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An Oceanographer and a Creationist

Belief in creation leads to dramatic advances in our world

Psalm 8.8

I depended upon this article heavily:

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • December 24, In the year of our Lord, 2017

Scripture Reader and Reading: Jacob Noveske – Psalm 8.6–8

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Phil Joseph – Songs on creation


  1. Birth and Education
    1. He was born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia in 1806.
      1. His family and mentors loved the word of God and
      2. that had a profound affect upon him,
        1. so that he also loved God’s word and
        2. believed whatever it said and
          1. that led him to become a great creation scientist.
          2. Without fear, he acknowledged the connection between
            1. creation and its Creator,
            2. science and Scripture.
          3. In one speech, he said that he had

            “a rule of conduct which I have adopted in order to make progress with these physical researches which have occupied so much of my time…The rule is, never to forget who is the Author of the great volume which nature spreads out before us, and always to remember that the same Being is the author of the book which revelation holds up to us.”
      3. Psalm 19 does the same thing.
        1. Verses 1–6 speak of space.
        2. Verses 7–11 speak of the word.
          1. Verse 1 says,

            The heavens declare the glory of God;
            And the firmament shows His handiwork.
            (Psalms 19.1)
          2. Verse 7 says,

            The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
            The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple…
            (Psalms 19.7)
        3. This same connection also persuaded me.
          1. I knew God existed from my earliest memories.
          2. When I discovered the Scriptures,
            1. I saw right away
            2. that the same God
              1. who made me
              2. also gave me a message.
    2. We admire Mr. Maury for finding the paths of the seas, but
      1. that does not mean everyone in his generation welcomed him.
      2. Like anyone who adheres to creation,
        1. he had his opposers and critics.
        2. However, he pressed on.
    3. Matthew Maury began sailing at 19 years of age.
      1. In 1830 he completed a voyage around the globe.
      2. He learned about navigation while on ships, and
        1. used canon balls to charts his observations.
        2. Charles Darwin also sailed around the earth in the same century, but
          1. the two came to different conclusions about the designs of nature.
            1. Darwin said nature designed itself,
            2. Maury said God designed it.
          2. They both saw something at work.
    4. In 1839, Mr. Maury was in a stagecoach accident and
      1. broke his femur in such a way
      2. that it left his leg lame and
        1. he could no longer sail.
        2. He fell into despair, yet,
          1. this put him on a course for a career change
          2. that would make him known world-wide.
    5. That has happened to countless other people,
      1. showing that we are not in charge of our lives
      2. as we much as we think that we are.

        The preparations of the heart belong to man,
        But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
        (Proverbs 16.1)

        A man’s heart plans his way,
        But the LORD directs his steps.
        (Proverbs 16.9)

        1. Acknowledging these truths, as Mr. Maury did,
        2. steers our lives in the direction of success.
    6. Speaking of success…
  2. Success
    1. You can see Maury’s affect upon others
    2. from a letter a Captain Phinney wrote to Maury,

      “For myself, I am free to confess that for many years I commanded a ship and although never insensible to the beauties of nature upon the sea or land, I yet feel that until I took up your work, I had been traversing the ocean blindfolded. I did not think: I did not know the amazing and beautiful combination of all the works of Him whom you so beautifully term ‘the Great First Thought’ … you have done me good as a man. You have taught me to look above, around and beneath me and recognise God’s hand in every element by which I am surrounded. I am so grateful for this personal benefit.”

      1. Let every Christian made the same observations about this life.
      2. Keep your eyes open,
        1. looking above,
        2. looking around, and
        3. looking beneath, and
          1. you will see God’s designing hand everywhere.
          2. You will then wonder:
            1. How did you ever miss it before and
            2. Why doesn’t the world see these things?
              1. That has led me to ask God why the world cannot see.
              2. That led me further to offer myself to Him
                1. to use me to help others see Him in everything.
                2. See Him in…
    3. Maury believed that he succeeded as a scientist
      1. because of his Christianity,

        “In observing the working and studying-the offices of the various parts of the physical machinery which keeps the world in order, we should ever remember that it is all made for its purposes, and that it was planned according to design, and arranged so as to make the world as we behold it, a place for the habitation of man. Upon no other hypothesis can the student expect to gain profitable knowledge concerning the physics of the sea, earth, or air.”

        1. I have longed believed that in regard to geology.
        2. If you do not expect Noah’s Flood, you will come up with wild ideas.
      2. He addressed the anthropic principle,
        1. which says that the universe was created to sustain life.
        2. Isaiah 45 confirms this truth,

          For thus says the LORD,
          Who created the heavens,
          Who is God,
          Who formed the earth and made it,
          Who has established it,
          Who did not create it in vain,
          Who formed it to be inhabited:
          “I am the LORD, and there is no other.”
          (Isaiah 45.18)
    4. During the Civil War,
      1. he traveled and wrote extensively,
      2. seeking to keep America from splintering.
        1. He eventually had to side with the South, which was his home.
          1. Many preachers tried during those days
          2. to keep America from entering into war with itself.
        2. A price was put upon him of $3,000 and
          1. only Jefferson Davis had a higher price tag.
          2. Maury invented an electric torpedo for the South.
            1. That would be at least one of the reasons
            2. the North put such a high price upon him.
      3. How sad that we let politics divide us.
    5. Did you know that we still use his work of charting the oceans today?


  1. Maury had discovered something in Psalm 8 and
    1. because he accepted the Bible as the word of the Creator of the earth,
    2. he knew that Psalm 8’s reference to the ocean had to be correct.
      1. David was amazed that God would notice man.
      2. David looked at
        1. the heavens,
        2. the moon, and
        3. the stars, and
          1. asked God why He would be mindful of man.
          2. Why would God visit man?
            1. God so honored man
            2. that God made man just a little lower than the angels.
      3. David thought further on what God had done.
        1. David could see man’s capability with nature, and
        2. he could read from Genesis 1 that God gave man great power.
          1. Then David started to list some of God’s works
          2. that God Himself had put under man’s care,

            6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
            You have put all things under his feet,
            7 All sheep and oxen—
            Even the beasts of the field,
            8 The birds of the air,
            And the fish of the sea
            That pass through the paths of the seas.
            (Psalm 8.6–8)

            1. It was that part about the fish
            2. passing through the paths of the seas
              1. that caught Maury’s attention,
              2. probably because the sea interested him.
            3. He concluded that if the Bible says
              1. there are paths in the seas,
              2. there are paths in the seas!
    3. Maury believed that the oceans showed evidence of design and purpose.
      1. To him the design of the Gulf Stream showed the Creator’s intelligence,

        “If the current of the sea, with this four-mile velocity at the surface, and this hundreds of tons pressure in its depths, were permitted to chafe against its bed, the Atlantic, instead of being two miles deep and 3,000 miles broad, would…have been long ago cut down into a narrow channel that might have been as the same ocean turned up on edge, and measuring two miles broad and 3,000 miles deep. But had it been so cut, the proportion of land and water surface would have been destroyed and the winds, for lack of area to play upon, could not have sucked up from the sea vapours for the rains to form and the face of the earth would have become as a desert without water.”
      2. Maury knew Job 38, when God asked Job,

        8 “Who shut in the sea with doors,
        When it burst forth and issued from the womb;
        9 When I made the clouds its garment,
        And thick darkness its swaddling band;
        10 When I fixed My limit for it,
        And set bars and doors;
        11 When I said,
        ‘This far you may come, but no farther,
        And here your proud waves must stop!’”
        (Job 38.8–11)
      3. He also knew the truth of Psalm 104 from his observations,

        3 He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters,
        Who makes the clouds His chariot,
        Who walks on the wings of the wind,
        4 Who makes His angels spirits,
        His ministers a flame of fire.
        5 You who laid the foundations of the earth,
        So that it should not be moved forever…
        (Psalms 104.3–5)

        1. Maury knew from Scripture
          1. that the Lord had so fashioned the land surface after the Flood,
          2. that it can never Flood the earth again.
        2. He saw from his observations and research that these things were so.
    4. On November 30, 1860,
      1. Maury laid the cornerstone for the University of East Tennessee.
      2. In his speech, he spoke these words,

        “I have been blamed by men of science, both in this country and in England, for quoting the Bible in confirmation of the doctrines of physical geography. The Bible, they say, was not written for scientific purposes, and is therefore of no authority in matters of science. I beg pardon! The Bible is authority for everything it touches. What would you think of the historian who should refuse to consult the historical records of the Bible, because the Bible was not written for the purposes of history? The Bible is true and science is true, and therefore each, if truly read, but proves the truth of the other. The agents in the physical economy of our planet are ministers of Him who made both it and the Bible. The records which He has chosen to make through the agency of these ministers of His upon the crust of the earth are as true as the records which by the hands of His prophets and servants, He has been pleased to make in the Book of Life.”

        “They are both true; and when your men of science, with vain and hasty conceit, announce the discovery of disagreement between them, rely upon it, the fault is not with the witness of His records, but with the worm who essays to interpret evidence which he does not understand.”

        1. Ka-Boom!
        2. That is the way to think.