Category : Encouragement
The "new" kilogram and the weight of a soul
Last week on May 20th —celebrated by those who love the science of measurement as World Metrology Day— it was announced that the kilogram would no longer be tied to a chunk of metal hidden away in a French vault. That is, it would be free from from the man-made, physical artifact that had represented it for over 130 years. From now on, this international standard unit of mass would be defined by the unchanging laws that govern nature.
The media struggled to explain in layman’s terms the importance of this change from a physical to metaphysical definition of measurement. Some viewed it as a testament to technological advances around the globe. Others touted it as a “victory of humankind over chaos in the universe.” For those of us who read the Bible as God’s revelation to man, we should view it as a confirmation of the eternal order of things God spoke into existence.
In fact, anyone who reads carefully cannot deny the presence of fundamental concepts in Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning [time] God created the heaven [space] and the earth [matter]” (Genesis 1:1). This triune creation reflects the three-in-one nature of God (or Elohim, the uni-plural Hebrew name used in Genesis 1): God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And to this Creator God, measurements, law, and order are of crucial significance.
The kilogram, along with the other standards units of the meter system, sprang up in response to the confusion and strife leading to the French Revolution. In the 1700s, France saw an explosion of corruption and cheating as each village or region used its own units of measurement in commerce. If a gram was defined as the “absolute mass of a cubic centimeter of water at 4 degrees Celsius,” then a kilogram was 1,000 times larger and (since equivalent to about 2.2 pounds) better suited for measuring goods for general trade. The French forged a physical representation of the kilogram from platinum and iridium in 1799. This so-called “kilogram of the archives” would be the model for the kilogram as an international standard measurement would officially be adopted by 17 countries, including the United States, on May 20, 1875.
Ever since then, the metallic prototype has slowly and steadily been losing mass —and therefore losing its effectiveness as a standard. Scientists looked forward to the day when the new prototype could be thrown out and the new kilogram could be tied to a constant number. That day has arrived.
Similarly, Jesus Christ as the sinless Son and fulfillment of God’s perfect law is the standard by which all men and women are measured. He is constant and unchanging. Why do we need Him? Because just like that metal prototype that continues to degrade over time, we “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Fortunately, God provided us with a a way for our original value to be redeemed. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). This gift of salvation through Christ’s sacrifice is not locked up somewhere guarded for a select few —it is available to everyone. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). According to God’s standard, each person He created has a value beyond measure (John 3:16). Have you weighed your soul lately in the light of His Word?