A Simple Yet Not So Simple Illustration


In Isaiah 55:9 we read, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Now this passage, according to vv. 7-8 is not written to the righteous, but rather to the wicked. Nonetheless there is truth to it for the righteous of the Old Testament and even for the church today who’ve been given, “The mind of Christ,” 1 Corinthians 2:16. God’s ways are higher than all of our ways, and His thoughts are indeed higher than all of our thoughts.

     I’ve minored in astronomy a bit over the past few years. The size of the space we hang in is simply incalculable. How far does space actually go in any one direction? We cannot even fathom an end of it. An end of what? What could there be at, “The end of space?” if there’s a wall, what’s on the other side of the wall? If there’s a sea, what’s on the opposite shore? Distances even within our own 9-planet neighborhood are completely mind boggling. For instance, Pluto orbits the sun at an average distance of 3.67 billion miles. The sun which is positioned precisely far enough from earth to ripen grapes sits 93 million miles away from us. The distance to the closest known star cluster in our universe excluding our sun, Alpha Centauri (depicted below) which actually consists of three separate stars sits at a distance some 270,000 times the distance to our sun. 

     God created it all, Genesis 1:1.

     Furthermore, He made it all in less than a week. Of all of the countless stars out there, Scripture says this about their formation: “…He made the stars also,” Genesis 1:16. Now there’s more detail given regarding the sun and the moon, and there are mentions of constellations and other things in passing throughout the Bible, but regarding the actual formation of all those planetary bodies we have .5 sentences. Just, “…He made the stars also.”

     First thing to note: it wasn’t hard for God to do it. No matter what we marvel at in creation we do well to remember that the God who made it was not “taxed” and thus resting by necessity of labor on the seventh day of creation. He took His time to complete it all. Why is it all so big? Why not just make earth in a galaxy about a million square miles around or so? Why hang all these balls in space on nothing and blow the minds of 20th century man with glimpses of things beyond us? We’ll never even see it all. King David lived in a time long before the sky at night could be blocked out by the luminescence of a city. Even without the aid of a telescope he looked up and said, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” Psalm 8:3-4. Amen, sir. We say this now only with more information!

     Why make it all so big? My answer: it’s an analogy or picture for the truth behind Isaiah 55:9. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” God is holy. How big is this universe? I don’t know. How big are the heaven(s) above me? I don’t know. That’s how much bigger His thoughts are than mine. God made it all this big to make a solid point for all of us mere mortals to fear Him.  

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