Beam me up, Moses

“If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there he will take you.” Deuteronomy 30:4

Some have taken this verse to indicate ancient space travel. They have boldly gone where no interpreter has gone before; we shall not follow them into that great unknown.

The sense of the text is either a hypothetical were it so, I would come get you, or, in distant nations under the farthest skies, I will rescue you. The true meaning is undoubtedly the second. Jesus uses the same celestial imagery: “And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:31). In other words, at his second coming (not third or fourth, by the way), he will gather his people from every part of the globe.

But the first meaning (the one involving hypothetical elect astronauts) holds some fascination for us. Let us see if we can’t find a blessing in it. Is it true? If one of God’s lost elect were cast off into space, would he go there and find them? Well, certainly, and it would be no great feat for God. He’s already there. He could send them dream or vision, or cast a Space Force chaplain upon the shipwrecked planet to evangelize them.

In fact, the Lord did undergo such space travel for us. He entered our distant world as one of us, conquered all, and rode on the highest heavens to glory. If he came to this uttermost part of heaven to put away your sin, and soared back to the highest height to represent you before the Most High God, surely he will do the lesser feat and see to all your needs today.