The Bible reveals a God so great that we cannot compare anything to Him. Still we can learn a lot by meditating on the power and greatness of God.
Men have had many different ideas about God. The pagans believed there were many “gods” that controlled certain areas of the earth. Many today believe that God is the Creator, but it seems few understand His true characteristics.
What God says about Himself
In Isaiah 40:15-17 God says, “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.”
Sadly, many do not understand the greatness of God.
God goes on to say in verses 18-19, “To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him? The workman molds an image, the goldsmith overspreads it with gold, and the silversmith casts silver chains.”
God shows that we are not able to make any kind of image that will truly reveal who He is! Yet we see many images that are supposed to be representations of God in the world today, even though the Scriptures say that we should not make an image of God. Exodus 20:4 records, “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.”
Why? One reason is that God determined that He wanted to be worshipped via a higher level of comprehension—in mind and heart—than in mere visual images (Ezekiel 18:31; John 4:24). Furthermore, it is impossible for us as humans to fully picture the power and glory of God in our physical state.
God did reveal Himself in the form of a man, but the Scriptures show clearly that no human was allowed to see Him in His glorified state. After Moses had 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 God’s back (verse 23). Since God isn’t routinely repeating this action today, how can we come to understand Him and His glorious attributes?
The physical world
One way to understand more about God’s greatness and glory is to study the incredible characteristics of the world that 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 shows “His invisible attributes.” By looking at the world and the universe, we can get an inkling of the incredible power and glory of God.
The earth is truly an incredible 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 amazingly powerful source of energy. Without the sun, earth would be a dark, 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).
Think of the power the sun puts out compared to what man can do with our “puny” nuclear plants! If we could somehow harness this energy of the sun, mankind’s energy problems would disappear!
God has so much more power than we can imagine.
The complexity of life
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 discover about the universe, the more spectacular and awe-inspiring we find it to be.God’s ways are higher than our ways. Mankind tries to use science to understand the universe and life. Life itself is unbelievably complex. God challenged Job about his ability compared 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.”
Scientists have learned that eagles truly do have incredible eyesight. “An eagle could see the mouse 446 feet away, and can see 2.24 times better than humans can” (Learner.org). We can only learn about these amazing things, but God Himself made them!
The more scientists look into life, the more complexity they find. Even the “simple” cell is extremely complex. See 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 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, has given an estimate of the “known” stars in the universe. Kornreich 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).
No wonder God says, “To whom then will you liken God?” (Isaiah 40:18). Also, all the nations of the earth are nothing compared to God (verse 17). The God of the Bible is so much different from the pagan gods of the ancient world. The God of the Bible really is the all-powerful Creator of the whole universe.
The incredible plan of God
The Bible also reveals a God of incredible intellect and understanding. We live in an amazing world with unbelievably complex creatures. The human brain is fantastically intricate. God has a plan for mankind that goes far beyond what most religions understand.
Proverbs 3:19 states: “The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens.” God’s ways are so much different from the ways of man and the ways of the pagan gods. His wisdom goes far beyond our understanding, and He often works in ways that we do not understand.
In Isaiah 55:8-9 God says, “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’”
God created the heavens and the earth with a plan for humans, which He revealed through the Bible and Jesus Christ. Mankind has an incredible potential!
God’s ways are better than our ways. Humans tend to look to the short-term effect of actions. God looks at the long, permanent effect of actions, and therefore He has given us wonderfully beneficial laws to live by. Just as God has created a universe that still mystifies and astounds us, so He has created a plan that is far superior to man’s ideas about the future.
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 includes a time of peace, prosperity, goodness and eternal life! These promises are so great and good that they cannot be fully described in human terms.