From my 2009 Journal. Isaiah’s imagination wasn’t big enough to give us perspective on God’s vastness, so he put it in human terms: compared to God we’re just tiny insects crawling around our little world.
God sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in (Isaiah 40:22 NIV).
I think of the song “He’s got the whole world in His hands.” If the world fits in His hands, how big is the rest of Him? I can picture a standing giant who flings a handful of dust into the air and each speck begins to sparkle with a gazillion twinkling lights and the universe is born. According to verse 26, each star is numbered and named! Not one is missing or lacks anything. But those stars only come up to His middle while His head and torso tower above them.
Here I am on earth trying to understand this huge Being and all I can see is a shadow coming toward me. The little grasshopper has no perspective at all—everything is too immense. Perspective comes when you look at it from the giant’s viewpoint. And that’s what Isaiah was trying to convey I think.
This passage makes me think of a doll house: everything is miniature to me, but from a grasshopper’s perspective it feels spacious. The miniature logs in the dollhouse fireplace aren’t enough to give me warmth. The tiny loaf of bread on the dining room table would not begin to satisfy my hunger.
Another perspective of God’s bigness was captured in the song “The Love of God,” by Frederick M. Lehman, The third verse of the hymn, Lehman said, “had been found penciled on the wall of a patient’s room in an insane asylum after he had been carried to his grave.”
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
How big is your God?