How Great Thou Art

JEHOVAH, our God, is the great Emperor of the whole universe, and his wisdom, power, goodness, and benevolence are abundantly equal to all the responsibilities of so exalted an office. The human mind staggers in its efforts to comprehend the mental resources of a Being who is able to assume and bear such responsibility. Think for a moment of the memory that never fails; of the judgment that never errs; of the wisdom that plans for eternity without the possibility of failure, and which times that plan with unerring precision for the ages to come; [think] of the power and skill which can harness even every opposing element,—animate and inanimate,—and make them all work together for the accomplishment of his grand designs; [think] of the tireless vigilance that never ceases, nor seeks relief from the pressing cares of universal dominion—whose eye never sleeps, whose ear is ever open, and who is ever cognizant of all the necessities, and active in all the interests, of his broad domains.—R.-1560

Memory That Never Fails

Man’s ability mentally to store information and later to recall it is a continual source of wonder. We just do not understand how it is accomplished! Occasionally one is revealed who has nearly total recall of all that has been fed into the memory storage portion of his brain. The wizardry of computers does assist us somewhat in understanding the process. However, these computers are built with much cost and research. But through the miracle of birth a new human being enters the world with all of the potential of a mature brain which greatly exceeds any computer ever built.

Notice the Bible testimony regarding our Heavenly Father’s boundless capabilities. “To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy one. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things [stars], that bringeth out their host by number; he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. … Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.”—Isa. 40:25,26,28

Aside from creating the stars, just calling them all by name staggers our imagination. Dr. Hubbell, of the Mt. Palomar Observatory, estimated there are over a hundred billion suns in our galaxy, and unnumbered millions of such star groupings. This would mean there are billions upon billions of blazing suns in fixed orbits in the blackness of space. To have each as a well-known object would call for a memory that indeed never fails!

We cannot properly appreciate what a billion means—we can only illustrate to understand to some degree. A billion one dollar bills—smooth and unwrinkled,—if stacked upon each other flatwise, would produce a column over sixty-three miles high. Imagine a mind which could name each dollar differently, and with ease recall its name and location! This feat God can do billions of times over with the stars he first created.

The stars, of course, are not in close proximity as would be the piled high dollar bills. The far reaches of space are so vast we numbly try to understand, and cannot. To illustrate: If it cost a penny to ride 1,000 miles, a trip around the world would cost 25¢, to the moon $2.38; to the sun only $930.00, but a trip to the nearest star (4.4 light years) would cost $260,000,000. There are known star groupings over twenty-eight billion light years away.

Judgment That Never Fails - Plans For Eternity

This is abundantly illustrated in material creation. Isaiah 45:18 says, “God himself … formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited.”

The phrase, “He formed it to be inhabited,” stimulates the reverential mind to delightful reverie where one is overawed at the profound wisdom and power displayed to make this a reality. And yet our frail minds can grasp but a small portion of all that is involved.

For countless centuries mankind was aware of the light, warmth, and blessing of the sun. Also they were aware of the soft, silver mantle of light from the moon. They, too, adjusted their lives to night and day, spring and summer, autumn and winter. However, the inhabitants did not know why these things of dark, light, and seasons existed.

Now we know with great clarity why these things are so. We have learned that to make the earth man’s habitation many fixed laws were established by our almighty God. Through laws of gravitation the earth is firmly fixed in its yearly orbit around the sun, and those same laws hold in circle movement the moon around the earth.

When space exploration was started we learned astounding facts about the speed needed for a body to circle the earth in space. To place an object in orbit without its returning to earth requires a speed of 17,500 MPH, and to escape the earth’s gravitational pull means an acceleration of speed to 25,000 MPH.

And we have learned that to make the earth “to be inhabited” God has set this planet Earth as a satellite of the sun much like a high-speed spinning gyroscopic top. We are twirling each twenty-four hours at about 1,000 miles per hour, and our grand yearly sweep around the sun is at the astounding speed of 66,680 MPH.

Yet these gravitational motions, so soft, so gentle, made in absolute silence, absolute darkness, and without friction, strain, jar, shock or tremor, project our earth through space at almost unbelievable speeds, and in the meantime twist and turn it upon its axis. We are only aware of this because of the “rising” and “setting” of the sun, night and days, warmth and cold, and the lengthening and shortening of days.

The phrase, “formed it to be inhabited” involves much more than laws of gravitation. The earth had to have a “life support” system for all its creatures. The thought is poetically stated in Psalm 145:15,16, “The eyes of all await Thee; and Thou givest them their meat in due season; Thou openest Thine hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing.”

Our moon shots have emphasized the life-support system needed for humankind. The astronauts must have supplies of oxygen, heat, food, water, light, and protection from harmful radiation—among many other needs. The Lord has provided this on the earth in an almost magical way.

The sun, which holds us in orbit, also provides us with light, heat, oxygen, water, and nourishment. Ecologists speak of the atmosphere around the earth as our oxygen “bubble.” Long, long ago God stated it in this manner: “It is He … that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a curtain in which to dwell.”—Isa. 40:22

The sun shines upon the earth, causes seeds to germinate, and all things to grow. Plankton in the sea, trees, and shrubs on land take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, thus replenishing our “tent” with life-giving “air” to breathe. The same sun draws water from the oceans, sends the moisture-laden clouds to earth by winds created through thermal updrafts of air over the land masses. The gardens of earth are refreshed by the rain, and the remainder finds its way back to the sea for the endless circulation system of water.

The sun and water cause seeds to germinate; the plants send out their leafy arms and the chlorophyll transforms the sun’s energy into food which we may eat. The far reaches of our atmosphere absorb and deflect harmful rays from the sun, so that creatures on the planet may not be harmed. The same atmosphere causes refraction of light so we can have the means to see, and it also forms a blanket so we do not have the harsh differences in temperature between night and day, such as occur on the moon, where there is virtually no atmosphere. This same atmosphere has such density that sound waves can be produced and the “ear” can “hear” those vibrations generated by the vocal chords of another. On the moon one could not hear another speaking except via radio. “Indeed, God did form the earth to be inhabited.”

And God plans for eternity! We know that all matter has the same common “building blocks.” It was once thought that the smallest, indivisible particle of matter was the atom. Now we know the particles which form the atom are the same in all matter,—the difference in count and arrangement causing the variation in the end substance.

Mankind, in the “unfinished” earth, has plundered its resources. This is so apparent in his search for energy. Wood was once man’s only source, and with abandon he cut down the forests of earth. Next he found and began to scar the earth for coal. Man’s needs for energy pyramided, and great subterranean pools of oil were found. The thirst for oil has become so great that a recent study revealed that the world’s oil reserve will be depleted in less than half a century.

Man has been turning to nuclear power as the final solution to energy needs. However, the pollution problems it presents are legion. But God said he “formed the earth to be inhabited.”

In the late forties the head of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology stated that if the twenty-five billion dollars then spent on atomic power had been spent on developing solar energy that source would now have been providing our needs. He said that the amount of solar energy which falls on the earth in three days is equal to all energy which could be extracted from every known source of wood, coal, and oil. And the amount of the sun’s energy which strikes the earth is only a two-billionth part of the whole. God did indeed “form the earth to be inhabited,” and mankind’s needs have been provided to all eternity.

God’s power and skill harnesses every opposing element and makes them work together for good.

Our sun has come to symbolize life to all people,—the savage and the civilized. Without the sun we could not be brought into existence, think a thought, wink an eye, move a finger, or take a step; nor could we see, hear, feel, taste, or smell. Not a seed could germinate, no cloud could form, no rain could fall, no river flow, no lightning flash, no flame could be kindled. The sun is life.

And yet the sun is a seething mass of nuclear fusion. This same nuclear fusion uncontrolled could cause death in massive proportions. Nuclear fission has been witnessed in our generation. At 8:15 A.M. on August 6, 1945, twenty-eight yeas ago, one bomb, dropped on one city in Japan, forever changed the fate of every living thing on the face of the globe. That one bomb killed, directly or indirectly, at once or in time, around 200,000 men, women, and children. They were blasted to bits, or crushed, or suffocated; they were stricken with radiation sickness, or simply fried to death in a man-made temperature that for one awful flash of a moment exceeded 1,800,000 degrees of Fahrenheit—heat beside which the blazing surface of the sun is cool.

But God can harness such awesome energy, place it in the sky at the proper distance from our planet so that instead of causing death it nourishes, blesses, and warms the people of earth!

The Bible states that man is a special creation. We read in Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him.” This suggests that mankind possessed a position in God’s sight much greater than the lower animals. It could have meant he had a dominion in an extremely small way such as God’s; that man was meant to have rule over the planet Earth as does God over his broad domain. Even though we may not, at the time, understand all that is involved in the statement, “in his own image,” we do realize there are special blessings that belong to humankind. Man was given dominion over the earth. Also to him was given the power of reason, logic, planning for the future, and perception of moral laws. Built into him originally was the ability to discern between right and wrong in relation to the highest law,—that of God’s justice.

Also, when created, God gave to this human family many “plus” values, a plus value would be the benefits of creation that exceed primary needs. For instance, the primary function of an automobile is to transport one from one point in place to another.

To illustrate the plus value beyond the primary function in an automobile, added to the wheels were fenders. Thus dust and mud would not be spewed on the traveler. The enclosed body with glass added for vision eliminated wind and noise. The cushioned seat softened harsh bumps. The shock absorbers “smoothed” out the road, as did pneumatic tires. Air-conditioning provided comfort when excessive heat was outside, and the radio gave entertainment and news to offset boredom. None of these plus values were needed for primary transportation.

God’s tenderness in creation of man is shown in the plus values given. Our eyes are designed to transmit to the brain that environment which surrounds us. But our eyes see differently than do animals. Scientists say animals do not see in color as we do. We know that electro-chemical reaction occurs in our eyes, and because of this we become aware of color.

Animals—such as cattle—see the grass for food, trees for shade, darkness for sleep. We see the verdant green fields which are restful to our eyes and souls. We respond to the azure blue sky above, flecked with fleecy white clouds. We see the tree “that is pleasant for sight, and good for food,” symmetrical and in varying shades of green. We respond ecstatically when the trees in autumn adorn themselves with multi-colored leaves. When night falls we watch the glory of the sun, given for a time to the clouds which float above.

And then at night come out the symbols of eternity—the stars. Many people have spoken so much of the joy of vision and inspiration which comes from viewing the night sky. Perhaps Emerson stated it best; “If the stars should appear only one night in a thousand years, how men would believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown. But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.”

Another “plus” value is our sense of taste. The cattle of earth munch incessantly the grass of the meadow. There is no change of food,—just grass. But with humankind it is so different! Most have had the experience of being a grateful guest in the home of a skilled hostess. We have seen the viands presented in so many tasteful ways, and each dish in itself was a delight to the eye as well as the taste.

So with our God. He has fashioned the fruit of earth in many colors, and each has a different and distinct, pleasing taste. To illustrate, think of the crisp red apple; golden sweet orange; the tangy, deep-hued plum; the luscious, juice-laden pear; the irresistible sun-kissed grapes. One could go on at length about the plus values in God’s food for men.

So too with hearing. The ears,—organs to receive vibrations from the world around,—are needed to survive. But think of the plus values for man! Can anyone explain why we respond to the gurgling brook; a bird singing in the trees; the rhythmic lap of waves at the seashore; the wind sighing in the trees? Can anyone explain the joy of heart which comes when we hear children’s voices at play, or the sweet lonesome note of a violin? Then think of the emotion that grips our soul when we hear a blending of voices in the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel’s Oratorio, The Messiah! These joys and responses speak to us of God. He did make man in his image!

The sense of smell is vital to life for any creature. But God gave man many plus values. We respond to the fragrance of the orange blossom; the scent of new-mown hay triggers pleasant memories of younger years and happy times. We recall with delight the sweet smell that follows storm, or the pleasantly pungent odor of newly turned earth.

And the sense of feel has its plus value. Each parent recalls the tender, silky feel of their baby’s skin—the warm sun—the gentle breeze.

Why do we respond with joy to the rich color in an evening sky, the sweet taste of ripe fruit, the bird singing with joy from a lofty branch, the fragrance of the blooming honeysuckle, the warm sun that shines above? Our Heavenly Father built them into our very being; he created us after his image, and then splashed our world with joy for sight and sound, touch and fragrance, and sweet taste.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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