The attitude of Moses at the burning bush is the attitude of the true scientist to all phenomena. The steps in the story are arresting. Moses was not content merely to observe the phenomenon, but said, "I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt." Then follows this statement: "When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush." Investigation and research had been prominent in the education of this mighty leader. It was not surprising, therefore, that he should determine to know why the bush was not consumed.
What grew out of that investigation is what arrests us, for we read that it was when "he turned aside to see," that God called this scientist and gave to him his lifework. Moses had been declared the greatest man that ever lived outside of Jesus Christ. He certainly was a genius. Not only in the field of literature, but also in the field of science his contribution to knowledge is unique. His writings have directed the thoughts of men in every land. As the world's greatest lawgiver this man Moses has influenced the world and molded the course of empires. Of this we read:
"Moses was fitted to take pre-eminence among the great of the earth, to shine in the courts of its most glorious kingdom, and to sway the scepter of its power. His intellectual greatness distinguishes him above the great men of all ages. As historian, poet, philosopher, general of armies, and legislator, he stands without a peer."—"Patriarchs and Prophets," P. 246.
The people Moses brought out of Egypt became the depositories of the truth of God. Through that people we received the Bible, the first books of which were written by Moses. This challenging thinker not only knew the mind of the Lord, but he also knew how to convey the thoughts of God to his fellow men. Similarly, those to whom the Lord has committed His last message need also the ability to make known their discoveries. It is not how much a man knows, but rather how much of that knowledge he can give to others, that makes him of value.
In preparing men for our enlarging task, our educational policies as a whole need to be studied. Are we giving a full-rounded education? The student who is content to specialize in one field to the exclusion of nearly everything else is not really educated. One who is preparing for the ministry needs to be taught how to draw his illustrations from the field of science. And the scientific student needs to know how to present his discoveries in a way that will convince and win men to the truth.
The Lord expects us to be "deep-thinking men," and promises that when we "shall have won in the field of investigation, . . . then even judges and kings will be brought to acknowledge, in the courts of justice, in parliaments and councils, that the God who made the heavens and the earth is the only true and living God, . . . who instituted the seventh-day Sabbath when the foundations of the world were laid."—"Fundamentals of Christian Education," p. 375.
This is more than a promise ; it is a challenge. God expects us to win in the field of investigation so that if called upon to witness before courts, councils, and parliaments, we may be able to show that the Creator of the heavens is the God who made the Sabbath. Are we preparing our students for such a task? Are we keeping that vision before them?
Our message calls us to worship the God who made heaven and earth. The relationship between scientific study and genuine worship is here set forth. Studying His creatorship should lead us to worship. "Ye worship ye know not what," declared the Saviour to the woman of Samaria. She was concerned with geographical places, but Christ was concerned with spiritual attitudes. We must worship God in spirit as well as in truth.
True worship uncovers the heavens and reveals God to men, but it also uncovers the soul of man and reveals him to himself. When Isaiah saw the Lord "high and lifted up," he cried, "Woe is me." He saw himself as he really was. But out of that revelation came his commission to reveal God to men. Worship is not merely an escape from the artificial ; it is the recovery of basic patterns. Its true purpose is to bring men into fellowship with God.
Discovering the power of God in the test tube can and should lead us to worship Him who made all things. As teachers in the field of science, should you not then determine that your classrooms will be but an avenue through which your students will be introduced to the Creator ? As you invite them to turn aside to study the revelation of God in the book of nature, may that study be the environment in which they, like Moses, will hear the call of God to deliver a people from the thralldom of sin, and lead them to the Lord of promise.
Our discoveries must lead us to a new appreciation of the living Word of the living God. Herschel, the great astronomer, is credited with this interesting statement : "All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more strongly the truths that come from on high and are contained in the Sacred Writings."
"Through Science to God" might well be the slogan for you brethren who are called to lead our college students through the basic sciences and prepare them to make known to men the science of salvation, which is the science of all sciences.