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Chemistry in the Bible #5: Carbon

Carbon is an element that is simple in composition, but functionally is complicated and so very interesting. Even though it is simple in structure, there is nothing basic about carbon.

Although not one of the most prominent elements in the Earth’s crust, it is the second most abundant element in the human body behind oxygen and is in every living thing on Earth. Yes, every living thing. There has not been a single living organism that has been found without oxygen.

There are many reasons for this, but to simplify, its abundance and ability to form numerous bonds makes it very important.

In chemistry, their are things known as allotropes. Allotropes are forms that a certain element can take. Although carbon is typically manifested as black, one beautiful form of pure carbon is diamond. In fact, it is the only mineral made of one distinct element on Earth!

It also plays a role in an interesting role in the Bible. Diamond signified the splendor on Earth and Heavenly splendor (Exodus 28:18). Similar to today, the toughness of diamond is on display when described as an engraving utensil (Jeremiah 17:1).

Diamond is the pinnacle of natural beauty that can be ascertained, and the only entirely pure mineral. This is how it is portrayed in Scripture as well.

In other forms, carbon bonds with other elements and makes wonderfully useful things. One example of this formation is coal. We see coal written as a tool for purification and appeasement to God for the sins of Israel (Leviticus 16:12; Psalm 18:13). In Isaiah 6:7-8, we see Isaiah have his sins forgiven, following the touching of his lips with a hot coal.

God knew the world initially when He made it and made the elements as manipulative for the good of those whom He loves, humanity. Carbon in the Bible introduces a standard. A standard of God’s righteousness.

Diamonds are created by heat and pressure. Christians are refined and strengthened by the heat of trials and the pressure of the world. In the face of it, by God’s grace, we grow. Today, God we do not have angels descend upon us and purge our sins with hot coal, but for our sake, Christ endured the heat of suffering. He hung on a tree in the heat of the day, died a death we deserved to purge our sins, and descended to Hell to pay our ransom, rising again to the cool of Heaven.

Carbon is tough and grows tougher with trials. Heat it up and it only grows stronger. As our hearts burn for God and we struggle, turn to Scripture and grow through it all, exemplifying God’s splendor, glory, and power to forgive all sins.

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” ~ Romans 5:1-6

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