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Growing up in a small village in the mountains many years ago, we children were often fascinated by the wonder of a starry night. On a cloudless night one almost had the feeling you could reach up and "catch a star." Every child knew the words that began: "Twinkle twinkle little star - how I wonder what you are…." We watched with awe some of the displays of the northern lights and shooting stars were not uncommon. We would find the big dipper, little dipper, north star and Orion's belt. Some would have binoculars and the space age was about to begin. Landing a man on the moon was not even considered when I was born. I did not know anyone who had a telescope. We really did wonder what a star was.
Recently the scientists in charge of examining outer space decided to allow the telescope to remain fixed on what was thought of as a "dark spot" in the Universe. It seemed that some parts of the Universe had many stars and some parts were almost empty. The experiment lasted about 11 days. What they saw was astonishing. The "empty" space was not empty at all. The light from stars billions of miles away was captured and in utter amazement, the scientist realized that their concept of the size and grandeur of the universe was far, far too small. These photons of light had travelled for millions of years before being captured by the telescope from this tiny area on which the scope was focused. We have used words like "awesome," magnificent" and "vast" to describe the universe, but all of a sudden those words became inadequate. The universe is much, much more than what we humans had imagined and what had so far been realized. It seems we had only begun to see. We now realize that there is no such thing as a "little star." Each star we see is enormous and can be another galaxy of billions of stars just like the galaxy that our earth is part of. The Milky Way is simply the view we have of our Galaxy from earth, and it looks like a disc of billions of revolving stars with us looking from one end. The Milky Way is full of unimaginable numbers of planets, moons, gases and matter. It is so vast in size that it takes light about 100,000 years just to cross our own Galaxy - let alone go on to the next and the next. It is not possible for us to think in these enormous dimensions - but we try.
There is a great lesson to be learned from this adventure. It defies the imagination to think that the evidence of a Creator is almost endless, but we humans dare to deny His existence. And when we proclaim His existence, our concept of that Creator is nowhere near the truth of His majesty and greatness. We are directed to look at the stars in order to glimpse more of His true majesty. He knows the name of each star and exactly how many there are (Psalm 147:4). He spoke and they were created (Gen. 1:1).
There was a man who was close to God. This man loved God and loved all that God represents. His name was Job. Job did not possess the Hubble telescope or the atomic microscopes that we possess today. He did not see the wonders of God as we can see them today. But Job knew God existed and that God was working toward a great plan for the humans He had created (Job 14:14,15). Like us, Job lived in this world in which Satan has much power. He fought the human temptations that Satan placed upon him and fought his inner feelings and fears to become a great and valiant believer of God. A man highly favoured by his Creator. Job had an opinion about God and all that God represented. But Job was like a little boy growing up in the mountains with no binoculars or telescope and only the naked eye to see the beautiful starry sky and gaze with wonderment at its vastness. Little children possess the gift of awe and wonderment that allows them to easily accept the fact that someone made all that they see. The idea of God is not strange to them. But Job was like that little boy when we compare him with the wonders we see today. Job saw the starry sky and recognized some formations as all children do when they look at the stars (Job 9:7-10). God took the time to explain to Job that His majesty could be seen in the Creation. God told Job to look at the world around him and into the starry sky (Job 38:31-33). God spoke to Job about all of His creation from living things on earth to the physical surroundings. Even without the tools we possess today, Job got a much better picture of God. He realized that God owns everything (Job 41:11). Job answered and said: "I know you can do everything (Job 42:2)." "I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know (verse 3). "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:5,6).
Today we humans are without excuse (Rom. 1:20). We always have been without excuse because we can work with the things God made here on earth and through that we can "see" or glimpse some of His majesty. That ought to be enough as it was for Job. But today we are even more so without an excuse. We know so much more about the creation today than ever. We see into the outer universe in ways that would have been incredible to Job. We also see into the "inner universe" of living cells and matter that is no less awe inspiring. Everything we see screams out to us about the existence of this Great Creator who is deserving of all of our energy, thought, adoration and worship. Yet we humans do not seek Him zealously, though He is very near (Isa. 55:6, Psalm 145:18). We are not careful with His commandments though they are good and for our benefit (Deut. 5:29, Rom. 7:12). We are easily distracted and led astray by false teachings and smooth words (Isa. 30:8-10, 2 Pet. 2:1-3).
Our Creator tells us He loves all the world (John 3:16). He sent His Son to die in our stead because of our faults and Satan's influences and purge our sins (Heb. 1:3, Acts 3:38). We have all sinned by breaking His laws and commandments (Rom. 3:23). As we grow ever closer to the day of His wrath and anger with His created beings who mock Him and laugh at Him (I Tim. 4:11, Jude 18), God is allowing us to see more of His greatness than was ever possible before. We say we are a freak of nature, an accident that happened to allow life to begin. We refuse to accept the fact that we belong to the Creator body and mind. We are His to do with as He pleases. Thankfully He pleases to love us and guide us. He knows we have been left in Satan's world but that was done for the greatest purpose of all - to teach us to hate evil and all that is ungodly and to love the good. We are to learn to love as He loves and if and when that is completed, He then says we will inherit this incredible, vast and continually fascinating universe that He has made (Rom. 8:17).
We are no longer little children standing on a hilltop at night saying: "Twinkle twinkle little star" - we are now grown adults and we have a much better grasp of what a star is that ever before. "How I wonder what you are" are words that now have meaning. That does not mean we have seen it all - the recent Hubble experiment has informed us that we are only glimpsing the universe. Science continues to reveal the perfection in minute detail of everything we see. God reveals Himself in continuing greater detail. We can no longer excuse ourselves from denying His existence. When we humans find the true God who is love (I John 4:8) we will find the peace on earth that Jesus exemplifies and that is promised in the coming Kingdom of God - the Kingdom of Heaven (I Thess. 2:12).