Genesis 15:4-5 NLT
Then the LORD said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.” Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”
Abram is inside a tent, pitched in the Negev desert. It is night and the darkness is so deep you can’t see your hand in front of your face. The temperature dropped 25 degrees from the daytime high and the coolness is a welcome relief. It’s the end of a long day, business has come to a close, the family is taken care of, and now it’s time for a restful sleep. But he can’t. There’s too much on his mind and he reflects on his present day circumstances. Abram talks to the Lord about his concerns and the path he is to pursue to accomplish his destiny.
I can relate to Abram. When the day is over, the lights are out, and the house is quiet, there are times when my mind cannot stop rehearsing over the events of the day. As I reflect over each person, conversation, or incident, I ask myself, am I accomplishing my goals in life?
God understands how we feel
Did you know that God can relate to how we feel when we are in the darkness? Genesis 1:2 tells us the earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Our Father is privy to how darkness and the unknown affects us.
God gives Abram reassurance
With love and compassion, God speaks powerful words to Abram and addresses his fears. No, Abram, your servant will not be your heir. You, will have a son and he will be your heir. Abram’s heart must have skipped several beats during this conversation as he was directed to look into the starry night. In my mind's eye, I see God’s arm wrapped securely and affectionately around him, like a Father would place His arm around his son.
God is big on visuals.
Visuals jog the memory and connect information associated with an image. God points upwards and tells Abram that if he could even count the stars, that’s how many descendants he will have. God is expanding Abram’s faith so he wouldn’t obsess on a particular sliver of time. God is looking beyond the present into eternity and sees the entire picture. Abram searched for a son as an answer to his dilemma. God looks beyond and sees multiple generations, people of faith from all around the world who will be His children.
Did you know there are several star observatories and planetariums located throughout Israel today (1)? This location is the best in the world for stargazing. In fact, people book stargazing tours in the Negev where God spoke to Abram about the stars.
God's word sheds light where there is darkness
When the earth was shrouded in darkness, God illuminated it with light. In the deep blackness of the desert night, Abram’s mind was shrouded in darkness without any answers to his innermost questions. God chose His visual well when He pointed to the stars to illuminate Abram's mind and soul. Every night when Abram slipped under the covers, he could gaze into the beautiful starry Negev sky and be assured God would fulfill His promise. When we stare into the starry heavens, we must also remember that God’s promises to us are yes and amen.
thank You for Your powerful words to me that are written in the Bible. Thank You for the Words that You speak into my spirit. Thank You for wrapping Your arms around me securely and affectionately as You did Abram. When I gaze at the starry night, I will be reminded of Your promises to me. Thank You for illuminating Your light where there is darkness and unanswered questions in my life and mind. I will not obsess on a sliver of time but trust in You because You see the entire picture. I love You. In Jesus Name, Amen.
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