“Infinite vs Finite”
Jeremiah 31:37, “Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.”
This morning, mankind is constantly making erroneous conclusions based on what they observe from data. For example, if a public opinion poll favors a particular decision, then it must be correct. Public opinion is rarely correct. One of the most important things for a man to realize is that he is finite and fallible, thereby unequipped to make concrete statements from his own understanding. To think we have a handle on the breadth, length, and full scope of something based on data is the height of egotistical insanity. (II Corinthians 8:2)
The study verse above represents one of those moments when I read it and said, “How did I never see that before?” Working in the scientific community, I hear a great deal of talk about the “infinite universe.” The conversation can be pared down to a simple observation and conclusion, “The more data we see and evidence that we research, we are seeing that the universe goes on farther than we can observe. Therefore, it must be infinite.” The same argument goes for stars as they are discovering there are more stars out there than they previously thought. Therefore, they conclude that the amount of stars must be infinite from their conclusion of the data that they see.
For quite some time, I have always objected to the “infinite universe” and “infinite stars” theories, as it flies in the face of God’s being: His creation cannot be the same in scope as He is. The Creator being infinite establishes something (His creation), but creation has metes and bounds. His creation does not equal Him in any respect. However, this verse just calmly and clearly states the obvious fact that creation itself is larger than we can discover. The data may certainly show that we cannot reach the “edge of the universe” but the conclusion is that we are too small to discover the reaches of a finite creation. Furthermore, this puts us in our place not to think too highly of ourselves. The creation is small in God’s eyes and hands (read the latter portions of Isaiah 40), and we are tiny dots in the midst of that which God can comprehend in the span of His hand.
God, in this passage, is instructing in rich tones that love and covenant that He has with His people. Paul will reiterate much of this in the Hebrew letter to show that God’s covenant with Israel of old pointed to something far more glorious in His elect family. The promises that God makes in this lesson are both intellectually enriching but also spiritually comforting. He promises the ordinances of sun and moon as tokens of His covenant. (Verses 35-36) He proclaims the unsearchableness of the heavens and earth’s foundations as similar tokens to His people. Whenever someone like Jules Verne comes up with the idea of going to the center of the earth, the story of science fiction is exactly that: fiction!
When great natural minds look at the expansiveness of this creation and say, “We now know we can’t find it all out.” you and I need to rejoice! Every time the sun comes up in the morning or the moon at night, we need to rejoice. When man cannot even discover the vast depths of the single orb that we inhabit, we need to rejoice. All of these insurmountable natural things may make us feel small, but they should renew to us just how great, powerful, and faithful He is to us! When I hear about another galaxy with a few billion stars that they did not know existed before, I chuckle thinking, “And I guess a few more billion children of God stay unknown to all but the Master too.”
Friends, when I look at the grand expanse in the curtain of God’s sky, I am in awe of the majestic wonder of it all. Just seeing it in relation to my smallness makes me wonder even more how great God must be. However, one thing that these majestic brushstrokes of creation show us is the absolute certainty of God’s covenant with us. Every morning with the sun’s appearance, we have evidence that God loves us, and His covenant is sure. When we stare upwards into the heavens wondering where the end of it is, we see again that God’s covenant to us cannot be undone. Look outside friends. As you do, pause to thank Him for not just His covenant but giving us these tokens as well that would have comfort and peace during our days here knowing that one day we will live with Him.