[originally posted on my old blog (2/10/09)]
If we are the only people in the universe, why did God make it so big?
Before answering this question, we probably need to discuss whether or not we are the only people (or sentient life) in the universe. I believe we are, based on the following reasons. First, the Earth is the focal point of God’s creation and it was formed to be inhabited. It was made three days earlier than all the rest of the planets, stars, etc. Second, the Earth is where God sent His Son to become a man and to die for man. Hebrews 9 makes it clear that Christ died once for sin. If there was sentient life elsewhere in the universe and they sinned, there would be no way for them to be saved. So, I don’t believe there is life on other planets.
With that out of the way…why did God make the universe so huge? The size of the universe is almost unfathomable. The planetarium show at the Creation Museum does a good job of showing just how big it is. It is a mind-blowing experience.
Really the answer to this question comes down to one’s perspective. Carl Sagan said that if we were all alone then the universe would be an incredible waste of space (he knows better now).
However, I can look at the night sky, try to fathom the size of the universe, and proclaim the amazing wonder and awesome splendor of the God that made it all. I believe He made it so big to demonstrate His power and so that we could enjoy the beauty of what He has made. It’s interesting to me that the creation of the stars almost comes across as an afterthought in Gen. 1:16. It’s as if God is saying, “Look, I made the fish, and the birds, and the animals, and trees, and, oh yeah, the stars too. I know it takes incredible power to do that, but I did it.”
Consider the words of Psalm 8:3-4. “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” When we reflect on the immensity and grandeur of the universe, we should see not only God’s power, but His incredible love for us and his glorious majesty. Out of everything He made, He focuses His attention on man and loves us so much that He was willing to become one of us and die in our place.
If you have a question you want me to answer, please leave it as a comment to this article, and I will try to address it in the near future.
Why is the universe so big? I believe the bible says somewhere that the stars were made for man. God’s children will have all eternity to explore the heavens that God made for man. The concept of a Christian dying and then sitting on a cloud with a harp for all eternity is just a bit off… It can’t even enter the mind of a man of what eternity with God will be like.
Thanks for your thoughts on this. While you are absolutely correct that a cloud-sitting, harp-playing eternity is inaccurate, I don’t think that we’ll be exploring all of the heavens throughout eternity either. The sun, moon, and stars (which likely includes the planets), were made to give light on the earth and to be for signs, seasons, days, and years. They also declare the glory of God. So they show us His majestic power and should cause us to marvel at His unfathomable might and creativity. But the sun, moon, and stars are part of this fallen creation that will melt with fervent heat (2 Peter 3:10). In the New Jerusalem, there will be no need of the sun or moon for light, so these may not even exist in eternity.
Could it be that God created other planets as a practical to make the earth perfect?
Thanks for reading. There really is no need for God to practice. He knows everything and is all-powerful. He knew exactly what He was doing when He made the earth, and He made it just like He wanted to. Also, the idea that He needed to practice wouldn’t really make sense since He had already made the earth itself along with the dry ground and plants before He made the other planets.
I hope this helps.
Why did God tell Noah to go and replenish the earth? Could’ve been because something was already here on earth.
Thanks for reading and taking the time to leave a comment.
When God told Noah to fill the earth, it’s true that something was there before. There may have been millions or even billions of people alive prior to the Flood, but they were all wiped out in the Flood except for those on the Ark.
The King James version of the Bible uses the word “replenish” in Genesis 9:1, but that word is not very helpful today since most people don’t understand what it meant in 1611 when the KJV was translated. At that time it meant “to fill,” but now it is often understood to mean “to refill.” The same is true in Genesis 1:28 when God gave a similar command to Adam and Eve. It didn’t mean “refill” the earth, it meant “fill” the earth.
Hope this helps.
If God did create life on other planets then could it be that they didn’t or haven’t sinned like we did? Also could it be that maybe only animals live on another planet or something that’s not made in the image of God?
I’ve also heard that if God did create life on other planets and they did sin then if Jesus did die for them then it would be like He was prostituting Himself to them because we here on earth are the one bride of Christ.
Thanks for your answers,
Thanks for your comments. If God wanted to create life elsewhere, He is certainly free to do that. However, the Bible places earth as the place where He has focused His attention. He created it three days prior to any other planet and this is where He sent His Son to become a man, to live, die, and rise again.
Is it possible that God created physical beings elsewhere in this universe and that those beings have not sinned? Could He have put non-intelligent life elsewhere in the universe? Those things are conceivable, but what purpose would they serve?
I think the explanation you gave for Jesus not dying for other “beings” may press the bride analogy too far. I would simply point out that Hebrews states that Jesus died once for all. He became a man to die for mankind. He did not become a Vulcan to die for Vulcans (or any other proposed alien life form), nor did He become an angel to die for the angels that fell (Hebrews 2:16).
Would the discovery of intelligent (meaning at an ability to communicate through written symbols) extraterrestrial life be the final word on the invalid nature of the bible? Seeing as how cross species DNA comparisons and the established time line of fossils trapped in rock strata haven’t been enough, apparently, would aliens do the trick or would the YECs rationalize that as well?
Would the discovery of soft tissue and blood cells in dinosaur bones “be the final word on the invalid nature of” evolution? Would the discovery of fossils that are in the “wrong” strata (according to evolutionary predictions) cause one to give up belief in an impossible idea? Would the fact that mutations and natural selection never lead to a net increase of new genetic information (yet this would need to happen trillions of times for the evolution from one kind of organism to another kind) cause an evolutionist to give up their blind faith in evolution?
Regarding the discovery of intelligent extraterrestrial life: I can’t speak for all Christians, however, I would say that based on biblical teaching, we should not expect to find intelligent aliens from other planets. Some Christians do allow for this idea so I’m sure it wouldn’t cause them much distress if such a thing were to occur. Also, the Bible states that there are non-terrestrial intelligent beings (angels, demons, etc.) so it wouldn’t surprise me if there is demonic activity associated with some of the modern UFO phenomena. So, if we found intelligent aliens, one would have to demonstrate conclusively that they are not demonic beings manifesting as aliens in an attempt to deceive people.