He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing. He wraps up the waters in his clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight. He covers the face of the full moon, spreading his clouds over it. He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters for a boundary between light and darkness. The pillars of the heavens quake, aghast at his rebuke. By his power he churned up the sea; by his wisdom he cut Rahab to pieces. By his breath the skies became fair; his hand pierced the gliding serpent. And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power? (Job 26:7-14, NIV 1984).
“There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.” (Daniel 12:1–4, NIV 1984).
My Musings – The Big Bang Theory. Not just a television show. It is a theory that suggests that matter, time, space and energy began at a single point in a massive (understatement) explosion, and the universe continues to expand outwards from that point. Some pretty smart people, among them Einstein, Hubble and Hawking (sounds like a double-play combo), believe it. The “theory” is only a hundred or so years old.
How this explosion from “nothing” occurred in the first place has largely remained a mystery. When it occurred, however, has been estimated at 13.7 billion years ago. This is based upon how far the universe has expanded. For my part, it really does not matter how long ago it was. “In the beginning” has always been sufficient for me. As for the how, not really at mystery at all — “God created the heavens and the earth.”
Until recently the Big Bang Theory was the leading “scientific” explanation of the origin of the universe. But as usual, man is an inquisitive lot going “here and there to increase knowledge.” Surely there must have been something before the bang. Now, a team of scientists are postulating that the past “did not have a beginning and always existed in the infinite past.” In essence, where (someplace that was already there) was it that the single point happened. The explanation is beyond me, except to say that there was something with an infinite past. Or rather, I should say someone. “In the beginning, God” was already there. He had always been there, wherever there was. “The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity.” (Psalm 93:1-2, NIV 1984). “From all eternity.” Pretty heady stuff. Not enough increase in knowledge to fully comprehend the transcendence of God.
When I was young another heady problem baffled me. We were in the infancy of space exploration and I wondered if there was an end to space. Surely there must be, but if one reached the end what did the end, “the outer fringes,” look like? Was it a wall? What lies on the other side of the wall? If something did, then it wasn’t the end? Was it nothingness? If so, will the universe continue to expand into it? If so, then it isn’t the end. Needless to say, I am still baffled. But one thing I do know. “From everlasting to everlasting you are God.” (Psalm 90:2, NIV 1984). Just like God has always been, He will always be. The Great “I AM!“
I was reminded of this enigma this past weekend as I watched a firework display. I saw the single point where the explosion occurred. The fiery lights immediately, and very rapidly, expanded outward. But then they abruptly stopped, having reached their limit, before fading away. The point of explosion came from somewhere and someone, before reaching the single point of explosion. And when they reached the limit of their expansion, there was still space left. Yep, heady stuff.
My Advice – “Who then can understand the thunder of his power?” It would take more than an Einstein, Hubble or Hawking. Paradoxically, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3, NIV 1984). Now for the real heady stuff, “the kingdom of heaven,” is something that will never end. You’ll have to become like a little child to get there. Because, “the time of the end” of these heavens and earth may be near, it is urgent that you respond with child-like faith. “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” Choose everlasting life. You don’t have to be an Einstein.