I won't walk down every trail we did tonight, but when it comes to aliens I have this soap box and I can't help but stand on it and shout. There is a fairly popular line of reasoning that comes into play nearly anytime life on other planets is discussed. It goes something like this: "The universe is enormous. I just have a hard time believing that there isn't life out there." or "Why would God make something so big and only have little old us in it?"
Now, I don't want to be a total killjoy. Nor do I in any way want to limit what God might choose to do. Could there be life out there? Sure. It's not outside the realm of possiblity. Based on God's word, I'll tell you what I think is most likely.
Psalm 19 tells us that "the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork." Could it be that God made the universe, with innumerable galaxies, bright lights, brilliant colors for the sole purpose of displaying His great majesty? It is fitting to roll out the red carpet, sound the trumpets, and procede with fanfare at the arrival of a king. What then, is fitting to proclaim the greatness of the King of Kings, the God of all gods, the Most High Sovereign? How about the universe? Yep. It suits Him.
Not only that, we read in Isaiah 66:1 that "heaven is His throne and the earth is His footstool." How big is our God? The expanse is His easy chair.
So, one reason or purpose for all that space is to demonstrate how great and glorious is the God who created it. That, my friend is no wasted space. But there's another.
In Psalm 8, David takes a look at the heavens and considers God's majesty. When he has pondered God's greatness for a while he comes to this conclusion: "What is man that you are mindful of him? The son of man that you care for him?"
The universe's enormity tells us just how big God is and just how small we are.
And get this - not only does the universe show us how big God is and how small we are, it is often used in Scripture as an analogy for the magnitude of His love. Psalm 103:11-14 says, "For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us."
So, biblically when you look into the sky and consider the heavens, God intends for us to stand jaw agape, awestruck, and bewildered at three things:
1. God is immeasurable. You can't contain Him, you can't control Him. He's God.
2. God loves you. Small, tiny, spec in the universe that you are, He is concerned with you. He cares for you. We should be asking the same question David did: Who the heck am I that God loves me?
3. God's love and mercy is just as big as He is.
The next time someone brings up alien life or UFOs, please don't Jesus Juke them. But do remember that God had a reason for making the universe and it's way bigger and way better than a Spielberg film.
Here's some fun facts to ponder: (I borrowed these from Sam Holm a few years ago for a camp program. I still love to read them from time to time just to remember the greatness of God)
We'll start small and get bigger...
- the earth has a tilt of 23 degrees – if not our world would be taken over by heat and ice
- if the moon were 50 thousand miles instead of 200,000 miles away, the earth would be entirely submerged in water
- if the crust of the earth were 10 foot thicker, there would be no oxygen
- if the oceans were just few feet deeper, all carbon dioxide and oxygen would be absorbed
- The earths weight – six sextillion tons (that's a six with 21 zeros)
- the earth revolves at more than 1,000 miles an hour and is traveling forward at 19 miles per second or 1,140 miles per hour (how are we still alive????)
- Go outside tonight and hold up a dime at arms length – over 20 million stars are sitting behind that dime
- Speed of light 186,000 miles a second, 5.88 trillion miles a year (that means light traveling around the world could circle earth 7times/second)
- Over a million earths would fit in the sun. Over 23 million suns would fit in Betelguese (famous star)
- One huge, famous star in our galaxy is the monster Eta Carinae, located approximately 7,500 light years away, and weighing in at 100 solar masses. It’s 4 million times as bright as the Sun.
- Takes light 30 minutes to fly past (remember light flies around the Earth 7x before you can say "one Mississippi) Every square yard of the sun emits energy approximate to 450 8 cylinder engines.
- The Milky Way galaxy is100,000 light years across
- If the Solar system is the size of a quarter, the galaxy is larger than our north American continent
- If we counted the stars in our Milky Way galaxy – counting 1 per second – it would take us 2,500 years to count the stars in our galaxy
- 100s of Billions of galaxies in the known universe
Do you have any universe facts to share? What helps you see just how big God is?