One of the blessings I am truly grateful for is a curious mind!
I love finding out something I didn’t know or learning a new fact that has been hiding in plain sight all my life.
I recently sent my grandson a link to articles on how we can discover the radius of the earth or get an estimate of how much the earth weighs.
Although the process to do so is incredibly simple and just requires a few observations and a little mathematical juggling, what I find awesome is that we are endowed by our creator with the ability to formulate such questions in the first place. I’m pretty sure that such inquiries don’t inhabit the thoughts of anteaters, aardvarks or zebras!
(If you’re interested in that sort of trivia, drop me a message and I’ll share a link or two with you!)
“Weighing the earth” brought to mind a similar phrase from the prophet Isaiah:
“Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale? Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord? Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him? Has the Lord ever needed anyone’s advice? Does he need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach him what is right or show him the path of justice? No, for all the nations of the world are but a drop in the bucket. They are nothing more than dust on the scales. He picks up the whole earth as though it were a grain of sand. All the wood in Lebanon’s forests and all Lebanon’s animals would not be enough to make a burnt offering worthy of our God. The nations of the world are worth nothing to him. In his eyes they count for less than nothing—mere emptiness and froth. To whom can you compare God? What image can you find to resemble him? Can he be compared to an idol formed in a mold, overlaid with gold, and decorated with silver chains?Or if people are too poor for that, they might at least choose wood that won’t decay and a skilled craftsman to carve an image that won’t fall down! Haven’t you heard? Don’t you understand? Are you deaf to the words of God—the words he gave before the world began? Are you so ignorant? God sits above the circle of the earth. The people below seem like grasshoppers to him! He spreads out the heavens like a curtain and makes his tent from them. He judges the great people of the world and brings them all to nothing. They hardly get started, barely taking root, when he blows on them and they wither. The wind carries them off like chaff. “To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One. Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.” Isaiah 40:12-26 NLT
As humans we like to boast that God has made us in His image, and this is certainly an awesome truth and reason to praise and thank Him. But too often we are tricked into thinking that God must be like us and think like us.
This is a fallacy that Satan likes to push on us so we will start to believe that God should be doing things our way. Somehow we think we can create God in our image.
It’s fine to ask God why He is doing things in the way He is, or the reasoning behind His timing. He says He wants us to "reason together” [Isaiah 1:18] But when we start to come up with policies and positions, and invent doctrines and beliefs we’re sure God must surely support, we are way ahead of our headlights, and that kind of thinking does not end well! It’s not as if He hasn’t made His intentions known to us.
Of course this tendency is not a new phenomenon. When the people God chose as a vehicle to demonstrate His majesty and Power started to get out in front of their skis, God gave Isaiah words I have quoted above to put things into perspective. I love his assessment of the grand aspirations of the SuperPowers of the world: “The nations of the world are worth nothing to him. In his eyes they count for less than nothing—mere emptiness and froth.” Isaiah 40:17 NLT They count for nothing! They are merely dust on a scale!
It does us good to be reminded of the majesty and glory and immensity of our God. Having a healthy sense of awe keeps our relationship with Him in perspective. His ways and thinking are so far beyond my intellect comparing them is like asking a grasshopper to come up with a way to weigh the planet earth!
We are all so familiar with the quotation from John 3:16, “God so loved the world, that He gave…” that we tend to miss the transcendental awesomeness of the concept.
This boundless, infinite entity that brought everything into being is focussed on having me, one of his creations, having a personal relationship with him in a way that demonstrates how truly awesome he is! He did this in a way I can understand by being just like me to show that the disparity in our status doesn’t invalidate his purposes.
This is truly mind-blowing and awesome, and I keep thinking there must be a catch somewhere. But God didn’t just talk the talk, in Jesus he walked the walk. I hope you appreciate how awesomely privileged and loved you are!
To quote the last words of the late buddhist Steve Jobs: “Wow!, Just wow!”
Blessings on you and yours, Jim Black
P.S. if you’d like to read previous ruminations of mine they can be found at https://salvationarmyconcordca.org/chronicle/