Thursday, May 18, 2017

what the stars are saying -- part 1

The Word for today:
Psalms 7, 8
mark this: Psalm 8:3-4 
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Why are there so many stars? What is the cosmos doing out there? Is it just "taking up space?"
Certainly the stars have a physical purpose. The gravitational constant depends on their presence! But the stars have another purpose. In fact, they have a story to tell:
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
(Psalms 19:1-4)
Over the next couple of days, Stand in the Rain will listen for what the stars are saying...
We saw last week, in Luke 24, that Jesus holds the Bible together, giving it shape and coherence and meaning.
He also holds the cosmos together:
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:17)
Certainly he holds my life together:
In him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28)
He is everywhere, all the time. Astride the cosmos, he is bigger than the universe he built. His creation cannot contain him:
"Am I only a God nearby," declares the LORD, "and not a God far away? Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?" declares the LORD. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" declares the LORD.  (Jeremiah 23:23-24)
"But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!"
(1 Kings 8:27)
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.  (Psalm 139:7-10)
Stephen Hawking, generally considered the most brilliant theoretical physicist since Einstein, says in the best-selling "A Brief History of Time" that our galaxy is an average-sized spiral galaxy that looks to other galaxies like a swirl in a pastry roll and that it is over 100,000 light years across--about 6 hundred trillion miles. He says, "We now know that our galaxy is only one of some hundred thousand million that can be seen using modern telescopes, each galaxy itself containing some hundred thousand million stars."
It is commonly held that the average distance between these hundred thousand million galaxies (each six hundred trillion miles across and containing one hundred thousand million stars) is three million light years! On top of that, the work of Edwin Hubble, based on the Doppler Effect, has shown that all red-spectrumed galaxies are moving away from us--and that nearly all are red. Thus, the universe is constantly expanding. Some estimates say that the most distant galaxy is eight billion light years away--and racing away at two hundred million miles an hour.
Moreover, God created every speck of dust in the hundred thousand million galaxies of the universe. "He created every atom--the sub-microscopic solar systems with their quarks and leptons and electrons and neutrinos--all of which have no measurable size."  (1)
So it would seem, according to our best current evidence, that physical creation is infinitely expanding, and made up of infinitely smaller building blocks...
("The Story the Stars are Telling" will continue tomorrow. We hope to see you then.)
(1) from "Genesis: Beginning and Blessing" by R. Kent Hughes

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