50 Thousand Galaxies… and counting

“A Hubble Minute Video product with narration and music weaves a story on the Extended Groth Strip. The movie shows a rich tapestry of galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, revealing about 50,000 galaxies. The Hubble Minute gives a spectacular view of the Extended Groth Strip, beginning with its location in the constellation Ursa Major (the Big Dipper) and ending with a pan across the strip. A snowstorm of galaxies appears before our eyes.”


The official report from NASA explains that the “long, narrow image in the center was made by assembling 500 photographs taken over a one-year period…. The 50,000 galaxies spied in the image are scattered across a region that is equivalent to the apparent diameter of two full Moons, or a finger held at arm’s length.

Our solar system belongs to one relatively small galaxy, the Milky Way. Can we even imagine 50 thousand galaxies? Where did they come from? A “Big Bang” –an explosion—many billions of years ago?

Such thinking is too unreasonable to entertain or answer. A more reverent generation put it in proper words:

The spacious firmament on high
With all the blue ethereal sky
In spangled heavens a shining frame
Their great Original proclaim….

In reason’s ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice,
Forever singing as they shine
“The hand that made us is Divine.”

What was this poet doing, but rephrasing a Psalm he loved.

Psalm 19:1–2  1The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. 2Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.

Doesn’t it humble us to the level of the dust to think about His vastness? All credit—ALL—for all the wonders of the creation must go to our magnificent, all-powerful Creator! What are we that He in His almighty majesty even LOOKS at us!

50 thousand galaxies, each having billions of stars.

50 thousand galaxies, and counting….

And looking further into the depth of the universe(s), billions upon billions more galaxies, and counting…

Are we not moved to WORSHIP our GREAT Creator? Just to realize we are in the presence of One so magnificent, so mighty, does it not make us feel smaller than those tiny red mites that we see sometimes running across our papers? Smaller than a microscopic germ or virus? Doesn’t it move us to the deepest awe and respect, to think He has regard for such minutia as us?

Hear the Psalmist exclaim “Oh!”

Psalm 104:24  24O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions—

And again:

Psalm 8:1  1O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!

He also observed the heavens. Hear him as he continues his reverent tone:

Psalm 8:3–6  3When I consider Your heavens [they surely do not belong to us], the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 4What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?

5For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. 6You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet,

It is “past tense” in the plan, past tense because of its Divine CERTAINTY, but in the matter of history it is “not yet.” In the words of Hebrews,

Hebrews 2:8  8You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.

The great “NOT YET.” But what do we see?

All will be under this one composite “man” God has planned to rule this world when the time is right. It WILL BE done, when the time is right. Even on our little, tiny world called “Earth.”

To a being so GREAT beyond all our imagining, can’t we understand how offensive is any sort of pride or arrogance? When we see the widespread attitude of defiance today, can’t we see why we read several times in Scripture:

Psalm 111:10  10The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.

Or as worded in the Moffatt Bible,

“The beginning of wisdom is reverence for the Eternal.”

In today’s culture, it is approved to relate and publish information, even religious information. But all religions must be placed on the same level, all considered equal, without consideration of their truthfulness, their source, or nature. One can read the Bible, or teach it as literature, as cold fact on a par with any other philosophy or human thought. But to show Devotion to our great Creator, or Honor? Awe? Wonder? Praise? Worship? All are silenced by lofty minded men and women who liberally honor the works of their hands.

Yes, they can honor one another. They can worship “mother earth,” and have “earth day.” But God? His honor is gone! Talk about what you SEE, but stop before you talk about the Creator, the Maker, the Provider of all we have and are.

Study His creation, and handle information, but stop short of honor, worship or awe?

This attitude toward worship pervades the culture, but was a problem all the way through Scripture.

Hear the prophet Isaiah trying to pull the nation to reverence the true and living God. He says, LOOK UP and SEE!

Isaiah 40:26–31  26Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing.

Think about that: The Creator calls each one by name. 50,000 galaxies, each having billions of stars, and each star has a name? Yes, 

He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing.

Just wondering: how does the Creator view the little minute municipalities scattered all over the world? What does He think of the nations?

Isaiah 40:17  17All nations before Him are as nothing, And they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless.

Not flattering, but surely factual. Again Isaiah says of God’s creation:

28Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.

To God, all humanity are on the “grasshopper” level!

Isaiah 40:22  22It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

The apostles felt the same wonder and awe of God. Numerous times in their epistles they slipped in an exclamation of God’s greatness or honor.

Romans 11:33  33Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

Oh, as we think about the photos that the Hubble telescope has brought to our vision, let us get a life-changing glimpse into the greatness, the awesomeness, the mercy and glory and power of the God we serve. Let us feel humbly honored to know Him, to represent His cause and be in His service!

Let us have His interests our highest delight, and His approval our deepest concern.

2 Corinthians 7:1  1Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

When you’re feeling down, start counting… not chickens or sheep, but galaxies! The Growth Strip. 50 thousand galaxies, all in an area of the sky the width of your finger held at arm’s length.

Then join the Scripture writers and think about all the times they exclaimed about His glory, His vastness, His goodness, His praise.

Even though His vast universes be far beyond our ability to know or describe, thank God for being God, for being “there” for us, to hear our prayers and provide for our little needs. Let it be our heart-longing to give Him our best, our very best.

Let us starve anything that remains of that old, self-serving animal nature in us, and look forward to being welcomed one day into His vast, heavenly family when our little Earth joins His heavenly realm. Then we can enjoy the full rights and privileges of being His own immortal, glorified sons and daughters.