When you look at the astronomical data on the red giant star Mu Cephei, you can’t help but be amazed at the size and power of things we can see in the cosmos. We read passages like Psalms 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.” The Hebrew word “glory” is “kabod,” and the lexicon’s first use of that word is weight or power. Mu Cephei is an incredible demonstration of the power of the Creator.
If we could put Mu Cephei in the place of the Sun, the orbit of Jupiter would fit inside it. That means the size of this one star, which is relatively close to the solar system (2800 light years), would exceed the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. If our understanding of stellar evolution is correct, this giant star will eventually collapse into a supernova, producing the elements you and I are made of. We now understand that the stuff we see, the elements that make up everything on Earth, are only 5% of the universe. The European Space Agency’s Planck satellite has revealed that 68% of the cosmos consists of dark energy, 27% is dark matter, and only 5% is atomic matter. So the red giant star Mu Cephei and everything else we can see is only a tiny part of the cosmos.
Science has just scratched the surface of comprehending the fundamental nature of the universe. The words of Psalms 8:3-4 are magnified by what we see as we look into space with our instruments and technology: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars which you have ordained, what is man that you are mindful of him and the son of man that you visit him.” The only answer that can come to thinking people is that we are summoned to a higher calling than the physical world in which we live.
After Job’s complaining, God answered him by saying, “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” Then, God challenged Job with many questions about creation in chapters 38 to 41. Humbled, Job responded, “Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” Using our technology, we can examine the red giant star Mu Cephei and know much more about creation than Job ever could. But there are still many wonderful things that we do not know.
— John N. Clayton © 2023