Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Why Does the Universe Exist?

The Bible's answer is found in Psalm 19:1: "The heavens delcare the glory of God."

But what does the writer mean by "glory"? Well, the Hebrew word translated "glory" in our English Bibles literally means "weight". So the verse could read this way: "The heavens declare the weightiness of God." See the meaning? God is a massive, weighty reality to be dealt with. The vastness of the universe speaks to the vastness of its Creator; its intricacy to His. The great stores of energy contained in the sun hint at the great energy of its Creator. The wonder of the universe is meant to tell us that its Maker is wonderful.

Maybe an illustration would help us here. In my office I have a replica of the Statue of Liberty made entirely of Legos. Upon entering my office for the first time, people often comment on it. I feel obligated to explain that it was built from a kit, with a step-by-step instruction booklet. But what if it wasn't? What if I had designed and built it myself? You might think me very creative or that I possess great spatial intelligence or that I should begin a second career as an engineer or architect. My mental powers would seem greater - weightier, more glorious - than before you walked in. My creation would say something about me, the creator, wouldn't it?

That's the point of Psalm 19:1-4. The universe is a giant object lesson designed to teach us about God who created it. The Apostle Paul makes this very point in the New Testament, in Romans 1:20: "For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made."

Paul goes on to say in the very next sentence, "So they [the human race] are without excuse." This means the universe's message that God is glorious and powerful makes each of us accountable to Him. We have no excuse for ignoring him or treating him with indifference or disdain.

I've said all this in the hope that it will set us to thinking and talking, and to commend to you a resource for further investigation: this PDF, which is chapters 1-4 of a book called Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ. You can find the entire ebook free for download HERE.

I'm certain not all of you will agree with my premise (the universe was created by God), much less my conclusions (it declares His glory and power, and makes us all accountable to Him), so let's discuss. Check out the PDF linked above. Consider what I've said. What do you think? Where do you disagree? Please know that you are free to differ - I'm interested in your thoughts and critiques.

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