Monday, April 26, 2010

Star-Counting Contest: Abraham vs. God

In Genesis 15 God challenges Abraham to count the stars:
"And he brought him outside and said, 'Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.' Then he said to him, 'So shall your offspring be'" (Gen 15:5, ESV).

Notice that God didn't expect Abraham to really be able to count them.  First, he says "if you are able to number them," implying that he was not.  Secondly, he seems to cut Abraham off in his counting.  How many stars do you think Abraham counted before God interrupted him with, "So shall your offspring be"?  Or did Abraham even begin to count?  Perhaps he realized that God's point was that he could not count them!

But "what is impossible with men is possible with God" (Luke 18:27).  The Bible makes it clear that God can indeed count the stars!

"He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure." Psalm 147:4-5, ESV

God goes one step beyond Abraham's failure to count the stars. God not only counts them, he names them! (of course he goes much further than even this - he MADE the stars...from nothing!)

Psalm 147 assures us that God counts the stars and names them.  But it tells us what CANNOT be measured: "his understanding."

 Remember today that our God is great in power, great in understanding, and great in love for those who fear him (Psalm 147:11).  Hallelujah! What an awesome God!

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