Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Safe In The Arms Of Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
Job 38:2,19,31-33 – Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Where is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place? Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion? Can you bring out Mazzaroth in its season? Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth? (NKJV)
I am in the middle of a very interesting general-interest course on the life cycle of stars. To simplify and condense the subject, the current theory is that stars are formed within clouds of stellar gases, the detritus of dead stars. These clouds are mainly hydrogen, the simplest and most abundant element in the universe. Taking form from these stellar clouds and under the influence of gravity, these infant stars reach critical mass, and nuclear fusion begins. Through this process of ingesting surrounding gases, if a star grows to several sizes larger than our sun, nuclear fusion will coalesce atoms, converting hydrogen to helium to carbon to progressively heavier elements. The final element reached in the core is iron. At this point, the star is near the end of its life — perhaps a few billion years old, so the theory goes. The end is a cataclysmic supernova explosion, expanding at the rate of tens of thousands of kilometres a second, leaving only neutrons at the centre of an expanding shell of gas. This gas then fuels the formation of new stars, and the life cycle repeats itself.
Oversimplified though the preceding description may be, it inevitably engenders no end of questions. How and when did it all start? To their surprise, astronomers have discovered that the universe is still accelerating outward, and they now believe that the "Big Bang" occurred 14 billion years ago. To what purpose? Did time start then? What existed before? How vast is the universe now? Astronomers believe that there are about 150 billion stars in our own galaxy, but how many other galaxies are there? Is the universe infinitely large? Will it end? How and when? Will time end then? What will follow afterwards? And so on …
Things of infinite size and with no ending are incomprehensible to us. The times, speeds, distances in light-years, temperatures, brilliances, etc., are so vast they blow our minds.
Job 42:3 – You asked, "Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?" Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. (NKJV)
If all the foregoing is true, I am absolutely convinced that the start of it was no fluke, no coincidence, as a famous physicist would have us believe. That defies logic; it makes no sense. It can only be an ongoing act of God. The "Big Bang" theory is consistent with the belief that the universe had a beginning and with what one would expect when God said, "Let there be light." There is a mind, a will out there, one of incredible power, an infinite Spirit filling the cosmos, truly eternal, omnipotent, omniscient — in other words, God — our God. We soon run out of nouns and adjectives to ascribe to the unknowable. God showed great wisdom in telling Moses simply that He was the "I AM". Anything else would have totally confounded the prophet.
And as we think on all this, we cannot but be impressed with our total insignificance, our helplessness in the scale of creation. Yet this great God did create us to worship and enjoy Him forever. Further, when we proved a disappointment to Him, He loved us enough to be born into the world that He Himself had created, a perfect human being who, because of the Father's love for us, lived and died for us so that we, too, would know eternity in love, worship, and praise. Now that really blows the mind!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we know that there are some things that we are not destined to know or understand in our mortal lifetimes. We see now through a glass darkly. But all will be made plain to us in Your good time. Meanwhile, give us the patience to enjoy and appreciate the mystery, beauty, and awesomeness of Your ongoing creation, and the wonderment to give You all the glory and praise for it. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.