June 2 I Saturday
2 Chronicles 17-18
“[God] took [Abram] outside and said, ‘Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.’ Then He said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’”
It had been about 10 years since God first spoke to Abraham, originally called Abram. Abraham had left his homeland and his people because God had promised him a land, and from his descendants, a nation that would bless the world. But now, after years had passed with no heir, Abraham was starting to doubt. He worried that Eliezer, his chief servant, would receive his inheritance since God had not yet given him a son. God then reaffirmed His promise by showing Abraham the stars and saying his descendants would be just as numerous.
Part of Abraham’s reassurance came from the sheer number of stars in the sky. Scientists tell us that if all light pollution and cloud cover were removed, we would be able to see at most around 2,000 stars with the naked eye from any one vantage point on Earth. If everyone were to look up at once from different vantage points, there would be a combined total of about 6,000 stars visible to the naked eye. In the Milky Way alone there are approximately 400 billion stars, as well as numerous planets.
But there is another possible reason God used the stars to reaffirm His promise. We usually keep our focus on what we can see in the moment. We cannot see stars during the day, just like it is hard to see flowers at night. They are still there; we simply cannot see them. By doubting God’s promise, it was like Abraham was looking for flowers at night while God was saying, “Look up! My promise to you was not made on the ground but is rooted in Me up here in the heavens.”
Sometimes the things God has promised in the dark seem totally unrealistic in the light of day. If we find ourselves waiting for visible manifestations of God’s promises, we might start focusing on practicalities instead. Abraham and Sarah were well beyond childbearing years, and without an heir, they could not fathom how they could possibly inherit a land or have a nation descend from their offspring.
Do not doubt in the daylight what God has shown you in the dark. He is always faithful and is not bound by practicalities but can do the miraculous to fulfill His promises. Many of God’s greatest workings happen in the dark. When Jesus died on the cross, fulfilling God’s promise of salvation, Luke tells us, “...darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining” (Luke 23:44-45). We will never fully grasp why God does what He does when He does it, but know that despite the darkness, God is always at work to bring His promises to pass.
Prayer: Sovereign Lord, I thank You for the promises You have made to me, both personally and in Your Word. Grant me an extra measure of patience as I await their fulfillment. Thank You, God.