Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
How high can you count? A million? A billion? A trillion or more? Are you sure? Perhaps a better question is “Why should I spend time counting at all?”
God challenged Abraham with understanding huge numbers, but Abraham might have wondered why he should count anything. God had promised Abraham descendants as numerous as the dust of the Earth, as if any human could count the dust particles (Genesis 13:16). Later, God promised Abraham heirs from his own body, challenging him, “Look up at the Heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.” (Genesis 15:5). Abraham must have wondered why God kept referring to uncountable objects.
Counting in Abraham’s day was not quite the same as it is now. People did not need to count very high most of the time. They did not have to keep track of billions of people on the planet or trillions of dollars in a national budget. Most of the time, thousands and tens of thousands were the highest anyone needed to count, usually in reference to armies or flocks. The largest number I’m aware of in the Bible is two hundred million, a number told to John, and he did not actually have to count this total (Revelation 9:16).
God also implied to Abraham that he could not count all the stars, and God was right. Abraham faced many problems in counting the stars, even if he could count into the billions and beyond. What was hidden from Abraham was an unknown reality – the stars were more innumerable and unsearchable than he could imagine. There were no hand-held telescopes or orbiting Hubble technologies to show him that most of the stars in the Heavens couldn’t be seen with the naked eye. Even with today’s best technologies, man cannot count the exact number of stars in God’s Universe.
Instead of counting numbers, Abraham counted on God and trusted God’s Word to be good and true. Abraham realized that counting dust particles and celestial stars was pointless and impossible. His Earthly resources were totally insufficient to perform the task. Faced with an impossible situation, Abraham did the only normal thing he could do – he put his faith in God to keep track of his descendants. God then revealed this to be what He wanted all along.
Abraham believed the LORD, “..and He credited it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6). God also accepted Abraham’s faith favorably. God did not really wish for Abraham to count up the stars, God wanted Abraham to count on Him, even when tasks seem impossible. This was especially true for Abraham because both he and Sarah were old and beyond child-bearing years.
Abraham did not waver in unbelief over God’s promises, despite their mysteries. Even without the advantage of having either the Old or New Testaments, Abraham was fully persuaded God had the power to do what He promised. This is why it was credited to him as righteousness.
These words are not for Abraham alone. They are for us as well, as God will credit righteousness to those who believe in Him who raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Counting billions is a pointless and wasteful task for a human – it takes more than 30 years counting one star per second 24 hours a day 365 days a year to count to a billion. Only God can tally such incredibly large numbers.
God shows us through His promises to Abraham the normal way to Him. He does not want us counting stars, He wants us counting on Him. God tells us it is normal to stop counting on our Earthly talents, to stop counting up our Earthly treasures, to stop counting on Earthly superstars, and to count on Him with infinite faith. How high can you count? Scripture reveals you can’t count any higher than to count on the infinite faithfulness of the Living God. Whom will you count on today?
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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