God Can Afford It (2): He Shares His Power and Glory With You and Me
Dudley Hall’s Inspiration article two days ago, “God Can Afford It, ago spoke of God’s extravagance, starting with the almost over-the-top beauty of His creation. Believe it or not, though, some people say the sheer size of the universe is a sign that God didn’t create it. One of the better versions of that question goes like this:
Doesn’t the way that 99.99999999% of the universe is absolutely inhospitable to any kind of life show you that it wasn’t made for anybody? It is easy to imagine how a universe could have been more intelligently designed, with less wasted space and energy and more hospitality for life.
It’s a strange question, isn’t it? Chances are it’s never even occurred to you. But I like it anyway, not because it’s an especially profound thing to ask, but because it leads to some really encouraging thoughts about God’s greatness, His power, His glory — which He wants to share with us all, even though He doesn’t have to. God can afford that, too.
First, though, a couple of quick answers to show how this skeptic’s question misses the mark.
Space for Hospitality
First, the skeptic is probably wrong about what the universe needs for “hospitality for life.” A very large universe is probably necessary for life to exist anywhere, at least according to physics as we understand it today. According to astrophysicist Guillermo Gonzalez, life can’t thrive without a great deal of empty space (though not too much) around its home planet.
Second, the skeptic seems to think God should be concerned about “wasted” energy and space. But why? Is He running short on supplies? Does He have some bean-counter following him around to make sure He’s got enough cash and inventory left at the end of the quarter? Obviously not!
He created it all “with His outstretched arm” (Jer. 32:17) — not “arms,” but “arm.” Pardon my taking that figure of speech too literally, but language of this sort sprinkled throughout Scripture reminds me of the saying, “he did it with one hand tied behind his back.” Creating the universe didn’t even begin to tax God’s resources.
But the real problem with the question comes from taking it too seriously in the first place…
The Glory of God In His Creation
The skeptic says most of the cosmos is “wasted space.” Really? What a sad, dry, cold and mechanical way of thinking about the universe! Space isn’t empty, not anywhere. It’s filled full and running over with beauty. Everywhere the eye looks there is glory! So what if no one can live out there? We can see it. We can delight in it. We can wonder over it, in profound awe. We can study it and learn from it. We can consider our place in all its vastness. That’s empty? No way!
Maybe the skeptic will push back again, and ask what good that is. So what if humans can appreciate the cosmos? We’re just a few billion souls on one planet, circling one star among quadrillions. That makes us pretty small by comparison; hardly enough to justify it all, right?
Wrong. We know that God, the God of love, loves to give lavishly. He has made beauty for us to delight in on every scale, from the microscopic to the cosmological. What prevents him from giving us the galaxies to enjoy? Nothing. Of course God could have created it all just for His own pleasure and glory. The universe would glorify and give God joy if He were the only witness—and that would be more than enough reason for its existence. Most humans in history have never imagined the vastness and beauty that we’re privileged to see with today’s telescopes, but God has known it from the beginning. The angels have seen it, too: they were the “morning stars” who sang of the physical creation’s birth in Job 38:7.
He made it for His glory and pleasure. He shares it with us because He loves us. There’s nothing wasted here!
Not only that, but God intends to share His power (Eph. 1:14-21) and His glory (Rom. 2:10, 5:2, 8:18) with His people. We can live in that hope, no matter what our lives might look like on the surface. He’s got plenty to spare.
Adapted from Thinking Christian, “Ten Crucial Turning Points That Make All the Difference.” Used by permission.