“Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.” Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
As Adams says the universe is not what you would call small, indeed, it seemingly gets bigger every year as scientists peer even further into the depths of space. According to the most recent guess its somewhere in the region of 156 billion light years wide. In other words, if you believe in the Big Bang, it would take longer than 10 times the age of this universe to travel across it. And as most scientists think that the universe is expanding you would probably still not have done it.
But the question still remains: why is the Universe so big? Now from a Big Bang perspective it’s because everything ‘exploded’ out from a tiny little piece of something. Yet I’ve never much got on with the Big Bang theory, it strikes me that it replaces one god (the God of the Bible) with another (the God of Chance). Frankly I trust the Biblical account of Creation far more than any human offering. Which means that question becomes: why did God create the Universe so big?
If you think about it He didn’t need to. As far as we can tell Earth was the only planet God created with life on it. Humanity was the sole reason why God created the Universe in the first place. God could easily have just done our solar system or galaxy and it would be plenty big enough. This being the case why did God bother to create a Universe that is 156 billion light years wide? It’s highly unlikely that humans will ever see it all or expand and fill it. And it’s not as if it serves a practical purpose…or does it?
The Bible says about Creation:
“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
“Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.”
Psalm 19 vs 1 – 2
This means that the entire Universe is given to the task of proclaiming God’s work and glory. The Universe is as big as it is to represent the size of God’s glory and power. Other Bible passages say that God is everywhere in the Universe and that He sustains it with his power. This turns the Universe into a marvellous analogy of the sheer awesome extent of the glory of God. The Universe is so big because a smaller Universe wouldn’t adequately convey the full capacity of God!
In other words: God is at least 156 billion light years across. God has the power to create an uncountable number of stars and then know them all by name! And if God has the power to do this then why do we worry about our own much smaller difficulties? We have a whole Universe out there as a daily reminder of God’s greatness, of His power and of His infinite majesty. We have no reason at all to doubt that He can do anything. We have a mind-bogglingly big Universe because we have a mind-bogglingly big God!