Pastor Dr. T. Valson Abraham Founder/President India Gospel Outreach President India Bible College and Seminary
What is the glory of God?
The dictionary defines “glory” as “very great praise, honor, or distinction bestowed by common consent; renown; something that is a source of honor, fame, admiration; resplendent beauty or magnificence or prosperity; a state of absolute happiness, gratification, contentment; the splendor and bless of heaven.”
What is the glory…of God? The truth is, we don’t know. None of us has ever seen God. We cannot look upon the fullness of His glory and live. However, the Bible declares in Psalm 19, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.”
What are the heavens telling us?
The “heavens” are what astronomers call the “observable universe,” what is described as “a spherical region comprising all matter that can be observed at the present time because electromagnetic radiation from these objects have had time to reach earth since the beginning of cosmological expansion.” It refers to the “limit created by the speed of light. Any object further away than light can travel in the age of the universe (estimated at about 14 billion years) have not reached us yet.”
This “observable universe,” we are told, is now about 46.5 billion light years in radius, or 93 billion light years in diameter. One light year, the distance light travels in a year, equals about 6 trillion miles. Early in 2017, an English team of astronomers estimated that within this observable universe are at least 2 trillion galaxies, each with billions of stars, 10 times more than previously thought.
This means an observable universe of stars numbers in the quintillions, sextillions and septillions. The human mind cannot begin to understand or comprehend such numbers.
All of these stars and galaxies, however incomprehensible their numbers and sizes, still represent only 4% of the total mass of the universe. The remaining 96% comprises other matter that the astronomers haven’t even been able to identify yet!
All of this represents only the “observable universe.” Most parts of the universe are simply too far away for any of us to ever observe with any telescope no matter how advanced because we live in a universe that is expanding faster than the speed of light.
The Bible also tells us that God has a name for each star.
None of us can fully comprehend the universe, but the Bible tells us that the very size and complexity of the universe declares His glory. The God who created it all holds the universe in His hands.
In His hands. Think of it—the vast universe in which we live only hints at the glory of God. We cannot actually behold the glory of God and live. But in the heavens, God has left us a big hint of His glory, so obvious that none of us can miss it.
The more evidence astronomers gain of the universe’s expanse, we can react in one of two ways. The conventional way in a secular culture is to ignore God altogether and say that the universe is just a vast and impersonal place. The earth is a speck of dust, humanity is nothing more than a collection of worthless microbes, and life has no meaning.
As Christians, our growing knowledge of the universe’s expanse should declare to us that God is even greater than what our godly forefathers knew. His love and grace are more boundless than we thought, His incarnation more miraculous, His humbling of Himself in Jesus Christ to suffer in our place is more stunning. His sacrifice is more sacrificial, His character more outstanding, His trustworthiness more pure, His Word holds greater value.
In your spirit, enter the stable in Bethlehem with its pungent smells of hay, straw and animal dung. Listen to the bleat of sheep and goats, the lowing of cattle. Note the young woman who lovingly watches over a red-faced infant, fresh from her womb, wrapped in swaddling clothes.
Look again at the newborn baby lying in the straw. This male-child is the creator of all the stars, planets, galaxies and dark energy. He is the Lamb of God, about to bear your sin and my sin, the sins of every person who ever lived or will live. He is about to enter us into a new humanity that will one day astound the angels of heaven.
Behold in that newborn baby the love of God that will not let us go. Then fall down and worship Him.
This is the glory of God. We must make sure that others know about Him. He is the one person we all should take the time to know.
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Father God, your glory is so great, I cannot grasp it. I thank you that in your glorious grace, you have sent your Son, Jesus Christ, to help me experience your glory as the greatest gift I could possibly enjoy. And when I see you, I shall be like you because I shall see you as you are. I pray for others who do not yet know you, that they will also know this inexpressible gift. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.