If you’ve followed this blog for a while you’ve surely seen me talk about my love of the stars. One of the great verses in the Bible is the opening of Psalm 19.
Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
I cannot look at the sky and not sing the praises of God. I just can’t. Clouds amaze me, sunrises and sunsets blow my mind, and the stars, the stars are just magical to me. All this beauty and creativity on display in the heavens, it’s such a portrait of God. His bigness, His creativity, His power. His handiwork envelopes us, always above and around. It’s one of my favorite things, just being able to look up at any time of the day and see God there in His gorgeous creation.
So, with my deep love of stars and all that, I was really moved by this next set of verses from Isaiah. I’m using The Message translation for these verses.
Isaiah40:25-26 “So—who is like me?
Who holds a candle to me?” says The Holy.
Look at the night skies:
Who do you think made all this?
Who marches this army of stars out each night,
counts them off, calls each by name
—so magnificent! so powerful!—
and never overlooks a single one?
There’s so much to marvel at here. First of all, just the imagery in these words, the marching out the army of stars? That just sings to my heart, what a beautifully written thing. But what I really want to focus on are the last few lines here.
God knows the count of the stars. This got me curious if modern science with all of its technology and computers knew how many stars there are. I did some light Google research into this, I’m just throwing that out. This isn’t some exhaustive search of the world’s greatest minds in the field of stars, it’s just a quick look at some of Google’s top results on the matter. First of all, science will quickly admit that they can’t even see the entire universe, always reminding us that any estimate about the number of stars is limited to the “observable universe” that we can actually see. So, within that observable universe, the current estimate seems to be that there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 billion trillion stars. Some websites actually estimated higher than that! I tried to do the math on how many 0’s would be in the number 70 billion trillion and then I gave up because it was more than I could really even wrap my brain around.
Modern man, for all his knowledge and all his technology, has a rough estimate on the number of stars that varies wildly depending on who you ask. But God, the maker of those stars, knows exactly how many there are, both the ones mankind can currently observe and the ones that we can’t.
Plus, HE KNOWS THEIR NAMES! Can we just pause and think about this insane thing for a minute? God named the stars. EVERY SINGLE BILLION TRILLION OF THEM! And if you know anything about God, you know He’s super creative. I feel pretty confident in saying that the stars aren’t named boring stuff like 100003, 100004, 100005, and so on. I bet they’ve got crazy cool names. Hatchetblade and Crescentshield and Lullaby and Morning-glory. Those are just some guesses of mine, I’m sure whatever God named them is way better.
But think about this. God is love, and that means that everything He does is motivated from love. Even when He enacts justice, it’s from a place of love, it’s because He is too good to let evil go undealt with forever. So when God created each of these stars, I think it’s fair to see He crafted them lovingly. And He makes them and He sets them in place in the sky, and as He gives each one its place He whispers to it the name He’s selected for it. He knows exactly how many there are.
Imagine the love involved in this process, the care He’s taking with the stars, the gentleness represented in His care for them. Then imagine yourself, and the fact that He made us in His own image, that He loves us so deeply. If God tends that lovingly to the stars, how much more lovingly is He at work in your life? If He’s that attentive to the stars in the heavens, how much more attentive is He to you? This is a God who kneels down to be by our side, who stoops low to hear our cries, who takes time away from His army of stars to comfort and guide His beloved children.
God’s not done with you yet. He has not forgotten you, He hasn’t left you, He will never give up on you. Fall one billion times, and one billion times you will find Him there waiting lovingly to pick you back up. He will pursue you to the very last millisecond of your life, will care for and provide for you at the break of every day and at the setting of every sun. The God with an army of stars loves you with all He’s got, and He’s proven it by sacrificing Jesus for our sins so that we could receive a pardon we didn’t deserve, because He couldn’t stand to leave us hopeless. We failed, but He stepped in and succeeded anyways. Sin made it impossible for us to live up to Him, and so He made it possible for our sin to be forgiven.
Look up at the sky tonight. Marvel at who you see there, and just know you are so loved by the greatest Creator who has ever existed.
PRAYER AND CLOSING
Father God, thank you so much for the beauty of creation. Thank you for all that it says to us, it speaks volumes! But as much love and as much care as you give to all that you’ve created, thank you that we hold a special place in your heart. Thank you that you are always there for us, that you are not a God who gives up on His people, even when that’s what we deserve. There is no love like the love you have for us, thank you so much for it, Lord. Please keep chasing after those who aren’t experiencing your love, thank you that you will pursue them to the final moments of their life. Give them the wisdom to see you, I pray that they’ll accept you and be brought into the family. Thank you for the beauty of your word, and the passion it can stir up in our hearts. It sings a beautiful song to us as we read it, and I’m so thankful for that. In the precious name of Jesus I pray, amen.
Well, another Monday is here. I hope it’s treating all of you well. I love you guys and pray that this is going to be a great week for each one of you. See you tomorrow!