Beth Moore - Lift Up Your Eyes, Part 2
All right, you and I are gonna compile a list of points together that help us be able to wrap our minds around the beauty of Isaiah chapter 40, and it beings right here, "God is both transcendent and immanent". There is no other. He is without peer. The Word of God supports these two attributes as existing simultaneously in and through God, I mean, from Genesis to Revelation, but there is one verse that says it so spectacularly that you can define it in very short terms, and that's Jeremiah 23:23. God says of himself, "Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away"? In other words, I am a God at hand, and I am a God far away. In other words, I got the short view and the long view. In other words, I am both nearsighted and farsighted and middlesighted all at the same time. I can sit back from something and look. I draw near something and look, because I am both things all at once. I'm a God who is close. I'm a God who is far away. There is no getting away from my presence.
Now, here's what I want you to see for the next little while. Want you to really zero in on this with me. We are going to look in to Isaiah chapter 40 as well as mentioning other verses and looking in a couple of other places, but I'm mostly going to be calling it out to you. We're going to look at the places where he speaks of himself as Creator in this chapter that is very focused on the transcendence of God. You're gonna see it in verse 12 when he says, "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance"?
What I wanna do for the next couple of minutes, just have little fun, not to convince you. Go and study it for yourself, but to build up your faith and to build up my faith, just, what I'd like to do, I just like to set a little bit of science by Bible, and let's just see what happens. We wouldn't have to do it this way. It stands all by itself, but I just thought it'd be fun for a few minutes if we do it. So, if you just take a glance, I want you to turn, you've got something right here in Isaiah 40. Make sure you mark it, 'cause we're coming back to it, but just Genesis 1:1, just turn with me to Genesis really quickly, because the reason why we're going here is that it's a very important part of Isaiah chapter 40. If we are gonna have any kind of understanding of his transcendence, what's involved in the transcendence of God is God as Creator.
Says in Genesis 1:1, "God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was". Now, science sees a physical universe in terms of time, space, matter, and energy, and I just want you to notice with me that it's mass. All mass has energy, we know that, but I want you to look with me that right there, if you get your pen ready, you get your pen ready, that's the way science would look at things that comprise the physical earth, so physical science, that it's gonna be made up of time, space, and mass energy, so I want you to look with me: In the beginning, there's your time. God created the heavens, there's your space. And the earth, there's matter.
And it says in verse 3, "God said, 'Let there be light.'" There you've got energy in a very, very, very spectacular way, from the very beginning of Scripture, three verses in we see it. Now glance ahead to Genesis 2:1-2, "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done". Remember that it said that the heavens and the earth were finished. It's such a beautiful thing, because the first law of thermodynamics says this: Energy is conserved, that one form of energy can be converted into another, but the total quantity always remains the same, why? Because he created the heavens and the earth, and then he finished on the sixth day, and he rested on the seventh. So, while it can be converted from this to that, it can't be recreated. It was already created, and then he finished the work and he rested.
I loved an article out of lifescience.com that a claim that there was originally just one supercontinent and one giant sea. It was just making the comment, you've read this other places as well, that originally, that after a lot of study, our globe, it is pretty clear to see that at one time it was water, and it was land, and those two had been separated, and it says so clearly in Genesis 1:9-10 that "God said, 'Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together in one place, and let the dry land appear.' And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good". And there's, believe that it was the flood, literally the ground opening up. Not only was the rain coming from the heavens, but the earth was breaking open and separating the land. Creation science would attribute the initial breaking apart with flood.
Now, I gotta tell you something about genetics that I think is really, really cool. So, the discovery of the DNA molecule was the big hit with genetics, because this opened up the whole world to them, so this would've been in 1953, the discovery of the DNA molecule. And so it was just a wide-open book to them, and so it started all sorts of studies, all sorts of discoveries. And so by 1987, a study was conducted among 145, some studies will say 147, but 145 women from all these different ethnicities and nationalities, and it was discovered that they were all stemming back to the same, it was like a matrilineage. They were stemming it back to the same original maternal ancestor. That it was, the basic idea was this: that every living one of them, that every living person on Earth was coming from a common genetic pool.
Well, it was conducted again years later in 1995 with Y chromosomes, with 38 men all from different ethnic groups around the world. Same thing, common gene pool, patrilineal on that one, and I thought it was so interesting that in my studies, I saw that in 2014 there was even a conclusion that suggested that they might have even been contemporaneous, in other words, pretty close together. Now they're saying 10.000 years maybe, that this patriarch, this... God created this one man, gave him this one woman, and from those all of us have come. What an odd thing. What a new thought. What a wonderful, glorious, new thought.
Do you remember what Isaiah 40, verse 21 said? "Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning"? Acts 17:26-28 says, "He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being". So it turns out that we're not all these different races. We may be all these different ethnicities, but we're the human race. We're the human race, all coming from our common ancestor, and God created the man and breathed a soul into him, all on this one tiny little planet.
Verse 22, Isaiah 40:22, "It is he who sits above the circle of the earth". The circle of the earth. We still thought it was flat. He'd already told us it was round. You wanna know something else cool? Okay, jot down, we won't take time to look at it, but jot down, just for your consideration, jot down Luke chapter 17:34-36. He's talking about the ends of this age, and it's Jesus talking, and he makes reference to something that I had never put together before until, some of you are gonna go, "I learned that ages ago", and so maybe I did too. That's the beauty of being sanguine is I learn everything all over again, just brand new, like it never even happened, and so I just absolutely love it. I just absolutely love it.
I've never heard that before even though I taught on it last week, so you know, but he talks about a time coming when at the same time, there will be some sleeping and, that are left there, and some taken, and some out in the field grinding and some taken. And what he's doing, what he's saying at the same time is that at the same time it happens, there will be some people who are sleeping at night, and there will be other people who are grinding, who are doing daytime work out in the field, so the inference of it is not only is it a circle of the earth but that spherical earth is also revolving in space, because there are times when it is nighttime for us and daytime for somebody else.
That book of Job speaks masterfully of God as Creator. It's almost unmatched, and it's not only Job speaking of God as Creator, he makes reference to that, but God comes in and speaks of himself. I mean, he's all about it towards the end. He's going, like, "Who has talked to me as if he knows what he's talking about"? He says it this way, "Have you come to me like you have knowledge? Because I'm gonna tell you who I am".
Did you know that the book of Job is one of the oldest books in the Bible? It is possible that it is the oldest, but it is absolutely, positively among the oldest, and it's a little confusing for us, because, well, my goodness, it's right in the middle of the Scriptures. It's coming there right before the Book of Psalms, so that's confusing to us, but it's written very much out of a patriarchal system that's in keeping with what the world of the early patriarchs is like in the Genesis narrative, so we know it's very, very old, a very, very old manuscript. So, keeping that in mind, I think it's so cool when it comes to the matter of creation, because it says in Job 26:7, Job says of God, he hangs the earth on nothing. The old world religions had all manner of theory regarding what the earth was sitting on, and one of the oldest books in the entire Bible all along was going, "He hung it in nothing".
This is your epic Scripture right here. If you ever wanna see something that is a total shift in the way you think and the way you're able to bring down a sentence that speaks about the wonder of Creation in a way that you could say it from memory at a second's notice, this is your verse. This is Isaiah 45, verse 18, "For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): 'I am the Lord, and there is no other. I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, "Seek me in vain". I the Lord speak the truth; I declare what is right.'"
He created the heavens and the earth, and he created the earth to be inhabited. Everybody letting that land? Because it is the thing that separates the earth from the entire remainder of the universe. And let me tell you something, science will give us that. They'll still say, "Surely at some point we're going to find some place with life on it somewhere". I mean, I just want you to wrap your mind around that. If just in our galaxy, what in the world are we doing, like, spinning here? Do you realize we're all, like, sitting and standing upside-down right now?
Every time I think about it, it just freaks me out, and then we're just flying. We're just flying like this. We're just flying and, it just freaks me out, but I, what, I mean, we're standing, like, we're standing like this while the whole world's going... and we're the only planet that can sustain life, Why is that? Why is that? Because he created Earth to be inhabited. "In the beginning, God created the heavens", all of it, all of it, all of it, and this little Earth, like a pinhead of a pinhead in the middle of the universe, Why? Why? Why Earth?
Science calls this the anthropic principle, anthropic. Anthros being humanity, humans. Anthrop, the anthropic principle, and it means it's what Isaiah 45:18 was saying all along. It was created to have people on it. But I love this. There's a nickname for the anthropic principle that a number of scientists use. You know what it is? It's called Goldilocks. Goldilocks, that we happen to be, that Earth happens to be in what is called the Goldilocks Zone. You know why? Because where we're positioned it's not too hot, it's not too cold. Somebody tell me what it is. It's just right. Imagine that, just imagine it. I didn't come up with that, science came up with that.
You go look Goldilocks up for yourself, and it's not just its zone, but it's also its comprising elements, and we don't have anywhere near the time to deal with that. I mean, obviously gravity, but that's not the only thing that we would see, it's also got, you know, it's got the oxygen that we need to breathe, but it's got the right amount of surface water. And I did lots and lots and lots of study this week on the role of water and the oceans and the lakes and the springs on planet Earth, and I've found this absolutely fascinating. Did you also know that one reason why water, so much surface water is imperative on Earth is because it's a temperature regulator, that it keeps it from getting too hot, and it keeps it from getting too cold? The part of what's doing that is that it's got the oceans around it that are helping to regulate the temperature.
God asked Job in Job 38:16, "Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep"? Did you know that until the last 50 years, when oceanographers were able to come up with equipment that really could withstand the pressure of low, low submerges into the depths of the seas and the oceans... did you know until then they didn't even know that oceans had springs? It would've been fed by other waters, by rivers, and all things go into the sea. Everything flows into the sea, but when they began going to the depths of the sea, guess what they found? Springs, springs. "Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me if you know all this".
You know, God alone knows the depths, but we do actually know the girth. Our waistline on our planet is 24.901 miles, and did you know that we would weigh less standing at the equator than we would at either pole? So, if you don't like, next time the doctor weighs you, if you're expecting, you could go, "If I were just standing at the equator, I can tell you that scale would be saying something altogether different". Do you know there are Creation scientists who believe Job referred to the Ice Age in Job 37:10 that says, "By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen".
I want you to look back at Isaiah 40:25-26 that say, "To whom then will you compare me... Lift up your eyes on high and see; who created these"? And he's referencing the stars, "Who brings them out their host by number, calling them by name" and by his power, "not one is missing". It's the coolest thing, because prior to telescopes, astronomers could not have even known that each star was going to be distinct in its own way, but they know that now. Jeremiah 33:22 says, "The host of heaven cannot be numbered".
So, how many galaxies are there? According to astronomers, there are probably more than 170 billion galaxies in the observable universe, stretching out into a reach of space of 13.8 billion light years away from us in all directions. So if you multiply the number of stars in our galaxy by the number of galaxies in the universe, you get approximately 1-0-2-4, that is one followed by 24 zeros, that is sextillion stars, and it ends the article by saying this, "But there could be more than that".
Isaiah 40, verse 22 says, "He who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in". Right there, God is inferring the expansion of the already created, the expansion of the universe, stretching it out. God is both Creator and Sustainer. There's nothing that he's not, that we have need of in our God. He is peerless. There is no other. "He sustains all things by his powerful word".
Colossians 1 also says, when it's talking about Christ, it says that he created all things, and in him all things hold together. You know why the universe keeps doing what it's doing and why we keep spinning? Because he told it to. And until he tells it to stop, it's not going to stop. Did you know there are approximately 6.000 flashes of lighting around the earth every minute? A lightning bolt is 50.000 degrees Fahrenheit. Hotter than the sun, it contains up to a billion volts of electricity. A single lightning bolt can stretch for miles as it tears across the sky with its power. The unbridled energy of lightning shatters the nitrogen molecules in the air.
Some of the free nitrogen atoms combine with oxygen to form compounds called nitrates that mix with the rain. These nitrates are a powerful natural fertilizer. Raindrops carry the nitrates to the ground in a soluble form that plants can absorb. This process is called atmospheric nitrogen fixation, where lightning creates fertilizer in the sky. What? Who are you? Anybody? There's a spectacular moment in the gospel of Mark when it says that the winds and the rains had come and tossing and the boat around, and they wake Jesus up, "Don't you care? Look what's happening to us". It says he rebukes the wind and the waves, and it says that the disciples say, "Who is this? Even the wind and waves obey him"!
Who is this? Who are you to have such power that all of knowledge originates in you, and that you, God, who are transcendent would choose to be immanent through the presence of your Spirit and through your Son? What kind of God is this? I learned that Jupiter, our big brother planet that's just a little bit further out in our solar system than we are, has a broom effect, and because it's positioned just where it is, it sweeps debris away from hitting our planet, that we'd have all sorts of things, but there's God going, "Broom be, broom sweep, because I created the earth to be inhabited", and listen carefully, listen carefully, "that people will not seek me in vain".