God told Abraham to ‘look now toward heaven and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them:’ and he said unto him, ‘So shall thy seed be.’
Some think that the patriarch looked up and just couldn’t do it, an impossibility. That would be fine by me, as that would certainly be a daunting task, still not possible today with computer help, telescopes or any other tool under the sun.
However, I think there is something more to the narrative, and the exchange went like this after God told Abraham to look toward heaven and count the stars.
And Abraham said: ‘Count them? Lord I don’t see any stars.’
And of this account what followed? Simply one of the greatest truths in the entire word of God: Abraham believed the Lord, and he counted it to him for righteousness.
Maybe a reverential pause is in order here, first for the Creator telling a man to ‘count the stars if you are able,’ secondly for the fact that Abraham believed in God’s promises of the unseen and unknown that was counted to him for RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Ah yes, thus we see the essence of faith: The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. If anybody cares, read the account yourself in Genesis, and draw your own conclusions.
Oh how people of the world try to assault God’s promises. Oh how man tries to make God null and void. Oh how precious faith is attacked by the godless. Can man succeed? Yea, like the moon may be destroyed with a rubber band by a petulant child.
Paul speaks of ‘that faith’ of Abraham as a reminder that God has no problem keeping His own word in spite of man’s unbelief, insolence, and mockeries.
The just shall live by faith.