|Posted by bonesiii on November 1, 2012 at 6:15 AM|
The question of why God made so many stars has puzzled many, from my experience talking with people I know.
Reactions to this range from the belief that the answer is obvious (such as to demonstrate how wonderful our Creator's love for us is that he even notices us and that he didn't put us in some tiny box) to that a good answer is impossible (such as the idea that God would not want to confuse us about the age of the universe in this early scientific era when we have very limited information but enough to know that at face value distant starlight seems to require much more age than the Bible's 6000 years (as of the 2000s AD).
I believe there are many different factors in God's decision, but one occured to me recently that I haven't seen anyone ever say.
That is to demonstrate a large number, so that he could make a comparison to the number of the stars when giving Abraham a prophecy of how numerous his descendants would be, and for others to understand how vast the numbers of humans would be. This is one of the most common uses of the idea of the stars in the Bible.
It often accompanies another comparison to the sand on the seashore. This gives me the idea that this may be a factor in why God created our world with atoms, molecules, and the possibility of larger particles like sand, versus making something more abstract like a computer simulation. Just as evolution is a popular myth now that confuses Christians, there was a powerful myth in biblical times and even with surviving traces today that matter is evil, while only the 'heavenly' is good (though those who put this forward have no answer for what the heavenly is like or whether it, too, is made of particles). Thus it puzzled many why God did make a universe with matter.
Of course, the truth is that demonic powers will encourage the corruption of any part of creation, no matter what its design; if God had made a video-game-style universe, people could concoct the claim that that is evil. Or if God had not made anything besides our solar system, people could say that the universe could only be about a week old, and any apparent memories to the contrary are merely part of the first night's dreams.
In any case, what I like about this answer is that it incorporates actual Scripture rather than just speculation.
Once we consider that God decided to make numerous "particles" both tiny and massive -- atoms and stars, photons and galaxies -- the vast distances become necessary because long-burning sources of light such as stars require that much space, thereabouts, or else we would burn up from the concentrated heat.
Another idea I have had takes into account that we were not supposed to sin and die, but we were supposed to reproduce.
All Genesis tells us is that we are to "fill the Earth." It does not tell us whether God would cease reproduction, under the original system, once Earth is filled.
Now that the Fall did happen, we apparently know from a revelation of Jesus that at the New Creation, reproduction will stop. It's possible that under the new system, once Earth is basically filled, that will be the end of this creation -- we're nowhere near there yet, but much closer than at the time of Adam, and most of the easily fillable land is populated. (We don't know exactly how "fill" is defined, though, so there is room for a mystery about the exact date of the end. Science should enable tons more expansion, for example into floating oceanic cities and the like.)
If we take as a premise that under the originally perfect system, God would NOT cease reproduction at that point, then it is quite possible with eternal lifespans that we could travel to the stars. All that would be needed would to make a spacecraft that could contain enough supplies to last for the first journey and a long time after landing on another planet to serve as a colony, with terraforming technology to make the new world eventually habitable (possibly after a long time of sending out intersteller probes). Presumably this would be quite within our means; there would be no need for faster-than-light travel technically, although who knows what sort of technology would be possible with perfect minds and the possibility of common miracles.
Even if he did cease reproduction, I think it would be inevitable that we would want to explore and possibly terraform, just so we would have more room to be creative. Eventually everybody could own their own terraformed planet or multiple terraformed planets. Possibly it would take incredibly long times to travel between them, but it would be possible.
A problem with that, of course, is that once you leave Earth, you're opening up the risk of death. We don't know how protective the original created system was, but presumably God would not allow us to do anything that he would not agree to give us protection for, including possibly miraculous protection. Since we would not be at odds with him due to sin, there would be no reason for him to withhold miraculous protection from us, even from the deadly nothingness of space.
I think another -- very obvious -- purpose of stars is just that God is highly creative.
He seems to like to watch vast numbers of possibilities play out. I know I would if I were him. Give me the option to make a tiny universe with one star and a few planets, or a vast universe filled with galaxies full of stars, and there would be no question I'd choose the latter.
Now, of course another purpose of stars is directly stated in Genesis; to give more light to the Earth at night. They are also helpful with navigation at sea, among countless other uses. Plus, they give us something to use our minds studying for enjoyment. The list really can go on and on.