Count the Stars... If you can!
Indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. (Genesis 22v17 NASB)
I love this passage of scripture where the angel of the LORD is speaking with Abraham just after he had been tested over the sacrifice of Isaac. God had spoken with Abram back in Genesis 15 and told him that his offspring would be like the stars of the heavens.
This time around God compares the stars of the heavens with the sands of the shore and there are some real golden nuggets hidden in this vision we need to draw out.
Firstly, Abraham, whether you are looking up or looking down I’m going to perform the Word I have spoken over your life. I AM a faithful, covenant keeping God. Whether your descendants choose to follow me or not I have already determined that they will be numerous beyond measure. I have already determined that through them all families of the earth shall be blessed and there is nothing they can do to stop this blessing going forth.
Secondly, Abraham, you will have no choice but to look up to see the potential that I have placed within each and everyone one of your descendants. Man is made from the dust of the earth and so for as long as you are looking down at the sand you will only see numbers, you will never see what I have destined and designed for every individual. Know no man after the flesh, instead look for that bit of heaven I have placed inside that will shine bright for all the world to see.
Thirdly, reader – yes you! If you know Jesus as your LORD and Saviour, then you too are one of Abraham’s descendants and the lineage you come from carries some responsibilities.
When God spoke of the stars of the heavens, He was showing Abraham that his descendants would be people who help others navigate their way through life to their intended destination. In the days of Abraham, the stars in the night sky were the only way of navigating around the earth or across the seas. Following the right star will lead you to Jesus (Matthew 2).
You and I are no different. We have been put in place to signpost people to the Saviour. We are more than cities set on a hill, we are the stars in the heavens who declare the works and the wonders of God, and now more than ever it is time to step up to the mark.
We live in a generation that is doing everything it can to design out God from every walk of life. We have manufactured our own stars in the form of satellites and gained enough knowledge to launch them into space and keep them there. Now we walk around with a small device in our pockets where we can key in a few digits and it will tell you how you can get to anywhere you want to go.
There is a generation coming that will never know any different, that will never think to look up. Everything they need is in their pocket! And when they are looking down, they don’t even see the sand on the shore. All they see is self.
That little mobile device says as much about us as our DNA. It carries our photos; our conversations and every text note we send to someone else. Our browser history would reveal everything the world knows about us… and everything we thought we had hidden! And yet God, in His mercy and in His love is still trying to reach out.
This is the generation we are tasked with reaching. You are where you are for a reason – in your workplace, in your community, in your school, college or university. Regardless of how you feel or what you are going through people are watching you. They are watching your actions and your reactions. And here is the tough message we need to take on board – when people look at us, they are looking up! What kind of star are you? What kind of star am I? People are navigating their way through life by us, whether they realise it or not and whether we realise it or not. Let us not be ignorant of this any longer.
They may feel entitled. They may feel invincible. They may feel immortal because this is what society would have us believe. Whether they are stuck for a solution or just plain bone idle they can call upon the name of Alexa! Truth is, there is no Satnav mapping or Smart Speaker than can guide a person through the narrow gate and into the arms of Jesus. Only you and I with the help of the Holy Spirit can do that.
My brothers and sisters arise and shine. Let us determine to be that one bright light in a world of darkness that allows others to find their way out. There are multitudes out there searching and for some of them you and I are their only hope!
God is confident. Let us participate in that confidence. If you commit to doing one thing this year… look to Jesus. Every star that shines in the night sky is only reflecting the sun (The Son).