We always seem to think that a semester lasts an eternity. It definitely feels that way, as projects have to be done and due dates pile on. We think of ‘eternity’ and ‘infinity’ as just another word. But what exactly is being infinite to us? Can we truly understand the infinity of God?
I took my first semester calculus this summer so the first thing that comes to mind is a limit that never reaches zero. The graph and number grow smaller and smaller or bigger and bigger with no boundaries. This is partially correct, as math cannot calculate infinity exactly. Infinite does not exist in our human sense. Infinity is something we can say and not imagine, but it’s more of an idea or concept than an actual tangible thing. So, does that make God intangible?
Isaiah 57:15 tells us a completely different story.
“For this says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and hold place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly sprit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.”’
I want to focus on the first part of the verse that says God inhabits eternity. Even the greatest mathematicians in the world; specifically, Aristotle, Galileo, and Newton, could never work out what exactly infinity was. Aristotle thought we could have a possible infinity that could be counted or touched. Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan thought infinity could be calculated and found to actually be -1/12. However, all laws of natural physics disagree with this, and why’s that?
Because God is God, and we cannot understand the depths of his power.
We as humans always seek answers but God wants us to not try to uncover his glory and power, but just abide in Him and accept that we will never be able to understand Him or control the universe.
Psalm 50:10-12 says,
“for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.”
There is a reason the concept of time is so important to us as humans. It is because we know we are not infinite, we know everything we have and see will come to an end. God isn’t like that; He inhabits eternity and is infinite. Everything He is never ends and all His power will continue. There is no timeline of God: just like you can’t calculate infinity, you can’t measure God.
So, besides the random Jeapordy facts you now know about math, how does this apply to us?
It applies to us because we are living under the power of God and His eternal love, both of which are infinite. So, when people complain about infinite classes or tell us to look at the big picture, remember this: God is infinite and we can’t see the big picture, because God is bigger than that and He will always control every small, medium, and large picture imaginable.
God never ends, His love for us never ends, and our devotion and trust in Him should attempt to be the same.
Heather Gordon, IUPUI Student