I’ve had this crazy idea since Jr. High.
If you could take off in a rocket going faster than the speed of light while carrying a telescope with unlimited magnification, I think you could replay the past. Theoretically, the reflections of light from all of history are still traveling through space. Which means, if you could travel faster than light –and get out ahead of them- you could turn around and watch the past through your telescope. (If you think gas prices are high, just think of the cost of the jet fuel necessary for this endeavor!)
The faster you go, the faster the past would rewind in front of your eyes. Then, you could slow down –slower than the speed of light- to watch history unfold in order. And, by adjusting your speed, you could fast-forward through parts you don’t want to watch; rewind parts you want to see again, and even pause moments you want to meditate on.
I know, I know –What about asteroids blocking the view or black holes distorting the image? And, what about the limitations of one angle?
Well, we could discuss the idea for a multi-angle-refraction-satellite-driven-image-morph-processing-plan… but seriously –you don’t care.
The point is, although the whole thing may seem a bit far-fetched and sci-fi, it’s really a lame idea compared to what God has already done for us.
God has given us the ability to watch the past through His Word. He has recorded events in history –the exact events He wants us to know about- for us to study over and over. He doesn’t leave it to our faulty memories –He wrote it down in His Word. And, unlike any other history book, His Word is alive and active –working in our hearts for His purposes (Hebrews 4:12). As we read the History of God’s work in our world, His Word is working in our hearts.
That’s why, in Romans 15:4, Paul says, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
In other words, everything recorded in Scripture is written for a purpose. That means:
1) We must not neglect the study of Scripture. “Oh how I love your law, it is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97).
2) We must not “pick and choose” passages while neglecting the entirety of Scripture “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
3) We must read with an expectation for application “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22).
So you don’t need to travel faster than the speed of light or use an unthinkably powerful telescope in order to uncover something life-changing. God’s Word has been changing lives for centuries –without the cost of jet fuel.