One of the things I most like about studying our world is when those studies reveal a new idea that was not really new at all. A good example is the ocean currents of the world. You see, ancient sailors traveled along the coastlines for fishing and trade, but they rarely went too far from shore. Yet from their experience, they understood the oceans had predictable currents along those shores.When the Psalms were written, though, very little was known about what mysteries the great oceans held. But we read an interesting description in Psalm 8. Speaking of men, the Psalmist writes:
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
Did you catch that last phrase? The paths of the seas.
These verses caught the interest of Matthew Maury, a retired naval officer who worked in the Depot of Charts and Instruments office in the mid-1800s. He realized that, like rivers, there must be great currents of water moving throughout the oceans
With that in mind, he studied sea charts and log books, plotting the great Gulf Current that comes out of the Gulf of Mexico and pours into the Atlantic. This great “path” is 40 miles wide and 2,000 feet deep! Maury also identified the Japanese Current, California Current, and several others.
This information was valuable to the sailing ships of that century, enabling them to utilize those currents to move them across the oceans more efficiently.
Today, thanks to satellite imaging and more sophisticated devices, we are able to more accurately track ocean currents. I recently came across this amazing video showing the major known currents (paths) of the oceans throughout the world.
You can find it here: https://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/perpetual-ocean.html
Isn’t that fascinating?
Indeed, Matthew Maury is celebrated as the mind behind the discovery of the oceans and their movements. But Psalm 8:8 shows us that the Word of God is indeed timeless and filled with truth!