I wonder at the reality Jesus knew when he rebuked the Pharisees in Luke 22:40. The Pharisees were seething when they sharply commanded Jesus to rebuke His disciples for praising God as He entered Jerusalem.
He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
What reality did He know that has only recently been discovered? -The fascinating reality that the stones already do cry out.
I used to wonder at this passage- thinking what a miracle it would be if the stones would erupt into praise.
The miracle is not that the stones and rocks could cry out in worship to God- it’s that they already do!
Miraculous, Oh, So Common Carbon
What we know of this now, depends on the oh, so common element of Carbon.
- 6 protons
- 6 neutrons
- 6 electrons
Two of it’s electrons are in it’s inner electron shell. Four are in it’s outer electron shell.
Do you know what the electron shell of a carbon atom does?
Yeah, it does.
It produces the same harmonic scale as a Gregorian chant. (Cornelius W. May 2011).
You’ll find carbon atoms scattered and rolling across an artists table in the very helm of their drawing pencils. You’ll find them glitzing up a newly engaged woman’s hand and eyes, as she dazzles everyone with the promise story behind her diamond. While diamonds represent the hardest form of carbon, graphite represents the softest, making carbon atoms prevalent as a dry industrial lubricant, keeping our factories humming as they crank out products we use every day.
Plants breathe in Carbon-14 and incorporate it into the very structure of their being. With every nibble of grass, bush, or tree limb, our animal friends incorporate carbon into their bodies. With every side salad or steak dinner (or any kind of meat from an animal that ate plants), we humans incorporate Carbon-14 into our bodies.
God wasn’t kidding in Isaiah 55:12
“For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
And He meant every word of Habakkuk 2:11
For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam from the woodwork respond.
Everyone is familiar with the water cycle, but carbon also has a cycle, from stones to the atmosphere to being absorbed by the ocean, carbon is slowly moving. It is ancient life all around us and inside of us. With a half-life of 5,730 years, it takes that many years for half of a Carbon-14 molecule to decay (According to the University of Arizona). And this Carbon-14, so widely used to date things, makes up only a minuscule amount of the carbon in the universe (with Carbon-12 making up 99% of it according to Live Science).
The entire earth is estimated to be about 13,170,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds (Cool Cosmos). Just imagine hurdling that 1,608,000,000 miles through space at the rate of 67,000 miles per hour (Mark Batterson 2017). All in a days work for God!
Of the weight of the earth, according to the Encyclopedia of Earth, carbon makes up 0.032% of the earth’s crust and outer mantle (also known as the lithosphere). Such a small percentage, right? That’s what I thought…but that means if you take David Smith’s, geologist at La Salle University, rough estimate of the weight of the lithosphere, you are looking at carbon making up 10,560,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds of the earth’s crust and outer mantle! (Live Science)
You don’t need only look down to see carbon everywhere around us. Looking up, you can recognize by all the politics and danger surrounding carbon emissions that carbon makes up a part of our atmosphere. Carbon in the form of carbon dioxide makes up 0.04% of of the atmosphere to be exact (according to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
From her inner parts to her atmosphere, earth sings with carbon.
Psalm 96:1 isn’t just an elated form of fantasy- the earth actually does!
Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Scientists have discovered nearly 10 million carbon compounds, and they estimate that carbon is the keystone for 95% of known compounds (according to Chemistry Explained). It has a fascinating ability to bond with many other elements. This makes it crucial to almost all life.
Which means that all life…all living or once living or partially made up of once living things…sing.
They sing to God. They are always crying out to Him.
With all the research scientists are doing to discover more of carbon’s secrets and secret powers, we are sure to look around in future years to see carbon even more places. From medical devices to inhibit disease to one atom thick materials that are flexible and unbreakable- imagine the tech!
Scientists have created nanotubes- 50,000 times thinner than a human hair to separate salt from water. These tubes are 100 times thicker than steel and 1/6 the weight. (Live Science) From revolutionizing the desalination process to ushering science fiction into history, carbon is amazing.
What amazes me the most is that it sings to God.
Which means that those stones Jesus was referring to? They were already crying out to God at a frequency that God can hear, even if the human ear can’t.
Would You Like to Hear it Sing?
Carbon also makes up the belly of stars. So God wasn’t kidding in Psalm 148:3-4
3 Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
They really do sing. And if you’d like to hear a mix of it, check out this amazing video God Still Speaks Today re-posted. If nothing else, you have to see minute 4:15 on…
But only if you want to rock out in praise with the stars of the universe!
- Stressed? Lift your Gaze
- God Still Speaks Today
- Live Science
- Mark Batterson, Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God. (New York, New York: Multnomah, 2017), 19.
- Cornelius W. May, Shh…Listening for God: Hearing the Sacred in the Silent (Macedonia, OH: Xulon Press, 2011), 59.
- Can you hear God whispering, “I love you!”?
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