Leave it to a children’s book to help us see how big our universe is. In a book entitled Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is? Robert Wells takes us from a size we can grasp to one we can’t.
The largest animal on earth is the blue whale. Just the flippers on its tail are bigger than most animals on earth.
But a blue whale isn’t anywhere near as big as a mountain. If you put one hundred blue whales in a huge jar, you could put millions of whale jars inside a hollowed-out Mount Everest.
But Mt. Everest isn’t anywhere near as big as the earth. If you stacked one hundred Mount Everests on top of one another, it would be just a whisker on the face of the earth.
And the earth isn’t anywhere near as big as the sun. You could fit one million earths inside of the sun.
But the sun, which is a medium-size star, isn’t anywhere near as big as a red supergiant star called Antares. Fifty million of our suns could fit inside of Antares.
But Antares isn’t anywhere near as big as the Milky Way galaxy. Billions of stars, including supergiants like Antares, as well as countless comets and asteroids, make up the Milky Way galaxy.
But the Milky Way galaxy isn’t anywhere near as big as the universe. There are billions of other galaxies in the universe.
And yet, filled with billions of galaxies, the universe is almost totally empty. The distances from one galaxy to another are beyond our imagination.
And the Creator of this universe is God, who with a Word spoke it all into being, who is present everywhere in this universe and beyond, who upholds it all with His mighty power. Great is our God and greatly to be praised!
Craig Brian Larson, 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers, and Writers (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007), 201.