When I was younger, I heard a little poem prayer people sometimes quoted before meals—usually when they wanted to get started eating right away:
God is great
God is good
And we thank Him
For our food.
Since the purpose of said prayer was to quickly dispatch the necessary requirement of thanking God for our daily food, I didn’t think much about how profound those four lines are.
But the truth is, they give us some of the essentials of the relationship a Christian has with God. Not all the essentials, certainly, but there are some key ingredients, starting with God’s greatness.
That’s where all people start, according to Paul in Romans. We look at the world around us—the vastness of the heavens, the power of the ocean, the majesty of the mountains, the intricate beauty of the rose—and we’re looking at the evidences of God. Everywhere we look, there’s the mark of greatness. Nothing is done half way.
Oh, sure, in our urban society today, we may have to work to reach a place where we can see the sky at night, or the ocean, or the mountains. We may need to calm our busy lives in order to notice the roses or the bougainvillea or the tulips.
But when we look at our world, we see things we can’t make, things we can’t control—not in the ultimate sense. The incredible thing is, as apologist William Lane Craig has pointed out, the more we learn about the make up of our universe, the more remarkable it becomes. The heavens are far more vast than what we knew, the life-sustaining balance between energy and matter more precise, the make up of our bodies more complex.
Whether we look in our ignorance or look in our knowledge, we see greatness:
For since the creation of the world [God's] invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that [men] are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)
It’s really astonishing to me that anyone can look at our world, as atheists do, and think it came about by chance. The reality is, that those holding to a “big bang” origin of course are not dealing with origin at all. They must presuppose the existence of something that came together somehow, in a random manner, for no planned purpose, to create the greatness of the universe.
Apparently there is no attempt to explain the existence of that supposed matter or energy credited with setting in motion the creative process. There’s no attempt to explain how order could come from disorder, in contradiction to known laws of physics.
The greatness of creation, in fact, does not inform the understanding of those bent on denying God:
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.Professing to be wise, they became fools (Rom. 1:21-22)
Regardless of man’s denials, God is great. Great in His creativity and originality and design. Great in His power and strength and might. Great in His purity and holiness and sinlessness. Great in His justice and righteousness and impartiality. Great in His love and mercy and forgiveness.