I wasn’t planning on writing a blog post for several days, but last night, I watched a movie called The Privileged Planet that showed how special our planet is in the universe. It was made by a group of scientists who were trying to show that the likelihood of a planet like earth evolving with all the necessary conditions to support life (a huge number of factors – like distance from the sun, a large moon, an oxygen rich atmosphere, liquid water, the list goes on and on) is practically impossible!
The movie went on to note that it’s interesting that our planet which is so obviously designed to support life and is unique in that design, is also perfectly situated for scientific discovery of the universe surrounding us. Our place in the Milky Way is the perfect place in order to observe and make discoveries about the universe. If our solar system was located anywhere else in the Milky Way galaxy, we would not be able to see or discover nearly as much as from where we are.
That shows us that we were placed on this special planet earth – a planet that is perfectly situated both in our own solar system and in our galaxy – to enable us to see the universe that God has created! Doesn’t that just blow your mind?
I’ve heard a lot and seen a lot about the size of the universe – how incredibly small we are in comparison to everything around us. But it really struck home last night when I was watching The Privileged Planet. I’m sure you’ve all seen the picture to the right – the tiny speck of light in the middle is the earth seen in a ray of light from the sun. It amazed me to see how tiny and insignificant we are in our own solar system, how even tinier in our own galaxy which is one of many galaxies in the universe that God created.
Think about that for a minute! I’ve seen all of this a hundred times before and heard about it even more than that, and yet, I stand amazed!
I wonder sometimes how someone can look up at the stars and our special planet and the universe and not know that all of this could not simply have happened by chance, that it had to have been created! But I think that what stops people from believing this is pride and fear. Fear? Yes, bear with me a moment.
It seems easier, somehow, to think about God as the Creator of earth, or even as the Creator of our solar system.
But when you think about God as the Creator of the universe and all of the galaxies filled with all of the stars, many of them so much bigger than the sun, it’s frightening! Because it means that we are so much smaller than we would have liked to think and God is so much bigger and so much more powerful and awesome than we could ever have imagined!
And in pride, some people just don’t want to believe that. They don’t want to accept their own insignificance. They don’t want to accept a God who is so much more powerful than anyone can comprehend, because it means that He is in control and they are not. They would rather believe that all of this happened by chance, that is we who make something of ourselves, we who will someday conquer space and tame this marvelous universe!
In the end, it seems easier (and safer) to believe that it happened by chance, because its is scarier to believe that the power necessary to create everything actually exists. It is easier to not believe in God, because it means that we can keep our ideas of self-reliance and self-importance.
And yet, we know that this is not true!
The very fact that our planet is so perfectly designed and perfectly situated that it can support life – a condition that has so far been discovered to be unique – clearly points to a Creator, not chance. The probability of everything coming together – all of the necessary elements required for life – on this tiny planet out of all the planets in the universe, by chance, simply does not exist.
The Bible tells us that God is the star breather. “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth.” (Psalms 33:6)
Truly, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heart. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the end of the world.” (Psalms 19:1-4)
Psalms 147:4-5 tells us that “He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.”
|Image of the cross at the center
of the Whirlpool galaxy
Yet the God who created the whole universe, who breathes forth the stars and knows their name, who spoke the earth into being and placed it in just the right place so that we could live and positioned it so that we could discover the world around us, this God was willing to humble Himself and come to earth in the form of a human baby. He loved us so much – us, the tiny little people, on a tiny little planet in the midst of the vast universe He spoke into being – that He was willing to die so that we could be reconciled to Him and have a relationship with Him. To rise so that we might live.
Does that not simply blow your mind away! Truly, our God is an awesome God! We do not revere Him as we should. Our minds cannot grasp how awesome and mighty He is and the depth of His mercy and grace!
Just some things that really struck me as I watched the movie last night. It was a really good movie to watch. If you’re anything like me, you’ll really come away amazed… and wanting to study astronomy! :)
~ A Servant of the King
To the praise of His glory…
Genesis 1:14-19 “And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs and mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights – the great light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the fourth day.”