Great and Good

Scientists used to think that the observable universe had about 200 billion galaxies. Now they believe that estimate is quite low.1 It’s also estimated that there are between 100-200 billion stars within our galaxy alone.2 Our sun is a modest star and travels in an orbit at 500,000 miles per hour, taking 250 million years to orbit the Milky Way.3

Think of it. Trillions and trillions and trillions of stars. I honestly can’t even think of it. Yet, God “determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name” (Psalm 147:4 NIV, emphasis mine).

I read these stats about the universe the other day and thought, “Wow. God is so completely other than us. He is so beyond our understanding.” As the next verse says, “Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure” (Psalm 147:5). 

Isaiah 40:25-26 says it this way:

To whom will you compare me?
    Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.

 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
    Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
    and calls forth each of them by name.

God is great.

I have a lot of things that seem big to me that I’m needing wisdom for in my life. Many of us do. Whether they are big life decisions, unwanted changes, the weight of a decision you face as a leader which impacts those around you, financial distress, or whatever, they loom large. But to God, they’re just no problem.

This can lead us to think, “My problems are so small to God that He doesn’t care.” But the wonderful other side of the equation is that God is good. He cares about us.

The next part of Isaiah 40:26 says about the stars, “Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.”

And the very next verse: “Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God’?” His greatness reminds us of His care.

And God doesn’t simply care about us. He promises to give us strength when we’re weak (v.29) and wisdom when we ask in faith (James 1:5-6). We have access to the vast riches of His understanding and the depths of His strength! Let us go to Him; let us stand in awe of Him!

Oh our Lord, our God, we stand in awe of You, of Your power, of Your understanding. We thank You that You would allow us to tap into the limitless storehouses of resources—understanding, goodness, power, love, grace—that are who You are, Your essence, Your attributes. We need Your guidance and wisdom. We need Your grace and gentleness. And You give it in abundance! And if all this wasn’t enough, You involve us in Your unfathomable plan of redemption! You have chosen Your Church—us!— to be Your kingdom here on earth and to draw those outside of Your kingdom into it. We stand amazed. We worship You. To You be all glory, honor, majesty, and praise, both now and forevermore!

  1. Hubble Reveals Observable Universe Contains 10 Times More Galaxies Than Previously Thought.
  2. How Many Stars Are in the Milky Way?
  3. How Long Does it Take the Sun To Orbit the Galaxy?

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