What is infinity? They tell us that there are a hundred billion stars in an average galaxy, and that there are hundreds of billions of galaxies. Every star contains an unimaginably large number of atoms, and every atom is composed of many sub-atomic particles. But if you take the number of atoms in the whole universe, multiply that number by itself as many times as you like, you will only come up with a very, very, very large number – not infinity.
If I had an infinite number of apples, and I gave them all to you, how many would I have left? One way to look at this is that if I gave you one apple, I would still have an infinite number, so I could go on giving you apples forever, and I would still have all the apples I started with. Another way is to say that if I gave you all my apples, then I must have given you an infinite number, and I would have none left. Which do you think is right?
Actually, it's a trick question. There is no such thing as an infinite number. Infinitude is not applicable to any created thing, because it is an attribute of God. The Larger Catechism tells us that “God is infinite in being, glory blessedness and perfection” (Q.7).
God is omnipresent – that is, infinitely extended in space. The universe, no matter how large it turns out to be, is finite. The number of galaxies, and stars and suns is definite, as all numbers are. Eventually, the hypothetical explorer of intergalactic space would come to its end. But beyond that he would find that there is only God, going on forever, without bound or limit. “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord. Solomon said, “But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!“ (2 Chronicles 6:18)
He is eternal – that is, of infinite duration. He never began to be, because He always was. And he will never cease to be. He calls Himself, “I AM”.
God is omniscient – as our text states, “His understanding is infinite.” Every fact is before His mind as fully as if it were the only fact in the world. We have to concentrate on one thing at a time to get it clear in our minds, but He sees all things, each in its individuality, in all their complicated relations, simultaneously. We read that “ He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.” (Psalms 147:4) and the very hairs of our heads are numbered. In other words, he can tell this hair from that hair, and give you a detailed description of each one without pausing to reflect.
Here's an intriguing thought. When Jesus healed a sick person, there is no other way He could have done it than to instantly transform, or remove and replace, every one of the affected molecules and restart all the healthy processes simultaneously. It's no less marvelous than creation itself!
God is omnipotent. There is no limit to what He can do, except the limit of self-contradiction. For God, nothing that He wills to do shall be impossible.
God is infinitely holy. He is infinitely just, infinitely gracious, infinitely patient and kind. His love for His people is infinite.
Do you have a problem that is unsolvable? Do you or does someone you know have a need that you have no idea how to meet? Go to this great Lord God and ask him to meet that need, to solve that problem! Then trust Him to handle it with infinite wisdom, for your good and his great glory!
Howard Douglas King