Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?
Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.
With whom, then, will you compare God? (Isaiah 40:12,15,18)
Relate: Where are you right now? Are you in your living room or in your study? Are you reading this in your bedroom? Maybe you are in a public place. Are you at a library? Are you in a classroom? I certainly hope nobody is reading this while you are driving, but are you on a bus or a passenger in a car? How big are the walls surrounding you? If you are free to do so, step up to those walls and, while holding your hand straight up, measure how many times it takes the width of your hand, from your thumb to the pinky knuckle, to measure the width of all those walls. I am currently in a Starbucks and if I had the courage to ignore all the stares, I am sure it would take me multiple hundreds of times. Alas, I am too chicken to make that measurement… God measures the stars with the span of his hand. Think of it, the observable universe is a sphere with a diameter of ninety-two billion light-years. Light travels at the speed of one hundred eighty-six thousand miles per second. That is more than eleven million miles every minute. That is six hundred seventy million miles an hour. That is more than sixteen billion miles a day. That is 5.865 trillion miles a year. Multiply that by 92 billion years. God measures that distance by the span of His hand.
If one is available, go to the fridge. Is there any water in there? How much water is in that container? Now open one hand with fingers outstretched so that your palm makes a small bowl. How much water can you pour into that hand? How many pours will it take you to get an entire gallon of water into your hand without spilling any on the floor? I had a youth group try this and they gave up at ninety-eight. They weren’t even close to halfway yet. I don’t think they had even reached 10%. If you were to pack your fridge full only with gallons of water, how many could it hold? Just a few blocks away from where I used to live there is a straight connecting the Black Sea with the Mediterranean. That straight is more than seventeen miles long, it is up to 1.85 miles wide, and has a depth of up to three hundred sixty feet. This straight is dumping water from one sea to another at speeds of up to 8 knots. Anyone want to guess how many gallons of water is being dumped every day from the Black sea into the Green? Beyond that, neither one of these seas is included in the statistic that our oceans contain about three hundred sixteen million cubic miles of water. Each cubic mile equals 1.1 trillion gallons. God measures all of that water in the hollow of His hand.
Our sun is only one of 100 billion stars in our galaxy. We figure that there are at least one hundred billion galaxies in the universe and ours is slightly below average size. For each and every one of these stars, God has a name.
The average person has roughly one hundred thousand hair follicles on their head. There are over seven billion people on the planet. God has each person’s count numbered for all seven some odd billion of us. Even though I do my best with head shaved to make it easier for him, that’s still an awful lot of counting.
Of those seven billion people, a little more than 11% of them live on islands. There are one hundred ninety-three islands large enough to hold a population over one hundred thousand people. There are over four hundred islands with a landmass of over one thousand square miles. The total landmass of all of our islands is more than seventeen million square miles. For God, that is less than the dust I brush off an unused bookshelf.
Imagine all the power of all the nations throughout time. From Egypt to Babylon and Assyria to Persia to the Greeks to Rome. Throw in all the eastern Chinese empires and those on the Indian subcontinent. Take into account Byzantium, the Muslim empires, the Mongols who conquered almost the whole known world in a couple generations, add in all of European history. Don’t forget everything that was going on in the New World. Now factor in all recent history and all the political leaders and misleaders in our modern world. All the combined power and clout of all these leaders are as negligibly weighty as a little dirt on your bathroom scales compared to the power of our God.
React: Each and every one of these illustrations falls far, far short of even beginning to describe the power and glory of our God. They bring into account numbers and scales and sizes that I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around, yet each and every one of them doesn’t even begin to do justice to the greatness of our God. He is eternal. He is omnipresent. He is omnipotent. He is omniscient. These are words. But take any one of them and try… try as hard as you can to wrap your mind around what it is saying. It just cannot be done.
Now add into that the holiness of God. By the time this is posted, it will be seven AM tomorrow morning. I can guarantee that in the brief time between me waking (usually around 5-5:30) and the time this goes out, I will have sinned. It might be a proud thought. It might be apathy. It might be greed or lust. I can bet I have probably already unjustly complained about something. I don’t know what it will be, but I can say it is a safe bet that I cannot make it two hours without sinning. From one end to the other of the span of all known and unknown history, God is completely and totally holy. The only experience He has had with sin is when He voluntarily took on Himself yours and mine. The great, awesome, immeasurable, uncontrollable, incomparable God clothed Himself in humanity and became sin for my redemption. More than any other attribute, the love of God… nothing can compare.
There are no words. There are no words to explain how great and how awesome and how powerful You are. There are no words to illustrate how wise and how knowing You are. Most of all, there are is no way to even begin to comprehend the measure of Your love for me. What can I do in return except surrender all that I am in gratitude and in wonder?
You are great. In every way, You are great. And in the weakness and frailty of all that I am, let me mirror back to You your incomparable love for me.