Jump Start # 3221
Psalms 147:4 “He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.”
The other morning I woke up very, very early. Sermons, classes and people were swirling around in my mind and I just couldn’t sleep. So I got up. I looked out of the window into the blackness of the night. I noticed how bright the stars were. The sky was very dark and the stars were very bright. Where I live there are very few lights in the neighborhood. My attention was drawn to those stars. Such a beautiful sight. I thought of our verse today. God counts the number of the stars. God names the stars.
Just how many stars are there? I had to look that up. There are about 200 billion trillion stars in the universe. That’s a 2 followed by 23 zeros! Now, what’s that like? If you could count one star per second, it would take you 23 straight days, counting nonstop around the clock to get to that number. And, somehow, I expect there are more stars than that.
Some lessons for us:
First, we see the great wisdom of God. Not only does God count all those stars, He has names for them. How does God come up with that many names? And, most of those names are known only to God. I don’t think we could come up with 200 billion trillion (which is also called 200 sextillion) names. There are only 616,500 word forms in the English language. In essence, we don’t have enough words in our language to come up with 200 sextillion names. There are more stars than words…that is for us. Not for God!
Second, until modern times, many of the stars were undiscovered by humans. God knew they were there. God placed them there. But until the advancement of deep space telescopes, many were not observable. So, for those early disciples, they had no idea about so many of these stars.
So, why did God create deep space? Why put stars in the universe that would never been discovered for thousands of years later? Could it be that the solar system is an image of God. We never fully understand how great, large, powerful our God is. There is never an end to our God.
Third, much of the light that we see from stars were sent before we were even born. Light in space is measured by “light years.” Light year is not about time but distance. Light in space travels 186,000 miles per second or 9.46 trillion miles a year. One light year is 9.46 trillion miles. So when we look up at night and see the stars twinkling in the night sky, we are not watching in real time. The closest star to us, Proxima Centauri appears in the night sky as it was four years ago. It is more than four light years away from us. In essence, we are looking into the past. A star that is 100 light years away, sent the light long before you and I were born. The light from that same star won’t be visible to earth for another one hundred years.
If all of this in mind bogglingly to you, that’s just exactly right. All of this is amazing.
Fourth, God used stars throughout His divine Word. Abraham was told that his descendants would number like the stars. When Jesus came to earth as a baby, a star shone for the shepherds. In Revelation, Jesus is called the bright and morning star.
And, with all this discussion about stars, can you imagine what Heaven will be like? As detailed, vast and brilliant as the solar system is, can you imagine the beauty of Heaven? If God put so much detail in a solar system that most never saw or understood, can you imagine what God will do for our home in Heaven?
If you haven’t done so in a while, put on a coat, go out on a clear night and just look at the stars. Amazing. And as impressive as stars are, God thinks you are more important. You are made in His image. The stars are not. Jesus died for you, not the stars. Sometimes, living in cities, we can’t see the stars for all the man-made lights. We lose a connection to the creation and to God.
God names the stars. More impressive, God knows your name. Can’t you just see God tossing the stars across the universe, like a little girl tossing flower pedals at a wedding?
Simple thoughts from a restless night, but what a profound image.