Focus on Faith: Discovering the Already

In 1492, he sailed the oceans blue. We will observe Columbus Day this coming Monday as the day Christopher Columbus discovered the New World on Oct. 12, 1492. 

Columbus was looking for a western passage to China and India. He made three errors in his assumptions and calculations. Columbus underestimated the size of the earth; he overestimated the land mass of Eurasia; and he incorrectly believed that Japan was further east of the coast of China.

Christopher Columbus was both wrong and at odds with the scholarly consensus of his day. Nonetheless, Columbus was a great explorer and navigator. Three wrongs can still be something right. 

After two months of sailing, Cuba was sighted and believed to be mainland China. His expedition found Hispaniola, and Columbus thought it might be Japan. It was his third of four trips across the Atlantic that he realized he had not reached Asia, but had discovered a continent previously unknown to Europeans.

We can only discover what is already known by God. Christopher Columbus “sailed the oceans blue” to discover what God already knew. All discoveries and breakthroughs are things God has known for eternity.

Ecclesiastes 1:9-10: 

9 What has been will be again,

   what has been done will be

       done again;

   there is nothing new under

      the sun.

10 Is there anything of which

        one can say,

    “Look! This is something


It was here already, long ago;

    it was here before our time.

As we probe the depths of the sea and the reaches of our galaxies, we are making discoveries that are new to us, but not to the God who filled the oceans and cast the stars into place. Our assumptions and calculations may not always be correct. 

We will do right if we put all of our trust in God the Father, who created all things, Jesus Christ, His only Son and the Holy Spirit who is God’s presence on earth.

Have a happy Columbus Day!

Mark Radeke is pastor of River of Life Church, 150 Birch St. N. Suite 170, Cambridge. He can be reached at (612) 483-7419.

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