After years of planning and praying, the leadership of ICR has made the decision to begin construction on the ICR Discovery Center for Science and Earth History. We are thrilled to get started and excited by this significant addition to our ministry. At the same time, we realize what a major commitment this is for us, and my father’s lead article in this month’s issue provides an excellent summary of our journey to this point. But it’s equally important for our supporters to understand the mindset behind the scenes as this initiative was carefully considered.
The first two major building projects recorded in the Bible—Noah’s Ark and the Tower of Babel—provide marvelous insight into godly principles we should follow. Noah, the only man at the time who “found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8), was warned by God of His coming judgment on the wickedness of mankind. God told Noah to build the Ark, and Noah spent the next 100 years in obedience to Him. Nimrod, the first postdiluvian man to become “a mighty one on the earth” (Genesis 10:8), likely organized people to build the first city and tower on the plains of Shinar. The people’s reasoning was simple: “Let us make a name for ourselves” (Genesis 11:4).
These examples show the first principle to consider is motivation. Why are we building? Is it, like Noah, in obedience to God and for His will and glory? Or is it for personal pride and for the glory of man?
The building of the first temple in Jerusalem provides another key principle. King David, described by God as “a man after His own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14), longed to build a permanent house of worship for the Lord. David spent years making “abundant preparations before his death” (1 Chronicles 22:5) and was divinely given “the plans…by the Spirit” by which it should be constructed (1 Chronicles 28:12). He even gave a large portion of his personal fortune to the project (1 Chronicles 29:3-4). But God denied David’s desire to personally build the temple and instead gave that responsibility to his son Solomon (1 Chronicles 22:7-10).
This account shows the second principle to consider is God’s timing. Isaiah tells us plainly what we all know intuitively: God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours and do not come to us naturally (Isaiah 55:8-9). While we may have every reason to believe God has truly called us to build, are we convinced it is the right time—God’s time—to begin?
ICR’s Board discussed these biblical building principles at length in their January meeting before beginning deliberations on the Discovery Center. Like Noah, ICR obeyed the Lord’s will as best as we can determine it. Like David, ICR spent years preparing, planning, and gathering, and most of our staff members have given portions of their small “fortunes” to the project. And like Solomon’s charge, ICR is now convinced the time is right!
Financial support for the Discovery Center was very strong during 2016, and we are closing the gap on the total funds needed. But we aren’t quite there yet, so please consider taking advantage of ICR’s active matching gift challenge. All gifts to the Discovery Center will be matched dollar for dollar up to $4 million! Please visit ICR.org/donate/museum to donate online, or mail your check payable to ICR (write “Discovery Center” on the memo line). The time is right, and this God-given opportunity couldn’t be better (Galatians 6:10). Thanks in advance for helping us finish the course.
* Mr. Morris is Director of Donor Relations at the Insti-tute for Creation Research.