The Incredible Universe

Some time ago an article appeared in the National Geographic entitled "The Incredible Universe," by Kenneth F. Weaver and James P. Blair. It included this paragraph:
How can the human mind deal with the knowledge that the farthest object we can see in the universe is perhaps ten billion light years away! Imagine that the thickness of this page represents the distance from the earth to the sun (93,000,000 miles, or about eight light minutes). Then the distance to the nearest star (14-1/3 light years) is a 71-foot-high stack of paper. And the diameter of our own galaxy (l00,000 light years) is a 310-mile stack, while the edge of the known universe is not reached until the pile of paper is 31,000,000 miles high, a third of the way to the sun.

As incredible as the universe is, what's more amazing is that God created it all with the power of His Word. And what's even more amazing is that we can know this God personally. The Creator is our Redeemer. This is what He says:
"With my own hands I founded the earth, with my right hand I formed the expanse of sky; when I summoned them, they sprang at once into being..." Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, "I am the Lord your God, I teach you for your own advantage and lead you in the way you must go. If only you had listened to my commands, your prosperity would have rolled on like a river in flood and your righteousness like the waves of the sea..." (Isaiah 48:13, 17, 18, NEB).

The God who has rescued us in our rebellion is the commanding presence in the universe. Nothing disproves him. Rather, everything reveals his glory. The prosperity (i.e., peace) we know in Him is not seasonal, but perpetual. And His righteousness covers our sin again and again like the waves of the sea.


  1. Paul,

    The vastness of the universe is a truly amazing thing to consider. But the distance to the nearest star (Proxima Centauri) is actually 4.2 light-years, which I think was stated more-or-less correctly in Weaver's and Blair's original article (rather than 14-1/3). However, according to my calculations (based on a light-year of about 5,878,500,538,300 miles), the first stack of paper would be 88 feet high, the second stack would be 399 miles high, and the third would be 39,900,000 miles high. Not to be picky or anything...


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