The Big Universe
by Bob Burridge ©2015
Appreciating more about the nature of God
God made a big Universe
Our little part of God’s Universe is a very tiny piece of all that is. I spent most of the first 16 years of my life in an area limited to my neighborhood of South Buffalo, New York. Most of my relatives lived within about three miles of my house. Family vacation trips took me maybe a hundred miles from home for a week or two every Summer. When we moved to Florida it was quite an adjustment to be about 1,300 miles from what used to be my world. Since then I’ve traveled many more times that distance.
When our astronauts were on the Moon they were between about 225,000 to 252,000 miles away depending upon where it was in it’s orbit at the time. The Sun is about 93 million miles away. The closest star to our Sun is Proxima Centauri, a distance of 4.37 light years away. That’s over 26 trillion miles. It takes light 4.37 years to get here from there.
The most distant stars in our own Milky Way Galaxy have been measured by several confirmed methods to be amazingly far away. One of those stars, ULAS J0744+25, is 775,000 light years away. ULAS J0015+01 is about 900,000 light years away (that’s about 5.3 million-trillion miles). NASA’s Spitzer space telescope has measured the distance to Galaxies outside our own which appear to be up to 13 billion light years away.
God is Ubiquitous.
Where is God in this huge Universe? He is altogether everywhere all the time. We call that quality “ubiquity”. Though God at times shows himself by means of some physical manifestation in specific places, his entire being permeates all of space continually.
Psalm 139:7-9, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea.”
2 Chronicles 2:6, “But who is able to build Him a temple, since heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him?”
The Bible reveals that God is not a material being. He exists as a spirit being. He not only created and sustains all we can see and measure, he also created and sustains other spirit beings. However, those other ones are not everywhere all the time as it is with the Creator. They had a beginning when they were created. In contrast, the Creator has always existed just as he always is. Colossians 1:16-17, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
In this spirit realm there are some beings the Bible speaks of as “angels”. The word “angel” is directly taken from the Greek word used in the writing of the New Testament, “angelos” (άγγελος). It simply means “messenger”. God sometimes gave them a physical form so they could bring his message to us humans. Some spirit beings rebelled against God after they were created and make up a spirit realm of evil. We humans also have a spirit component which is united with our physical bodies during our earthly life, and is separated from the body in death.
The spirit realm is nothing like our material world which we measure in miles and light years. It is more than just another “dimension” of our physical world. Since God is spirit in nature, this realm existed before the creation of anything. When we are transformed in the final day of resurrection our bodies will be raised up and re-united with our souls, but in a “glorified” state. They will be fit to live in that other realm. 1 Corinthians 15:32-44, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”
Since we live in this physical world, we understand “space” in terms of measurable places. Since God is spirit, the idea of how he operates in what we call “space” takes on a different meaning than our finite minds are able to comprehend. In those far off galaxies, many of which we have not yet detected, God is entirely there. He sustains the atoms and subatomic particles of which they are made. He forms and upholds the gravitational fields surrounding the stars and planets. He guides the radiation streaming through the space between those cosmic bodies.
It is sad that so many researchers who study the Cosmos fail to see the glory of God displayed in the light from distant stars, and in the systems of planets scattered throughout our Galaxy. They may be impressed with the details in the light spectra captured by their telescopes, and with the pictures returned from our space probes. But they miss the most amazing information which is embedded there.
Psalm 19:1-2, “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.”
Romans 1:20-21, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
The extent and exact nature of the physical and spirit realms are hard for us to fully comprehend, but contemplation of them should stir us to humble worship of our infinitely amazing Creator and Sustainer.
Jeremiah 32:17, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.”
Psalm 139:6, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.”
Note: Bible quotations are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.