Sir Isaac Newton is remembered for observing an apple as it fell from a tree. While most of us would not have understood the gravity of the situation, Newton wondered why the apple fell straight down instead of at an angle. Eventually, he published Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, a seminal history of science and mathematics that advanced his famous laws of universal gravitation and the three laws of motion.
Born on Christmas morning in 1642, Newton was soon abandoned by his mother. Since his father had died four months before Isaac’s birth, he was placed under the care of his maternal grandmother. During his boyhood, he was known for cryptic doodling and complex chemical experiments. Amazingly, by his 25th birthday, Newton had formulated calculus, discerned gravity, and discovered that white light was composed of all the colors of the spectrum.
In 1667, while teaching courses on mathematics, Newton experienced a spiritual awakening. Setting aside his more publicized studies, Newton became an intense student of the Bible. In particular, the prophecies of Daniel and the Book of Revelation seized his focus. As his studies progressed, Newton stated in De Gravitatione, “the analogy between the Divine faculties and our own is greater than has formally been perceived by Philosophers.”
Newton learned Hebrew to better understand the ancient texts, and he amassed a huge library of Biblical manuscripts and commentaries. When his studies were mature, Newton wrote in Optics, “God in the beginning formed matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, movable particles, of such sizes and figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportion to space, as most conduced to the end for which he formed them.”
In Principia Sir Isaac Newton wrote, “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God.”
At his death in 1727, Newton had accumulated some 850 pages of writings on the Scriptures, as well as a large quantity of assorted papers and notes. His belief in God was well known among his students and peers. It was poet Alexander Pope who wrote of Newton:
Nature, and Nature’s Laws lay hid in Night.
God said, Let Newton be! and All was Light.
Some uninformed people think that all scientists do not believe in God. But that is untrue. Many join Newton in proclaiming that God lives including Copernicus, Bacon, and Galileo. Their belief in a Divine Creator bolstered their teachings. So today, give praise to our Heavenly Father for all that He has done. And remember Psalm 14:1 NLT, “Only fools say in their hearts, ‘There is no God.’”