Life, Hope & Truth

The Power and Greatness of God

The Bible reveals a supreme God whose power and greatness we can’t fully comprehend. Yet there is much we can learn about the power of God through His creation.

Through the ages men have held countless beliefs about God.

The pagans reasoned there were numerous gods, each controlling a particular aspect of nature.

Today, many people profess belief in a Creator God. Yet far fewer understand and appreciate the scale, significance and uniqueness of His attributes and character.

What God says about Himself

In Isaiah 40:15-17 God’s Word declares, “Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, and are counted as the small dust on the scales; look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before Him are as nothing, and they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless.”

It is not possible for human beings to fully describe or accurately portray the awe-inspiring nature, glory and power of God.

In verse 18 God’s Word poses important questions: “To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him?” In verse 19 we read, “The workman molds an image, the goldsmith overspreads it with gold, and the silversmith casts silver chains.”

Can we recognize the shameful nonsense of fashioning an inanimate object and expecting it to somehow reflect the sovereignty and perfection of God?

Our Creator indicates that rendering any “likeness” of His image will fall abysmally short of demonstrating who and what He is! “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” (Exodus 20:4).

Why? One reason is that God wants to be worshipped via a higher level of comprehension—in mind and heart—than in mere visual images (Ezekiel 18:31; John 4:24).

Though God has revealed Himself in the form of man, the Scriptures show clearly that no human has been allowed to see Him in His glorified state. After Moses requested to see God in His glory, God said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live” (Exodus 33:20). Moses, a faithful prophet of God, was only allowed to see His back (verse 23).

Since God is not routinely repeating this action today, how can we come to understand Him and His glorious characteristics?

The sovereignty of God over His creation

One way to understand more about God’s greatness and glory is to study the incredible characteristics of the world we live in. The apostle Paul said God’s glory and power are shown in the physical creation.

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

Notice that the physical world displays “His invisible attributes.” By deeply considering and meditating upon the creation, we can have an inkling of the incomprehensible glory and power of God.

The earth is an amazing place. First, it is exactly the right distance from the sun. Next, earth’s atmosphere is designed to maintain temperatures that allow for human existence. At the top of this atmosphere sits a layer of ozone that filters out most of the harmful ultraviolet light radiated from the sun. Additionally, our atmosphere contains a specific ratio of gases that allow life to exist here on earth.

And consider our sun. It is an astonishingly powerful source of energy. Without the sun, earth would be a dark and desolate place. According to NASA, “During a single second, the sun converts 4 million tons of matter into pure energy.” That’s “about equal to 90 billion megatons every second. The entire power-generating capacity of the earth equals about 60,000 megatons per year, so in one second the Sun produces over a million years’ worth of energy for the earth” (University of Wisconsin—Green Bay).

The more scientists have discovered about the universe, the more spectacular and awe-inspiring we find it to be. Think of the power the sun generates compared to what man can produce with our “puny” nuclear plants! If we could effectively harness the energy of the sun, mankind’s energy problems would disappear.

Indeed, the power of God exceeds our capacity to understand it!

The complexity of life and the greatness of God

In Romans 11:33 Paul extols God’s greatness: “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!”

The more scientists have discovered about the universe, the more spectacular and awe-inspiring we find it to be. Through the application of scientific principles, mankind continues its effort to understand the great cosmos and life itself. The more we learn, the more we can understand how much we don’t know.

God challenged Job to compare his accomplishments and capacity for understanding to God’s. Job 39:26-29 states: “Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, and spread its wings toward the south? Does the eagle mount up at your command, and make its nest on high? On the rock it dwells and resides, on the crag of the rock and the stronghold. From there it spies out the prey; its eyes observe from afar.”

Biologists remain in awe when they consider the eagle’s incredible eyesight. They can spot a moving rabbit at 3 miles away (National Eagle Center).

Both the intricacy and immensity of God’s creation are breathtaking, yet how often do we honor the Grand Designer?

The more scientists examine life, the greater complexity they find. Even the “simple” cell is extremely sophisticated. You can read more about the complexity of creation in our articles “Intelligent Design: Can Science Answer the Question, Does God Exist?” “Irreducible Complexity” and “Origin of Life: Are Single Cells Really Simple?

The universe and the power of God

The more scientists discover about the universe, the more spectacular and awe-inspiring we find it to be. David said, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).

The number of stars in the universe is really unknown, since every time we look deeper into space, we find still more stars.

David Kornreich, an astronomer at Ithaca College in New York, attempted to calculate “known” stars in the heavens. He used “a very rough estimate of 10 trillion galaxies in the universe. Multiplying that by the Milky Way’s estimated 100 billion stars results in a large number indeed: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars, or a ‘1’ with 24 zeros after it (1 septillion in the American numbering system; 1 quadrillion in the European system). Kornreich emphasized that number is likely a gross underestimation, as more detailed looks at the universe will show even more galaxies” (Space.com).

<p>“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows<br />
His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).</p>

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows
His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).

No wonder Psalm 135:6 proclaims, “Whatever the LORD pleases He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deep places.”

The God of the Bible is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. Unlike the pagan gods of the ancient world, He is not relegated to a specific portion of the universe or assigned particular and limited responsibilities. He never slumbers and never sleeps.

Truly, He is the sovereign Creator of all that is.

The marvelous plan of God

The Bible reveals a God of unparalleled intellect, goodness and understanding. When He created the natural world, He chose to illuminate aspects of His positive nature. We see within His handiwork unbelievable synergy and interdependence, such as a human brain that is fantastically intricate and capable of staggering levels of creativity.

Why? Did He create the universe and everything in it with the hope that mankind could enjoy a safe and sedentary life in heaven for eternity? Or has He created everyone for a purpose far beyond that, one that remains unfathomable to most of the world’s religions?

Proverbs 3:19 states: “The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens.” Isaiah 55:9 says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

God’s wisdom infinitely transcends that of our own, and He works in ways that we are unable to understand.

God knew that if we were left to Satan’s devices, this world’s influence and our own selfish nature, a disastrous outcome was inevitable. Thus, He provided wonderfully beneficial laws to guide us and light our paths. His perfect love continues to undergird His desire for all men and women to attain their potential as members of His family.

Just as God created a universe that constantly mystifies and astounds us, He established an unimaginable plan for humanity, revealed through the pages of the Bible and made possible by the sacrificial death of His Son. Its joyous culmination will far surpass that of any human-envisioned utopia.

In 1 Corinthians 2:9 Paul states, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” God’s plan assures harmony, prosperity and eternal life for everyone who chooses to live His way. He promises solutions of a spiritual nature, so extraordinarily good that they defy full human description!

Learn more about God’s plan for you in our articles “Why Were You Born?” and “Purpose of Life.”

About the Author

Bill Jahns

Bill Jahns

Bill Jahns graduated from Ambassador College in 1969, and he has worked full time in the ministry since then. Presently, he serves with the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, pastoring congregations in Morgantown, West Virginia, and Athens-Parkersburg, Ohio.

Read More

Continue Reading

×

Discern is published every two months and is available in digital and print versions. Choose your preferred format to start your subscription.

Print subscriptions available in U.S., Canada and Europe

×

Please choose your region: