Awhile back, I needed to fill in for Pastor Lafferty and the Old Testament reading was the beginning of Genesis, chapter 15. While I commend the entire chapter to your reading, I want to pay particular attention to this verse. Genesis 15:5 English Standard Version (ESV) 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.”
That very day, when I got home, I started listening to some Christian music, which is not an uncommon thing for me. However, let me just take a moment to share a funny story about myself. I have a playlist on Youtube, actually I have several, one for popular Christian music covering everything from pop to rock, some country, and even a little gospel. Each list has over 100 songs, but the songs are always played in the same order. Youtube has a feature that lets you shuffle the list, but I find that it doesn’t shuffle properly after a certain number of songs, almost like it just can’t handle long lists. Due to that problem, my family is probably a little tired when I play it, because they often hear the beginning but not the end of the list. Just so you know, even I get tired of it, so I do rearrange the order of the list about once a month. In any case, on my regular Christian Music list is a song currently near the top called Calculate and as I listened to it that Sunday, I saw the connection to the reading from Genesis. Now most of the song is just praise and thanksgiving to God for all that He has done, but the following part, I believe, was inspired by the verse in Genesis. ... Your love is like the stars, filling up the skies It’s impossible to count all the lights I could spend forever, but it’s not enough time No it’s not enough time No it’s not enough I can’t calculate, calculate All the ways that you love me, that you love me I can’t calculate, calculate All the ways that you love me, that you love me Oho, oho, oho, oho, can’t calculate ... Calculate by Everyday Sunday Songwriters: Kipp Williams / Chris Sernel / Glenn Walter Iii Pearson John D Salbego Calculate lyrics © Artist 101 Publishing Group, Oh Hush Makes Me Blush If you would like to watch their Official video, you can find the link below. It is very upbeat song that I would hope inspires you as much as it does me. Click Here to View Video I have spent many nights looking up at the stars. The darker the place you are in, the more stars you will see. Still I would find it INCREDIBLY hard to count the stars. You know they don’t line up for you. If they were in a nice even grid pattern it would make counting much simpler. We can thank God that in his infinite wisdom, he gave us such variety in the night sky or we never would have all of the wonderful constellations. Plus, a grid would not look natural. If I could make a little tick mark either visually or mentally next to the star, I would be to keep track of what I tried to count. I suppose I could take a picture and then I could use the tick-mark method. That option, however, was not available to Abraham. Using a high-quality photograph(s), the task of counting the stars is just laborious. Using just the naked eye, it goes to nigh impossible. The number of stars are too many to “Calculate.” Likewise, God’s provision for us, IF we were to sit down and list all of our blessings, would be too numerous to count. Give thanks today for the air that you breath. There are places on this Earth with worse pollution than New Jersey. Give thanks to God for your health. There are plenty of people with worse health than most of us. Give thanks to God for the food you eat. You may not get to go out to eat as often as you like, but you are not scrounging the garbage heaps fighting off dogs for something to eat. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 English Standard Version (ESV) 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.