Enduring Church of God

The Greatness of God Part 1

The stunning beauty of the universe shows the power and glory of God.
Charles E. Bryce

The very first verse of the Bible addresses the greatness of God: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen.1:1 NKJV). Immediately we are introduced to the power, majesty and unlimited capabilities of the Eternal: “In the beginning God created the heavens …”

Consider the awe–inspiring, far–reaching meaning of that statement! When you look into a clear, calm night sky, it begins to sink into any thinking, intellectually honest person’s mind how vast the heavens which God created really are. The longer you take it all in, the more breath–taking it becomes!

Relying relentlessly on truth and facts, you will inevitably arrive at the unshakeable conclusion that all of this could not have just somehow happened! It is too orderly and precise for that. It must have been designed—and it was by the Great Designer Himself.

The Almighty Creator reveals Himself through His creation, if we will just look and admit to what we see. As David put it: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork” (Psa. 19:1). The heavens declare His glory and greatness.

Paul Davies, an English physicist, wrote in his book The Cosmic Blueprint: “ There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all… It seems as though somebody has fine–tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe… The impression of design is overwhelming” (The Hand of God, Ed. Michael Reagan, p. 106).

Small slice of the universe

Have you ever taken the time to study the star–filled night sky—just the small slice of the universe available to the human eye? The longer you look and think, the more you can see as your eyes adjust and focus on this wondrous sight. If you try to count the number of heavenly bodies you are viewing from horizon to horizon, you just can’t fully do that. The exact number is out of reach to our limited human abilities and senses.

But not to the Great God! He knows the exact number of stars, planets, galaxies, moons, suns—every astrobody in the entire endless universe, right down to the very last one: “To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he called them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth” (Isa. 40:25–26).

Not only does He know the total number, He calls them all by names, individually! But how can He possibly do this? The answer is simple—because He is God: “He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite” (Psa. 147:4–5). Notice, His understanding is infinite. Nothing is too hard for Him to do or know.

It isn’t even a strain or stretch for Him to do this: “Ah Lord God! Behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee” (Jer. 32:17). That is just another example of how great God really is!

Chet Raymo, author and Professor Emeritus of Physics at Stonehill College, wrote in Skeptics and True Believers that “the new knowledge of the galaxies is exhilarating and terrifying, beautiful and dreadful… The Hubble Deep Field photo opens us to a cosmos of capacious grandeur—a universe of 50 billion galaxies blowing like snowflakes in a cosmic storm… The fourteenth–century mystic Julian of Norwich asked, ‘What is the use of praying if God does not answer?’ In that wonderful image of more than 1,000 galaxies caught by a magnificent instrument lofted into space by a questioning creature, God answers” (The Hand of God, Ed. Michael Reagan, p. 55).

Scientists estimate that the number of galaxies out there ranges into the billions, with each galaxy containing billions of stars. Just think of that. We’re talking trillions now! Yet God can easily number them all and name them individually. This task, mind–numbing to even the smartest human beings, is effortless to God, as explained in Luke 18:27: “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

It is also estimated that “there are some 200,000,000,000 (two hundred billion) stars just in our own galaxy—and there are millions of other galaxies stretching out into the universe. Man’s imagination just cannot grasp this vastness!” (The Big Book of Tell Me Why; Arkady, Leokum; Vol. 3, p.72). Although man cannot fully grasp this overwhelming number, God can and does in minute detail; because of His great unlimited amazing capacity.

He did not make all of these things in a willy–nilly manner, like playing a game or rolling the dice. The Creator of the universe carefully and meticulously planned it all out. He didn’t overlook any detail. He thought of everything. And when He commanded, it was all created at one time, together and with absolute perfection. When that momentous moment of creation happened, it was so stunning and thrilling, even the angels could not contain themselves: “Where was thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding… When the morning stars (angels) sang together, and all the sons of God (angels) shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4, 7).

The Eternal is logical and consistent. He “is not the author of confusion, but of peace” (I Cor. 14:33). Because He wants everything done “decently and in order” He created physical and spiritual laws to maintain and sustain His creation in perfect balance and working order, just as planned—beautiful and brilliant in every sense of the word (I Cor. 14:40). As Nobel prize–winning physicist Arno Penzias said, “Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to permit life and one which has an underlying (one might say ‘supernatural’) plan” (The Hand of God, Ed. Michael Reagan, p. 112).

Heavenly bodies

He put the sun exactly where it should be in proximity to the earth. Any closer and the earth would be incinerated. Any further away and the earth would be incased in thick ice. And it stays in that exact orbit permanently because of laws, such as the law of gravity, governing the rotation and movement of the heavenly bodies in our galaxy. The sun is a star that is about ninety–three million miles from earth and keeps right on giving off the precise amount of light, heat and energy to sustain life on this planet. But how does it do this? Scientists cannot tell you, but God’s Word makes it plain.

God also created the moon and placed it in orbit at just the right distance from the earth to have the desired effect designed by Him. It revolves around the sun. It is directly connected to the movement of ocean tides.

Now, in all honesty, could this have just happened, ipso facto? Decidedly not! It was all designed, planned and put into motion, by the Great God at creation: “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:16–18).

Many scientists, scholars and experts in the field of astronomy are coming to realize, albeit ever so reluctantly in some cases, that this vast and limitless universe is so immense, finely tuned and perfectly sustained that it simply could not have resulted from some cosmic incident. Science journalist Sharon Begley, writing about new images of space captured with new, advanced telescopes said, “And yet, ironically, the more focused the portraits from deep space, the more meticulous and specific our calculations, the more it seems improbable, even impossible, that our world could have been an arbitrary occurrence” (Ibid, Introductory Essay). As recently as February 2014, NASA’s Kepler space telescope mission was reported to have discovered 715 new planets outside of our solar system! (nasa.gov, “Kepler Mission Announces A Planet Bonanza”). It is nonsensical to believe it all came into being from nothing and out of nowhere, of and by itself, for no rhyme or reason. To reach such a conclusion, is beyond solid, scientific, rational thinking.

Many scientists want to deny the existence of God as being beyond proof by rational thought. But George Greenstein, an astronomy professor at Amherst College, wrote in the Symbiotic Universe, “As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency—or rather Agency—must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?” (The Hand of God, Ed. Michael Reagan, p. 113).

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of God’s Greatness is His boundless love. Not only does He have love, He actually IS love: “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (I John 4:8). This highest level of love, the godly level, is expressed in all that He does and is—His power, majesty, glory, intellect and His glorious plan and purpose for life. Everything He does and says and is, is motivated entirely by love! He is the Master giver. He wants to share all that He has created with His family.

Plan, purpose, perfection

Nothing God ever does is by chance or on a whim. There is always a reason, a purpose, to be found in all of His actions. The expansive, glittering, majestic universe is no exception. There is a master plan being worked out here below that will ultimately include every individual human being who has ever lived, as they yield their lives completely to Jesus Christ. And everyone from creation forward will have that opportunity, when the time is right for them. God will see to that perfectly. If one gets a chance for salvation, everyone gets that same chance because “God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:34–35). (Please request our free material on “Is this the only Day of Salvation?”)

That master plan extends through out eternity and is designed by God to share the whole creation with those who separate themselves from this world. They will become members of the God family: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate… and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:17–18). As God’s sons and daughters, the universe will be their inheritance, along with their Elder Brother and Savior, Jesus Christ: “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint–heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Rom. 8:17).

So, billions of galaxies, each containing billions of stars are not there for us to just look at! For one thing, we can’t even see most of them. They are there for us to inherit as the Family of God and then to fulfill His intricately thought out plan, for them and us. God will not hold anything back from us. He will always be in charge, but He will give everything to His Family to share, enjoy, maintain and develop. As the Apostle John wrote: “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Rev. 21:7). It says ALL THINGS!

If, as author Annie Dillard wrote in Pilgrim at Tinder Creek, “The question from agnosticism is, Who turned on the lights? The question from faith is Whatever for?”—it is patently clear that those questions can both be answered from the Bible, and from scientific discovery (Ibid, p. 111).

Yes, God’s greatness is truly made evident in the incredible wonders of the heavens. But there is more. So much more!

To be continued …