God’s Power Revealed in the Stars
“Raise your eyes high up and see. Who has created these things? It is the One who is bringing forth the army of them even by number, all of whom he calls even by name. Due to the abundance of dynamic energy, he also being vigorous in power, not one of them is missing.”—ISAIAH 40:26.
OUR sun is only an average-size star. Even so, its mass is 330,000 times greater than the mass of the earth. The majority of nearby stars are smaller than the sun. Other stars, though, such as the one named V382 Cygni, have a mass at least 27 times greater than our sun.
How much energy does our sun radiate? Imagine how fierce a fire would have to be if you were ten miles [15 km] from it and could still feel the heat. The sun is, on average, about 93 million miles [150 million km] from the earth. Yet, on a sunny day, its heat can blister the skin! Remarkably, only about one billionth of the sun’s energy strikes the earth. Still, this fraction of the sun’s power is enough to sustain life on the planet.
In fact, scientists have calculated that the total energy output from just our sun is enough to sustain some 31 trillion planets like the earth. Or to measure this enormous output another way: If all the sun’s power could be harnessed for just one second, it would provide the United States “with enough energy, at its current usage rate, for the next 9,000,000 years,” says the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) Web site.
The sun’s energy emanates from its core—a nuclear reactor that smashes atoms together and spews out power. The sun is so big and its core so dense that it takes millions of years for the energy produced within the core to well up to the surface. “If the Sun were to stop producing energy today,” says the SWPC Web site, “it would take 50,000,000 years for significant effects to be felt at Earth!”
Now consider this fact: When you raise your eyes on a clear night, you are seeing thousands of stars, each disgorging vast amounts of energy, similar to our sun. And scientists calculate that there are billions upon billions of stars in the universe!
Where did all these stars come from? Most researchers now believe that for reasons they still do not fathom, the universe suddenly burst into existence some 14 billion years ago. The Bible simply states: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) Without a doubt, the One who created the colossal energy machines we call stars can be described as “vigorous in power.”—Isaiah 40:26.
How God Uses His Power
Jehovah God uses his power to sustain those who do his will. For example, the apostle Paul expended himself in teaching others about God. Paul was not superhuman, but he was able to accomplish much good despite severe opposition. How? He acknowledged that he received “power beyond what is normal” from God.—2 Corinthians 4:7-9.
Jehovah God has also used his power to destroy those who flagrantly violate his moral standards. Jesus Christ pointed to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and to the Flood of Noah’s day as examples of Jehovah’s selective use of destructive power. Jesus prophesied that soon Jehovah will again use his power to destroy those who ignore His standards.—Matthew 24:3, 37-39; Luke 17:26-30.
How Are You Affected?
After meditating on the power of God that is evident in the stars, you may feel like King David, who said: “When I see your heavens, the works of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have prepared, what is mortal man that you keep him in mind, and the son of earthling man that you take care of him?”—Psalm 8:3, 4.
Yes, it is humbling to realize how insignificant we seem to be when compared with the vastness of the universe. Yet, we need not feel overwhelmed by God’s power. Jehovah inspired the prophet Isaiah to write these reassuring words: “He [God] is giving to the tired one power; and to the one without dynamic energy he makes full might abound. Boys will both tire out and grow weary, and young men themselves will without fail stumble, but those who are hoping in Jehovah will regain power. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not tire out.”—Isaiah 40:29-31.
If you desire to do God’s will, you can be sure that he will give you his holy spirit to help sustain you. But you must ask for it. (Luke 11:13) With God’s backing, you can endure any trial and gain the strength to do what is right.—Philippians 4:13.
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With God’s backing, you can gain the strength to do what is right
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Clockwise from top left: Whirlpool galaxy, Pleiades star cluster, Orion Nebula, Andromeda galaxy
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The sun in mass is 330,000 times greater than the mass of the earth
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Pleiades: NASA, ESA and AURA/Caltech; all others above: National Optical Astronomy Observatories