, and a plumbline. He warned that God had a sword in hand. The altar call was interrupted when the local priest tried to run him out of town, saying that the Land was not able to bear Amos' words. Amos 7:10 His expulsion order was common, "Don't preach that in my chrch, go preach somewhere else!" Amos 7:12-13 Things can get ugly when the Hose of God becomes "the King's Chapel." But, don't think Amos' words returned void. I'm telling the sequence of events in reverse order.
Somewhere along the line, Isaiah must have been listening to Amos' message, or heard about Amos' predictions. Amos was about 30 years older than Isaiah. You see, there exists a thread of the Word weaving from one generation to the next, down through time. This thread won't be broken before God's return. Back to Jeremiah's fieldtrip to the potter's house. I said the experience can be painful for God's children. Just as I told the story in reverse, because each message had its causal event; so you and I have our source. Our words are not a new thing either. We came from God. We can not look at those who've gone before and take them to task for the job that they have done. On the contrary, they will take us to task for how we passed on their message.
In the same manner, we can not task God over the whys and wherefores of circumstances that He has ordained for us. Are we not in His hands to do as He wills? He will take us to task for the outcome. If you find your life smashed and broken, and none of the pieces seem to "fit right" any more, maybe God doesn't want those pieces in your life anymore. Maybe He has broken you on His wheel, to reshape your life.
When I was taking clerk typist classes in Brunswick, I sometimes went to the pottery workshop in the evenings. There I made dozens of these little figures for no purpose at all. I was living in a harsh environment, shocked at the people and circmstances I found myself in, only 17 and 18 years old, fresh out of high School, and far from home for the first time in my life. But, I liked the pottery workshop, along with some of the trips I took while I lived there, like Marineland. But, while painting the little figurines I made, I often thought about Jeremiah and his parable of the Potter's House.
I later gave the figures to different family members, and over the years I forgot about them. But, now I see them sitting around their houses when I visit. It reminds me that God uses my circmstances to build me. Nothing happens by accident, but all is a part of His greater plan. He makes me what I am, and hears me when I pray... as the old song from School says...
He's still working on me to make me what I ought to be.
It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars,
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be, He's still working on me.
1. There really ought to be a sign upon my heart,
Don't judge her yet, there's an unfinished part.
But I'll be perfect just according to His plan
Fashioned by the Master's loving hands.
2. In the mirror of His Word reflections that I see
Make me wonder why He never gave up on me.
He loves me as I am and helps me when I pray
Remember He's the Potter, I'm the clay.
Jeremiah's words weren't forgotten. About 600 years later, the Apostle Paul took up Jeremiah's thread and told about God's work...making vessels of honor out of the clay.
Romans 9:21-23 Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to
make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor? What if God, willing to
show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the
vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches
of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had before prepared unto glory,
And, those are words I remember well from 30 years ago. Amos, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and later Paul; they all chose to allow God to break them on the wheel repeatedly. They became vessels of honor, and we do hold them in high regard for the message that they carried. But, they were only jars of clay in the hand of the Lord. The work of God didn't feel good while they were going through it all. Jeremiah, in a moment of disallusioned tears, after spending the night in stocks, said:
Jeremiah 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any
more in his name. But his word was in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my
bones, and I was weary from holding it back, and I could not.
I guess all of us find it hard to keep or mouths shut sometimes, despite our inner hesitancy to speak.
The Old Testament prophets describe the problem of the fall of the nation of Israel- God’s people, and God’s plans for punishment and redemption. The advent of Christ and the future outpouring of the Holy Ghost are even described in prophecy. Through these prophecies, we living in the dispensation of Grace learn of God’s holiness and aversion to sin. We see concrete examples of God’s judgement on those who do not follow His plan. We also see God’s forgiveness and restorative acts in repentance. We see concrete examples of God’s love for His people.
The prophets are a picture of the rejected mercy of God. We hear God repeatedly cry in Isaiah, “Thou hast not known me!” In Jeremiah 31:3, God proclaims, “…I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” In Lamentations 3:22, it is said of God, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” In Ezekiel 22:30, God seeks for someone to stand in the gap for the sin of the land, and does not find a single person. But God gives us a purpose for the prophecies in Daniel 12:10: “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”
If we throw out the prophets, we would lose a vast portion of our church teaching and procedures today. We might want to hang onto these 17 little books inside of the Good Book. Isaiah is known as the messianic prophet, for all his predictions of the coming Messiah. Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet, because he lamented the impending fall of his people. Amos was the country preacher who had such a strong grip on who God is. Ezekiel was the prophet in captivity who saw where God's people were and where they should be. There is so much to gain within the pages of the book. Whether prophets, or kings, or wandering shepherds, the characters of the Bible point us in the direction of the living God.