Starry, Starry Night

How many stars did God need to make? The sun — which is our solar system’s star — we need that one! It provides life, energy and warmth. It keeps us in place, preventing us from spinning aimlessly through a universe that is vast beyond analogy.
The others? The naked eye can count only a fraction of the stars a powerful telescope can see. And the most powerful telescope has yet to reach the boundary of the universe. Exactly how many stars are there out there? And if we actually could see them, could we count them?
Go outside tonight and look at the stars. It brings sudden perspective. When a dog gazes at the stars, he’s thinking about lunch. When a rabbit gazes at the stars, he probably just became lunch! Which of God’s creatures is capable of going out and wondering at the starlit sky? Only man can appreciate how small he is. Only man needs to appreciate how small he is.
“Can you count the stars of evening that are shining in the sky?
Can you count the clouds that daily, over all the world go by?
God the Lord, who doth not slumber, keepeth all their boundless number.
But he careth more for thee, but he careth more for thee”
(Johann Hey, 1837)
God told Abraham to “look up at the heavens and count the stars” (Genesis 15:5). That’s one command Abraham couldn’t have obeyed if he had tried the rest of his life!
Yet, as Gospel preacher Charles Hodge remarks, “in all his positive thinking, man has no plans to build a star” (Gospel Advocate Magazine, August 2002). Man is pretty presumptuous most times, but even he knows better than to build a starry, starry night!
We learn two things from this: First, if this is all an accident, then you’ll also believe that Bob Dylan is a war monger, Osama Bin Ladin is a peace activist, and that the Chicago Cubs have a good chance of winning the World Series this year. Second, we learn that though we are vastly, infinitesimally small, we are also very important in God’s sight.
“What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:4).
Better start counting!

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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