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Monday, July 11, 2011

Stars in Our Eyes

He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite. Psalms 147:4-5 (New American Standard Bible)

As we continue to look at Creation and its Creator we turn our eyes toward the heavens. The vast expanse of the universe can be terrifying to contemplate. The speed of light, according to physicists, is the fastest thing in the universe. To travel across the known universe at that speed would take approximately 28 billion years. There are estimated billions of galaxies with diameters hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of light years wide. Our own Milky Way Galaxy is 100,000 light years across estimated to hold 200-400 billion stars. It is part of a local group of galaxies and is one of 200 billion galaxies in the observable universe. Astronomers estimate there are around a million trillion stars. Our own sun is considered to be a small star but gives off more energy in 1 second than mankind has produced since the beginning of history. Yet as ‘small’ as our sun is it would take a million earths to fill it. In comparison the star Arcturus is 20 times larger than our sun. Arcturus is outsized by the red super giant Betelgeuse by 600 times, Betelgeuse being dwarfed some 1500 times by red super giants within the universe.

The Psalmist in considering the heavens asked of God ‘What is man that Thou dost take thought of him? (Psalms 8:4).’ As we consider the creation of the universe we have to wonder at the cause that created it. It was not created by a ‘thing’ for things wear out but was created by someone without beginning or end with the power, knowledge and infinite wisdom to put it all together and hold it in its celestial course. Though the earth is marred by the Curse the Creator’s wisdom, beauty and care are still evident. The immensity of a God who calls 100 billion trillion stars by name is mind numbing. A God that large cannot be boxed by tiny imaginations. God fills the universe and yet is compassionate enough to hear us and care for us individually. He is powerful enough to guide our daily paths and be interested enough to conquer sin and death on our behalf. He would have to be the God of the impossible. This very One who stretches out the heavens like a curtain has made Himself known to us, humanly speaking, in the form of His Only Begotten Son, Christ Jesus. The universe is too large and the stars too numerous to count them all individually but those numbers are as many as His thoughts for us (Psalm 139:17). The heavens declare the glory of God and His special and precious love for us continues to shine like the stars.