This week's 'thought' comes to you from John Piper. It is found in his book, "The Pleasures of God," and in this case, the pleasure God has in His creation; a creation He made to display the glory of His wisdom, knowledge and incomparable power. In my opinion it speaks for itself and thus needs no further introduction from me! Enjoy.
Power Without Equal
"It seems in these days that God is enjoying keeping the astronomers on the edge of their seats with new glimpses of his power. In the fall of 1989, newspapers reported the discovery, by two Harvard astronomers, of a 'Great Wall' of galaxies stretching hundreds of millions of light years across the known universe. The wall is supposedly some five hundred million light years long, two hundred million light years wide, and fifteen million light years thick. In case your high school astronomy has grown fuzzy, a light year is a little less than six trillion (6,000,000,000,000) miles. This Great Wall consists of more than fifteen thousand galaxies, each with millions of stars, and was described as the, 'largest single coherent structure seen so far in nature.'
I say 'was described' because three months later in February of 1990, God opened another little window for tiny man to marvel again, and the newspapers reported that astronomers have discovered more than a dozen evenly distributed clumps of galaxies stretching across vast expanses of the heavens, suggesting a structure to the universe that is so immense that it defies current theories of cosmic origins. The newly found pattern of galactic matter dwarfs the extremely long sheet of galaxies dubbed the 'great wall' (now written without caps!), that was reported in November 1989 to be the largest structure in the universe. They now say the great wall is, in fact, merely one of the closest of these clumps, or regions, that contain very high concentrations of galaxies...
Or consider the discovery of the Pistol Star (October 8, 1997)...the largest star ever known... 'Try to imagine a star so big that it would fill all of the solar system within the orbit of Earth, which is 93 million miles from the sun. A star so turbulent that its eruptions would spread a cloud of gases spanning four light years -- the distance from the sun to the nearest star (about 24,000,000,000,000 miles). A star so powerful that it glows with the energy of 10 million suns, making it the brightest ever discovered in our galaxy, the Milky Way. Actually, a star so big and bright should be unimaginable, according to some theories of star formation. But here it is, near the center of the Milky Way' (Star-Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, 8 October 1997, A4).
What then is this universe but the lavish demonstration of the incredible, incomparable, unimaginable exuberance and wisdom and power and greatness of God! What a God he must be!...
God rejoices in the works of creation because they point us beyond themselves to God himself. God means for us to be stunned and awed by his work of creation. But not for its own sake. He means for us to look at His creation and say: If the mere work of his fingers (Ps. 8) is so full of wisdom and power and grandeur and majesty and beauty, what must this God be like himself! These are but the backside of his glory, as it were, darkly seen through a glass. What will it be to see the Creator himself? Not his works! A billion galaxies will not satisfy the human soul. God and God alone is the soul's end.
Jonathan Edwards expressed it like this: 'The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our human souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here... [These] are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the ocean.'
As the apostle Paul says in Romans 1:20: "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities -- His eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." That is, without excuse in terms of believing He exists, and without excuse in terms on the need to fall down and worship such a glorious Creator.
Let the discoveries of science do what they were meant to do -- amaze us, and leave us speechless, and point us beyond the wonders of creation to the One who created it all. And then let us heed the words of the Psalmist -- "Come let us worship and bow down."
With prayers toward that end, Pastor Jeff