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Astrophysicists tell us that the universe is made up of 68 percent dark energy, 27 percent dark matter, and 5 percent mass and energy, the stuff made of atoms that can be studied and measured. They don’t know what dark energy and dark matter are, so they have no idea what 95 percent of the universe is. No clue. Flummoxed. This tells us that—and I think they would agree—that they don’t know much about the universe.

But, oh, that five percent. Despite the paucity of their knowledge, those astrophysicists know a lot more about that relatively small number than I do or ever will. My eyes glaze over, and my brain checks out quickly when these men and women begin to explain how much is known about that small percentage.

Just five percent. You may know the estimates about how many stars are in our Milky Way galaxy alone. The low end is 100 billion. The high end is 400 billion. We’ll start with the low end. If you were to count one star per second, it would take you over thirty years to reach one billion. So, you wouldn’t make it out alive counting the stars in our galaxy. Only computers can do this. Nevertheless, if we don’t know how many stars are in our own galaxy, it’s not a stretch to say that we don’t know how many are in the universe—which is expanding, we should note, which makes them more difficult to count, I would think. How many galaxies are in the universe? Oh, somewhere between 100 and 200 billion. So, if there are 200 billion stars in each galaxy, how many stars in the universe?

This is when the eyes glaze over, and the mind checks out. However, the Lord God’s mind doesn’t check out. Scriptures declare this stunning truth: “He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names” (Psalm 147:4).1 This might be an appropriate counter-answer when an unbeliever characterizes God as some fatherly being in the sky just watching as we go sinfully insane upon the earth.

But back to the topic at hand.

So, that five percent, as small as it is, is enormous. Consider this example from the financial world. A person would earn $500 in a year if he or she invested $10,000.00 at five percent interest. But five percent of a million dollars would earn $50,000.00. Five hundred bucks is nothing to sneeze at, for sure. You would be halfway to buying a kitchen appliance or maybe a computer, depending. But fifty thousand dollars—well, a lot of people in the U.S. could live a year on that income.

Thus, it’s not just the percentages that matter. It’s the quantity. So, only five percent of an entity as immense as the universe is gargantuan, and frankly, more than we can comprehend with our current knowledge. Believe it or not, we are still not sure what gravity is, just how it behaves. More power to the astrophysicists. Learn all you can about the mass, energy, electromagnetism, time, gravity, and the dark energy and dark matter and all that the Lord created out of nothing in less than one second. God will be glorified whatever betides.

When I think about just the earth and the creatures upon it, my mind is already boggled. Bioluminescence alone does that. Insects, and birds, and flowers. Genetics. How glorious are these things! Remember, we are only talking about the earth; a planet so tiny that, well, even in that tiny five percent of the visible universe, is all but imperceptible. Travel out to the edge of our solar system, and you can’t even see it.

Amid all this wonder, I think about His kingdom. If God was able to create a universe so incalculable that we are greatly challenged to understand only five percent of it, what are the eternal heavenlies like? This must be one reason why flesh and blood cannot exist in the full glory, power, and majesty of God. We would—I don’t know—explode?

We exalt you, Lord God Almighty, for Your magnificent works. All Your creation does. 

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Gif courtesy Bing images.

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