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God of the Universe

How old is God? How Big is God? Who is God? These are the three great questions that are often asked by people, young and old, who are attempting to explain the God of the Universe.

How old is God?

According to the Bible, God is infinite and the time prior to the creation of the universe is infinite. God has always been. He is from everlasting to everlasting as is recorded in Psalm 90:2, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from EVERLASTING TO EVERLASTING, You are God.”

Our finite minds demand a beginning and an end, but with God there is no beginning and no end. God is the great timeless One, as He stated to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14). God is always in the eternal present, as the great “I AM” of the universe. He is the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity (Isaiah 57:15). He is the all powerful, all knowing, everywhere present God. He is the supreme intelligence behind all Creation. He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). However, all creation is in a continual state of change, but God will always be the same throughout all time and eternity. There is no beginning or end with God. However, when it comes to all that He has made within the universe, then the following verse applies, “He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end” (Revelations 1;8). He is the one who has brought all things within the universe into being and will bring about their demise.

How Big is God?

God is able to enter into the micro world as well as the macro world. It is possible to entertain some of the following scenarios.

1. Is God bigger than an atom? Is God big enough to enter into the world of an atom? Scientifically, atoms exist in the realm of the micro-world. No man has ever seen an atom. We can only detect their presence and characteristics through detailed chemical analysis. Atoms are the building blocks of the universe, the earth and all the natural world about us. There are about 106 atoms. Each atom can be likened to a miniature solar system. They, each, have a central nucleus with any where from one to 106 electrons revolving about the central nucleus. The electrons are negatively charged and there are an equal amount of positively charged protons within each nucleus.

At university, my physics professor illustrated the hydrogen atom, which has only one electron revolving about the central nucleus. It can be likened to a miniature solar system. From a nuclear position the hydrogen bomb is considered one of the most destructive weapons. The release of energy from an hydrogen atom is enormous. He envisaged enlarging the nucleus of the hydrogen atom to the size of a basketball and placing it in the city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The electron would then be about the size of a baseball and would be in the vicinity of Regina, Saskatchewan a distance of about 200 miles.

Is God big enough to enter into the world of an atom? Of course, He is able to enter the world of an atom, but an atom is too small to contain the God of the universe.

2. Is God bigger than Man? Of course God is bigger than man. He is able to enter into the world of Man, but Man is too small to contain the God of the universe.

3. Is God bigger than the Pacific Ocean that stretches out for thousands of miles? Isaiah 40:12 says, “God has measured the waters (of the earth) in the hollow of His hand.” How big is the hand of God? If all the waters from all the five oceans and all the lakes, rivers and glaciers were placed into the hand of God, they would not only fit into the palm of his hand, but the Bible says all the waters would fit into the hollow of His hand.

Of course God is bigger and is able to enter into the world of the oceans of the earth, but the oceans are too small to contain the God of the Universe.

4. Is God bigger than the Earth? Isaiah 48:12-13 says, “I am He, I am the First and the Last. Indeed My hand has laid the foundations of the earth.” Geology describes the earth’s foundations as being the middle mantle and the outer crust. The inner core can be likened to its cornerstone (see Daae,1 1989, p.32-34). The Bible refers to the earth’s cornerstone and foundations in Job 38:1 to 6 where we read, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth.—- or who laid its cornerstone?”

Of course, God is able to enter into all parts of our Earth, but our earth is too small to contain the God of the universe.

5. Is God bigger than our solar system? Scientists have discovered certain stars with a mass great enough to fill a space as big as the distance from the sun to the Earth. Can one imagine the great amount of rock there would be in such a sphere.

Of course, God is able to enter into all parts of our Solar System, but the solar system is too small to contain the God of the Universe.

6. Is God bigger than our Milky Way Galaxy which is a disc shaped Island Universe consisting of about 100 billion stars. There is a great concentration of stars in the central axis with spiral arms that extend away from the centre. Our solar system is like a tiny dot in one of the outer spiral arms as shown below.

Milky way galaxy. Photo courtesy of An Atlas of the Universe

Milky way galaxy. Photo courtesy of An Atlas of the Universe

If we should take an imaginary voyage through space from earth in our space ship travelling at the speed of light which is 186,000 miles per second. We would literally flash by the moon in seconds. It would take 8 minutes to pass by the sun and it would take 4 years to reach the nearest star outside our solar system. It would take about 28,000 earth years travelling at the speed of light to reach the central part of our galaxy. To travel from one peripheral edge to the other across our galaxy would take about 100,000 earth years.

Of course, God is able to enter into all parts of our galaxy, but our galaxy is too small to contain the God of the universe.

7. Is God bigger than our universe? Astronomers estimate that there are more than 100 billion galaxies within our universe. To travel from our Milky Way Galaxy to one of the closer galaxies for example, the Great Nebula (M-31) in the constellation Andromeda would take about 750,000 years travelling at the speed of light (figure 2). This spiral shaped galaxy is similar in structure to our own galaxy.

M31, the Andromeda galaxy. Photo courtesy of SEDS

M31, the Andromeda galaxy. Photo courtesy of SEDS

In 1989, the Hubble Telescope was launched into orbit about 300 miles above the earth. A repair mission in 1993 fine tuned its optical system. This enabled the orbiting telescope to obtain results that have surpassed astronomers fondest dreams. Amazing discoveries of new galaxies and clusters of galaxies are continually being made. One such cluster has been called the “Great Wall”. It is estimated to be about 500 million light years in length, 200 million light years in width and 15 million light years in depth. Within this Great Wall are large numbers of galaxies. Yet from the earth without the aid of a powerful telescope, it would appear as a tiny star. In comparison, Our Milky Way Galaxy would appear like a tiny little speck in the midst of a sea of galaxies within this Great Wall. Each galaxy and galaxy cluster within the universe appears to be on a trajectory orbit travelling at speeds, in some cases, approaching the speed of light.

Astronomers have been able to detect galaxies over six billion light years away from earth. In other words, if a certain star within a galaxy should explode,that is, become a super novae, it would take over six billion earth years to know anything about it. Astronomers claim there is a limit to our universe. If this is so, what lies in the great beyond? Would there be endless universes in the great beyond or would there be endless space?

Is God big enough to fashion a universe including all the galaxy clusters? Isaiah 40:12 says, “God has measured the Heavens with the span of His hand.” Humanly speaking a span is the distance from the tip of the little finger to the tip of the thumb when the hand is stretched out, a distance of about 9 inches. Then Isaiah 48:13 says, “My right hand has stretched out the heavens.” This implies that God is the One responsible for stretching out or expanding the boundaries of the universe with His hand. How big is the hand of God that He can measure and stretch out the universe with His hand?

Isaiah 48:12 says, “My right hand has stretched out the heavens; when I call unto them, they stand up together.” This implies that God has complete control of every galaxy, star, pulsar, quasar, planet, moon, etc., within our universe. Each one would respond to His word or command. If God should command our sun which is travelling upon a trajectory orbit within our Milky Way Galaxy to slow down or speed up, it would respond accordingly. It becomes obvious that God has control of, what we call, natural laws and that he has a supernatural computer system that controls the movements of every star in our universe.

The psalmist received a glimpse into the bigness of God. We read in Psalm 8:3-4, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and stars which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him.” How big are the fingers of God that He is able to fashion a universe by the work of His fingers? Then we read in psalm 8:1, “O Lord, our Lord how excellent is Your name in all the earth, You who set Your glory above the heavens.” This verse implies that God’s glory extends above and beyond the realms of the universe into the great beyond.

We read in Job 22:12-14b, “Is not God in the height of the heavens? And behold the height of the stars, how high they are and He walks the circuit of the Heavens.” God is never in a hurry, He never needs to run. How God is able to walk the circuit of the universe is beyond human understanding. As finite, created beings we are bound by space and time, whereas God fills all space and time. We read in Jeremiah 23:24, “Do not I fill all heaven and earth says the Lord.”

Once we see the bigness and greatness of God, we begin to see the smallness of man. On the basis of rational reason and logic the Creator must always be greater and bigger than what he has created. If creation appears great, glorious, beautiful and majestic, how much greater, more glorious, more awesome, beautiful and majestic must God be. The Creator must always be greater than what He has created.

Of course, God is able to enter into all parts of the universe, but the universe is too small to contain the God of Heaven and Earth.

We get another glimpse of the great God of the universe in Isaiah 40:28-31,

“Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
neither faints nor is weary.
There is no searching of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak,
and to those who have no
might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
and the young men shall utterly fall,
but those who wait on the Lord
shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.”

This is the same God who said in Matthew 11:28-31, “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

From the above references we discover that the God of the universe is also a loving, personal God who is wanting to help and to assist man in his journey through life. He has extended an invitation to all mankind to come to Him for rest and strength. He is continually wanting to get our attention. Being, His invitation is to each one of us, it is imperative that we begin to search him out and to find out who He is.

We have briefly discussed the first two questions namely, How old is God? and How big is God? Now we will consider the question, Who is God?

Who Is God?

The God of the Bible is One God with three persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He is all powerful (omnipotent), everywhere present (omnipresent), and all knowing (omniscient). He has always been and always will be. He is the God of the universe and is portrayed as a three-in-one relationship, one God with three distinct personalities: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. In relation to the physical universe, God the Father can be likened to the “Master Architect,” God the Son to the “Master Creator,” and God the Holy Spirit to the “Infinite Indweller.”

It was in the beginning that God the Father, the great Master Architect came forth with an architectural blueprint or plan for the entire universe. Within the Father is found all the power to create. He could have created each individual sphere in space by the awesome power of His Word, but he has chosen to assign the actual work of creation to God the Son, the Great Divine Creator and Contractor of the universe, who carried out the perfect will and plan of God the Father by creating, forming and making the heavens and the earth. We are told that, “All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3). The Holy Spirit was sent to indwell, to fill, and to perpetuate this vast area of creation. God the Holy Spirit has the inherent power to create. He could have created the universe, but He didn’t, because the work of creation was delegated to God the Son who is no other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

It is important to keep in mind that there was and continues to be perfect harmony and cooperation between God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in the overall work of planning, designing, creating, forming and maintaining the universe. To illustrate, an architect is involved in the work of planning large buildings. The contractor is involved with the work of construction, and the people who occupy the building are the indwellers. Thus we begin to see that all three persons of the Godhead were involved in the overall work of creation, but each had a different, unique, role to play.

The very first verse of Genesis brings out the plurality of the Godhead in creation as follows: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1) The Hebrew word for God in this verse is ELOHIM, which has the Hebrew ending most commonly used for masculine nouns in the plural. A devout Hebrew scholar of two centuries ago, Dr. Parkhurst defined the word Elohim as a name usually given in the scriptures to the Trinity, by which they represent themselves as under the obligation of an oath.2

According to this definition the Elohim covenanted not only with the creation but, as the Godhead, within itself. Creation is the act of the Elohim. In Colossians we see that Christ, the second person of the Godhead is within the Elohim as follows: “For in Him were ALL THINGS CREATED, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible – all things were CREATED by him, and for him.” (Colossians 1:16) and again we read as follows: “All things were MADE by him, and without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3).

Then in Genesis we read that the Spirit of Elohim moved or brooded over the waters of the earth as follows: “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:3). This is the first mention of God the Holy Spirit who is involved with the maintenance of creation.

According to Stone, Elohim is always in the plural form, but is accompanied by verbs and adjectives in the singular.3 In the first verse of Genesis the verb “create” is singular, as it is throughout the Bible. In many places we find singular pronouns, such as “I am God (Elohim) and there is no God (Elohim) beside me” (Isaiah 45:5). Elohim often speaks of himself as “us” or “our”: “Let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26); and also when God came down to earth and dispersed the nation of Babel throughout the earth, “Let us go down and confound their language”(Genesis ll:7). A third example is when the prophet Isaiah was given a glimpse of the Lord God of heaven and earth `high and lifted up,’ sitting upon a throne. God said to the prophet, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us.” (Isaiah 6:8). In both the Old and New Testaments the Trinity of the Godhead is revealed through the word Elohim as a plurality: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, yet one God.

The Hebrew word Elohim also expresses the idea of greatness and glory, including creative and governing power, omnipotence, and sovereignty.4 From Genesis 1:1 to 2:4 the only word used for ‘God’ is Elohim, which appears thirty-five times. It is Elohim who by his mighty power creates the universe by the power of his word and the breath of his mouth. In other words, He is the possessor and ruler of all heaven and earth, whose presence cannot be confined by space or time. The Bible says that he fills all space which is recorded, “Do not I fill all heaven and earth saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:24). He is the great and mighty transcenent One, which means He exists outside and beyond the boundaries of our universe. He is also imminent within the universe, which means that He is present everywhere within the universe. In other words, He is not dependent upon the universe, but the universe is totally dependent upon Him.

In summation, God is one God and apart from Him there is no other God. He exists eternally as three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God has a plan for the universe which has been in operation for million of years. It is going on at present and will continue into the future – into all ETERNITY!

References

1. Daae, H.D., “Bridging The Gap: The first 6 Days
2. Parkhurst, Hebrew Lexicon, see Elohim.
3. Stone, Nathan J., “Names of God” (Chicago: The Moody Press, 1944).
4. Stone.

 

 

last updated: March 8, 2013
Copyright © 2010 Genesis International Research Association