Sunday, August 26, 2012

4250, 4251, 4252, ... Uhhh, Wait a Second


“He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength;  His understanding is infinite.”[1]

Reading this verse the other day startled me. Wow! What a claim.

“He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.”

So, how many are there God? A quick survey of some of the Web sites that discuss these matters told me the answer. The most straightforward answer is “We don’t know.” Much verbiage is used to say this in different ways, although sincere, dedicated people seek an answer. Two of my favorite comments were, "about as many as the number of hamburgers sold by McDonald's,"[2] or the simple, “This is a lot of stars!”[3] 

Truly, when you get into Septillions, sextillions, powers of 10 , ‘a 7 followed by 22 zeroes’ and such, it really has no meaning to us. It simply means, “This is a lot of stars.”

Does God know their names?

There are more than six billion people on the Earth and they all have a name. No individual knows them all, but in the “collective knowledge of mankind,” (whatever that is), all 6 billion names are known.

But the collective knowledge of mankind does not know how many stars there are or their names.

To help us understand how many, some compare the stars to grains of sand. Sand is easier to estimate than stars because it exists in a limited area. One site says the number of stars are about the same as the grains of sand on earth. Another comments, “It's … about 10 times as many stars as grains of sand on all the world's beaches and deserts.” Still another, “… source (BBC) stated that there are about 1,000 stars to every grain of sand on Earth!!”[4] So, we see a wide swing here and we simply say, “No wonder I get sand in my swimming suit.”

The Bible gives an indication that God knows the number of the sands. “How precious also are Thy thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.”[5] His thoughts toward you are more than that number. Could be a septillion! Going back to our verse, “His understanding is infinite…” while the number is not infinite.

So He knows how many grains of sand there are. He knows how many stars there are. Jesus said, “the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”[6]

Sand. Stars. Hair. Numbering?!? Why God?

The verse about numbering hair goes on, “Therefore…”[7] Therefore what? Therefore you are valuable.

So maybe the numbering is so that we would know that His loving thoughts toward us are ‘a 70 followed by 22 zeroes?’ That’s more concern for you than all the hamburgers sold by McDonalds! That’s a lot of love.






[1] Psalm 147:4-5 (New American Standard Bible)
[2] “How many stars are there in the Milky Way?” Astronomer  William Keel, http://www.faqs.org/faqs/astronomy/faq/part8/section-3.html
[3] “Ask an Astrophysicist,” Laura Whitlock, http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/970115.html
[5] Psalm 139:17-18 (New American Standard Bible)
[6] Matthew 10:30 (New American Standard Bible)
[7] Matthew 30:11 (New American Standard Bible)

Quotes of Note ... The Invisible World

“Spiritual warfare is learning to recognize the strategies, refusing to cooperate with them, and aggressively cutting off the schemes of the devil in Jesus’ name.” Dean Sherman

“those who protest that God cannot exist because there is too much evil evident in life… Evil exists; therefore, the Creator does not. That is categorically stated… If evil exists, one must assume that good exists in order to know the difference. If good exists, one must assume that a moral law exists by which to measure good and evil. But if a moral law exists, must not one posit an ultimate source of moral law, or at least an objective basis for a moral law? By an objective basis, I mean something that is transcendingly true at all times, regardless of whether I believed it or not.” Ravi Zacharias

“But the Devil is no big threat to God’s purposes; he is not even remotely comparable in power. He has been given a limited time before his final judgment to try to prove his case, just as all other moral beings who have chosen to live in rebellion against heaven.” W.A. Pratney

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I've served as a life-long missionary in Samoa, the Pacific region, India, and now in Pennsylvania. The Christian faith is reasonable and works in real life. It is true to the facts. Hope you enjoy some of the thoughts. I appreciate feedback.

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