The Hubble Deep Field
Credit: R. Williams, The HDF Team (STScI), NASA

PSA 147:4 He tells the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

PSA 102:25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.




The Heavens Reveal It

The picture in the sidebar is a well-known photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. It is called the "Hubble Deep Field". It's a picture of a tiny area of the sky, small enough to be covered by a grain of sand held at arm's length, yet the picture contains many, many trillions of stars! The objects in the picture are the most distant things that can be seen. They are so far from us that the light from them took thirteen billion years to reach us. This means that we are seeing this part of the universe as it looked thirteen billion years ago.

There are no individual stars in this picture. This is a picture of distant galaxies. A galaxy is a huge collection of stars, bound to each other by gravitational attraction. Our sun is a member of the galaxy we call the Milky Way. The Milky Way is a disk comprised of perhaps some hundreds of billions of stars, yet, the Milky Way is not an extraordinarily large galaxy. The largest galaxies contain trillions of stars.

Let's assume that our galaxy is average size, and that it contains two hundred billion stars. Based on deep sky surveys, scientists estimate that there are as many as seventy billion galaxies. If there are seventy billion galaxies, each containing an average of two hundred billion stars, the total number of stars in existence would be 14,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. God can count the stars accurately, and we are told by the writer of Psalm 147 that He has a name for each one. Truly, God, who made the universe, is great in power. His understanding is infinite.

It appears that God created the universe many billions of years ago. He is not constrained by time and has less concern about it than we do. After all, He waited at least thirteen billion years to give the Earth to His offspring. The universe will grow old and die, but God will remain forever. David said in Psalm 19:1,

"How clearly the sky reveals God's glory!
How plainly it shows what he has done!" (Good News Bible).

The creation teaches us that God is awesome in power and He is ancient. Man can be overpowered by time, yet God remains.