And as the stars of the sky cannot be counted and the sand on the seashore cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of my servant David and the Levites who minister before me.” Jeremiah 33:22
This verse and others like it symbolize the notion that like the stars in the sky and the grains of sand on the sea shore can’t be numbered, so too the descendants of Israel. Many critics have jumped on this verse and said, “That’s nonsense, we can number the stars. There are 6,000 stars that can be seen with the naked eye. We may not be able to see the stars beyond them with the naked eye but we can count them using telescopes.”
As our understanding of our universe grows and our technological toys grow more impressive we are becoming increasingly aware of the truth of the statement penned by Jeremiah so long ago. Despite having the latest gadgets, we still can’t count the stars in the sky. Why not? Because there are so many more than ever we thought possible. No one would live long enough to count the stars.
We are told by astronomers that there are 10 to the 25th power number of stars in the sky. That is an astronomically large number. It is not a number which is the result of a count but rather an estimate as to the total number of stars. If we utilized the most up to date computer possible in order to count the stars, one capable of handling 10,000,000,000 calculations per second it would still take 30 million years of non-stop counting to handle that many stars to count.
When Jeremiah made that statement it was true of the time in which he lived and it is still true for this day and age. Given the facts in the last paragraph if Jeremiah had started in 626 BC with the latest computer we possess these days he would still be at work night and day and have hardly made a dent in the task before him. It is true that the number of stars can’t be counted but not only that, allow me to draw your attention to another fact. The massive understatement found in Genesis 1:16. The literal Hebrew reads: “God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night, and stars.” When God made the stars on the scale He did, it is like He just threw in an uncountable number of stars to brighten your night. “Here have some stars too.” But oh my goodness, the scale on which he threw in stars for good measure was immense. Which is typical of an exceedingly extravagant God.
A photo taken from the Hubble Space Telescope showing Three Million Billion Suns
Our Milky Way galaxy measures 100,000 x 20,000 light years in terms of the dimensions of space. It is filled with one hundred thousand million stars. Some years ago there were estimated to be 100 billion other galaxies in the universe. That’s give or take. Yet God made the cosmic light show of stars to be on going and ever changing. I am sure those figures are more likely to underestimated than overestimated. i.e. With advancements in technology it is certain the figures are a conservative estimate.
I like to think when God made the stars with a wave of His hand, He scattered the stars across our skies. Like playing scatterswith knuckle-bones. We can’t control the knuckle-bones when we reach the level of scatters. But God controlled His scattering of the stars when He added stars to our skies!
Have you ever thought to connect these verses of the Bible together?
God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night . . . and the stars. [Gen 1:16]
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place—what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? [Psalms 8:3-4]
He counts the starsand calls them all by name. [Psalms 147:4]
Hang on to your seats. You will see something of the majesty, power and nature of God over these next weeks as we explore the above truths and investigate the truth of the following Scriptures:
The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.[Psalms 19:1]
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.[Romans 1:20]