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God’s Love and the Height of the Heavens

David rejoices in the fact that God's steadfast love toward those who fear him can be illustrated by the height of the heavens above the earth (Ps. 103:11). David was not an astronomer. He had no grasp on the unimaginable magnitude of the height to which he refers. But we do today.

A good way to help us fathom the unfathomable is the light-year. A light-year is how far light travels in one calendar year. Light moves at 186,000 miles in one second. Multiply 186,000 times 60 seconds, and you have a light-minute. Mul­tiply that figure by 60 minutes, and you have a light-hour. Multiply that figure by 24, and you have a light-day, and that by 365, and you have a light-year. So, light can travel almost six trillion miles (the number six followed by 12 zeroes) in a 365-day period. That's the equivalent of about 12,000,000 round trips to the moon.

Let's assume we are speeding in a jet airplane at 500 miles per hour on a trip to the moon. If we traveled non-stop, 24 hours a day, it would take us just about 3 weeks to arrive at our destination. If we wanted to visit our sun, 93 million miles from earth, it would take us a bit more than 21 years to get there. And if we wanted to reach Pluto, the dwarf planet farthest away in our solar system, our non-stop trip would last slightly longer than 900 years.

Now, try to get your mind around this: The Hubble Telescope has given us breathtaking pictures of a galaxy some 13 billion light-years from earth. That would put this galaxy 78 sextillion miles from earth (the number 78 followed by 21 zeroes).

If we are traveling at 500 miles per hour nonstop, literally 52 weeks in every year, with not a moment's pause, we would reach this galaxy in 20 quadrillion years (The number 20 followed by 15 zeroes)! And that would get us just to the farthest point that our best telescopes have yet been able to detect. This would be the mere fringe of what lies beyond. It is currently estimated that there are around two trillion galaxies in the observable Universe.

Possible Preaching Angle:

Pause for a moment and let this sink in. Are you beginning to get a feel for what it means to know that God's love for you, is greater than the distance between the heavens and the earth?

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