The Universe and You
Consider the wondrous power of God in creating all things!
God the Father merely spoke, and everything came into existence. That is the incredible refrain of Genesis 1: “God said, ‘Let there be’ and there was…’” Or as Psalm 33:6 recounts his world-making activity, “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.”
This is unimaginable power and wisdom put on display in creation. When we ponder it, we must admit that the great extent and complexity of God’s creation is far beyond our human understanding.
I once heard someone trying to describe the extent of the universe. He said it is like taking a soccer ball and putting it on your front lawn. That’s the sun. Then, walk down your street ten big paces and drop a grain of salt on your neighbor’s lawn. That’s the planet Mercury. Nine more big paces, and drop a peppercorn for Venus. And another seven paces, so that you’re now two or three houses down the block, and toss down another little peppercorn. That’s earth: our immense blue planet, which is really just a tiny speck in the middle of nowhere—147 million kilometers away from ‘the soccer ball’ that is so essential for life.
Yet it gets bigger. If you keep walking, Mars is a dusty ball only a couple more houses away, but gassy Jupiter ends up ninety-five big paces down the street. And to finish our solar system, you have to go another two and three hundred paces for each of the remaining ones, finally dropping half a grain of salt for Pluto (we’ll call it a planet today), almost a kilometer away from the soccer ball.
That is a moderate sense of the scale! And, says Job in 26:14,
These are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him!
For this is just our solar system, which is just a tiny corner of the Milky Way galaxy, which is in turn just one of the countless galaxies that God created. In power and wisdom, God created “all things visible and invisible.” It is a vast and almost limitless creation, and through the simple method of speaking God made it all.
So why do it? Why did God decide that it was time to make a universe and to fill it with his wondrous works? We are mindful of what Paul asks in Romans 11, “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” (v. 34). We don’t know what God was thinking.
And God certainly did not have to create, for He needs nothing and nobody. Jesus says that “the Father has life in himself” (John 5:26). The Triune God exists independently, in perfection forever. Yet God was pleased to make this world and He was also pleased to make us, man and woman crafted in his image, and then redeemed through the precious blood of his Son.
God even speaks about his motivation in doing this. He points us to the grand purpose: it is all for the higher glory of his name! The Psalms make it clear: “Sing to the LORD, all the earth” (Ps 96:1). And again in Psalm 150:6,
Let everything that has breath, praise the LORD!
This is a richly encouraging truth, a truth that gives meaning and significance to our small and fragile existence here on earth. We are not accidents or orphans or worthless blobs of tissue, but the LORD has created us to live for his glory. He wants all creation to sing his praise.
Psalm 147 says that the Almighty God “determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name” (v. 4). He who knows all the stars and planets knows us also, even knows us as his sons and daughters in Christ. Amazingly, this same God “delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love” (v. 11).
This is why we’re here—this is your place in the universe: to fear God, to hope in him, and to praise him. Are you doing what you were made for?