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God’s Elect Lights 

Isaiah 40:26 – “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.” 

Since the beginning of time, every night has been lit by countless pinpricks of light sown across the skies, far older, vaster, and more beautiful than any work of art or architecture wrought by man. Just as man has named his most impressive feats the Seven Wonders of the World, so the stars of the sky are surely one of God’s most wondrous creations with regards to their number and size. Isaiah calls us to lift up our eyes unto the stars and the One “strong in power” who has created them. In doing so, the inspired prophet points out three remarkable facts about the stars, and other portions of Scripture reveal to us God’s purpose in creating them. In this article, we will focus on how God numbers, names, and upholds the stars, all for the glory of his wondrous name. 

Isaiah says of the stars that God “bringeth out their host by number.” The stars are so great in multitude that to the human mind and eye, even only the stars that we can see are quite literally innumerable. Astronomers can only guess at the number of stars in the universe, some estimating that there are about 100 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy alone (Howell, Elizabeth). Surely, only God is strong enough in power to create so many stars using only the words of His mouth. The vast expanse of space filled with so many stars clothed in radiance calls us to wonder at our God’s immense power, so that we say “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens”  (Ps 8.1). The stars in all their glory do not compare to the One who created them, the One who sets His glory above even them. 

We not only stand in awe at God’s power and glory, but we are also joyful that He has such power. It is with this power that He has fulfilled and continues to fulfill His promises to us and our forefathers, whose seed He made as “many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable” (Heb 11.12). We are told not only that God knows the number of the stars, but that He “calleth them all by their names” (Ps 147.4). This truth is another example of God’s power and omniscience which extends far beyond our ability to understand. When we consider the heavens, the work of God’s fingers, the moon and the stars which He has ordained, we wonder, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Ps 8.4). However, just as God knows the names of every star, so in His omniscience He knows the names of all His chosen people, which Scripture says are “so many as the stars in the sky in multitude” (Heb 11.12). That God knows each of our names is not surprising, for of course God knows the names of His chosen people, names which He has written in the book of life. God’s ability to name us is evidence of His affection and love. Jesus says to us, “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine” (Jn 10.14). God also says unto us “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine” (Isa 43.1). It is a great comfort that God knows each of the names of all His elect children, for we know that He will never forget them, not even until the day of judgment when He calls us forth into glory. 

Isaiah says that of all the innumerable stars in the universe, “not one faileth” (40.26). God not only knows the name and number of the stars in the sky, but he cares for each and every one of them, just as He cares for each and every one of His people. God demonstrates this care when He promises that “they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isa. 40.31). 

Finally, Scripture tells us God’s ultimate divine purpose in creating the stars: His glory. The inspired psalmist writes, “Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light” (Ps 148.3), and “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge” (Ps 19.1-2). The stars testify of their Creator’s power and glory “through all the earth… and to the end of the world” (Ps 19.4). This, too, is God’s calling for us: to let our light shine like the stars especially in the midst of wickedness, shining brighter and brighter the darker this world becomes. 

Philippians 2:15 – “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.” 

 

Works Cited 

Holy Bible: King James Version. www.biblegateway.com/. Accessed 13 Aug. 2021. 

Howell, Elizabeth. How Many Stars Are In the Universe? Space.com, 2017, www.space.com/26078-how-many-stars-are-there.html. Accessed 10 Aug. 2021. 

 

Archivist’s note:

This article was submitted to a Beacon Lights writing contest, with the prompt to “Explore an aspect of creation that you find especially beautiful or interesting. Describe how that aspect leads you and Christians in general to a greater knowledge of the Creator.” The article above was selected as one of the top 5 submissions in its category.