The All-Important Sun

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Without the sun, all life on earth would cease. It is the source of all energy, starting with photosynthesis (the process by which plants use the energy of sunlight to produce their own food) produced in green plants and trees and the food they supply. It evaporates water from the oceans. This vapor fills the air, providing humidity to keep living things from shriveling, as well as providing the moisture for rain. The sun's heat produces winds, refreshing the air. These winds stir up the oceans and lakes, adding oxygen that freshens them also. It is the source of light for an otherwise dark and dead world.
The sun is almost 93 million miles from the earth, but it takes only 8-1/2 minutes for its light to reach us. The composition of the earth and its distance from the sun are exactly right for the forms of life the Creator has placed here. To provide the fullest benefits, God has tilted the earth's axis by 23 degrees. This exposes various parts of the world to the sun's radiation in such a way as to make possible the cultivation of twice as much land as would be possible if the earth were always at the same angle to the sun. This is very important because all of man's food originates from plants.
In space there are stars estimated to be two billion times brighter than our sun, but God has made the sun just right for our needs. It is 860,000 miles in diameter, and, if it were hollow, it could contain over a million earths! It is a huge nuclear furnace, changing four to five million tons of its matter into energy every second. Yet it does not burn itself out, nor become smaller in size. Who but God could provide such a furnace as this!
The sun dominates the nine planets of our solar system and is responsible for holding each one in its course. No collisions are possible, because the speed of each planet as it travels in its orbit, together with the gravitational pull of the sun, makes it maintain a uniform distance at all times.
Who do you think put these heavenly bodies in such a precise pattern? Who set their speeds through space and established their travels around the sun so accurately? Only God, who put all this in motion, could have kept them in the same circuits and timetables ever since they were created.
The author of Psa. 84, impressed with the majesty of the heavens, referred to the Lord as his sun and shield. "The Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in Thee" (vss. 11-12). Is He your sun and shield too?