By Michael E. Brooks
“Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion? Can you bring out Mazzaroth in its season? Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth?” (Job 38:31-33 NKJV)
This past fall in Bangladesh I looked out on clear nights to see two large bright stars near the moon. I was fairly sure these were planets, rather than actual stars, but was not certain just which ones.
After several nights of puzzling over them, I finally found a site on the internet which showed current maps of the night skies in various parts of the world. From these I was able to determine that I was seeing Venus and Jupiter. Knowing what I was looking at did not make these heavenly bodies any larger, brighter, or more beautiful. Nevertheless, that knowledge enhanced my appreciation of the view.
I am overwhelmed at the volume of information available to us on the subject of astronomy. There are scores (perhaps hundreds) of named constellations, thousands of named stars, and multitudes more of planets, asteroids, comets, and other smaller items filling space. Not only are they named, but their locations, orbits, size, and material nature have been studied and recorded by scientists.
Yet the knowledge which humans have gained about the skies is limited and incomplete. Much has yet to be discovered. What has been examined is not thoroughly understood, that is, not by humans.
There is one who not only knows everything about every heavenly object, but actually designed and made them. God did “bind the cluster of the Pleiades.” He does “guide the Great Bear (Arcturus) with its cubs.”
Such knowledge is impossible for us to understand. To many it is incredible. Yet the only thing more difficult to accept than an omniscient and omnipotent Creator is that the infinitely complex heavens came about through accident, without design or intelligence. “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1).
David spoke of the witness of the heavens in Psalm 8:3: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have ordained. . .” The creation spoke to him of two wonderful things. First was God’s power and wisdom. Second, and perhaps even more wonderful to David, was God’s concern and compassion for humanity. How can an infinite, perfect God trouble himself with frail, sinful mankind?
David’s question is essentially unanswerable. There is no logical, rational reason for God’s love for us. Yet the fact of his love is real, and has been unmistakably demonstrated in history.
“In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent his only begotten son into the world, that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9). The maker of the entire universe is also our Maker, our Father, and our Savior. He loves us. He gives us all blessings (Ephesians 1:3).
Nothing that pertains to us is too small or insignificant for him to notice (Matthew 10:29-31). That is simply the way he is, and the blessing he has bestowed upon us. Whether we are able to understand it may be irrelevant. The fact is that we may receive his blessings and abide in the relationship he offers us. And that may be even more incredible than the material creation.
By Michael E. Brooks