Why would God make the universe as big as he did? How do we know we are the only life form and, assuming we are, how do we deal with our insignificance?
Well, first – the Bible doesn’t say anything either proving or making it impossible to have life on other planets. Should life ever be found on another planet – it would neither prove nor disprove God’s existence. The Bible is mankind’s story. It’s about God redeeming us from our fallen messed up state.
The great author C.S. Lewis wrote a space trilogy (It doesn’t compare in mastery to his Chronicles of Narnia) – but the premise of the book is indeed that there is life on other planets – but ours is the only planet that has fallen into sin. The rest of the universe in essence enjoys fellowship with one another – but we are quarantined from it – lest we spread the infection of our sin to the rest of the unfallen universe.
An interesting idea. And one that would actually not be unbiblical. So who knows, right?
Now about the question of why the universe is so big – let me read a portion of writing from Dallas Willard – who likes to paint a big picture of what it means when the bible says that when God makes everything new – we will ‘rein with God.” in Revelation 5.
He writes… that Jesus, “is currently preparing for us to join him (John 14:2-4). We will see him in the stunning surroundings that he had with the Father before the beginning of the created cosmos (17:24). And we will actively participate in the future governance of the Universe.
We will not sit around looking at one another or at God for eternity but will join the eternal Logos, reign with him,” in the endlessly ongoing creative work of God.
In other words the universe is part of God’s Kingdom. Our world is fallen and groans to be made new. But I think that this author is trying to help us understand that the universe is part of the Kingdom of God. And when we go to be with God – it includes the possibility of endless exploration. Endless enjoyment of God and his creative and re-creative work in us and the universe. And I think it’s lovely to include this in our thinking of what awaits us when we think of eternity…
Now to address the second half – which hints at feeling insignificant when we consider how huge the universe is, and how small we are in comparison – it’s easy for us to therefore imply that we are insignificant when compared to the scope of the universe.
But oh the entire Bible, from beginning to end, is telling a different story – it is the story of the tremendous significance God places on your life and mine. It is the story of how God so loved this world, that he was willing to pay the ultimate price to bring us to himself.
We might not feel worthy of His love – but we are never worthless – we are quite the opposite. We are his beloved. We are his bride. He not only loves you but he likes you!
He would trade this universe in if that is what it would have taken to repair the relationship between himself and you. It just so happened that it took alot more than that. It took the life of Jesus to repair the damage sin has caused. So – listen – yes we are unworthy – but never insignificant.
In God’s view – there is nothing in all of the 41 trillion stars worth more than you.