From time to time, an atheist will say to me that the size of the universe is evidence that A) we’re insignificant, and B) it wasn’t created by God (since there’s so much “wasted space”). In his book Look and Live, Matt Papa reflects on a purpose for the massive size of the universe:
One of the best places to see the glory of God is up. The Bible says “the heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1 NIV). This means the skies are saying something. And that something is this: “God is massive, eternal, creative, powerful.”
We should listen to them. Consider these fun space facts:
- You could fit one million earths inside our star, the sun.
- In a larger star named Betelguese, you could fit one billion (1,000,000,000) suns or 262 trillion (262,000,000,000,000) earths.
- The largest star in the universe is the VY Canis Majoris. It would take 9.3 billion (9,300,000,000) suns to fill Canis Majoris.
- It would take 11,666,192,832,000,000 earths to fill Canis Majoris.
- If Canis Majoris were put in our sun’s place, it would extend past Saturn.
Feeling small yet?...
Why in the world would God make something so massive and wild?
Assuming we are the only life in this endless black (which I do), couldn’t He have just made the earth, the moon, and the sun? Or perhaps even just the earth with some sort of self-illumination?
But no. He didn’t.
He made a terrifying, endless, beautiful, unexplored, unexplorable abyss. He made an immeasurable, untamed ocean of mega stars, galaxies, quasars, and black holes in which we are a mere floating speck.
The heavens declare the glory of God.
The Artist must have wanted to tell us something about himself. He is the real terrifying, endless, beautiful, unexplored, unexplorable Abyss. He is the immeasurable, untamed Ocean of truth, wisdom, goodness, and light in which we are a mere floating speck.
So yes, the massive size of the universe does reveal our insignificance in comparison to the God of the universe, and that inspires our awe. But at the same time, He created it this way for this precise purpose of revealing His glory to us, and that means that despite how insignificant we are compared to Him, He stooped down out of love for us and declared us to be significant to Him.