Before dawn the last couple of mornings, the night sky has been perfect for star gazing. There have been moonless nights, the skies were crystal and Orion, the Hunter stood watch.
Orion is one of the most magnificent constellations, and one of the easiest to find, for many of us. It is located in the southeastern sky, in the Northern Hemisphere. Orion looks like its legendary namesake: a mighty hunter with a shield, a raised arm, and a sword hanging from his star-jeweled belt. One of the objects in Orion’s sword isn’t a star at all, but in fact, a nebula i.e. a cloud of gas and dust that’s like a giant fluorescent bulb and hot young stars inside the nebula pump energy into its gas, causing the gas to glow. In our galaxy, new stars are created every year. Although it is unclear how many baby stars are produced in the nebula nurseries… it is a complex process, from what I can gather and new stars are born quite frequently.
As I was gazing, I remembered the story of Abram and the promise God made to him. God said, “[Abram], I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 26:4).
What a wonderful promise… Did you know, a study was published last year that reported, there are more stars in the universe than was once thought. In fact, “there are a mind-blowing 300 sextillion of them, or three times as many as scientists previously calculated”. “It’s full of stars”. No kidding, Dave!
But more significant than the number of stars in the universe, is that God gave Abram this promise. What a special and intimately tender and endearing gift for God to give. You see, Abram’s wife was barren and yet they desperately longed for… hoped for and prayed for a child. Together, raising empty, aching arms up to God, they pleaded and wailed for God’s mercy, healing and favor. God loved Abram and He answered his prayer. Abram in turn, believed and waited for the child of promise to appear. As decades passed, year after year, month after month, God repeatedly reminded Abram of the promise … then, when hope was almost gone, the promise was fulfilled.
Abram didn’t know it, but God had answered his prayer long before he had even prayed it. God had a plan for Abram, the children and for us. On a side note, God never forgets our cries to Him. He always hears and feels them and even when we don’t even remember what we pray, God does. For our prayers and alms ascend as a memorial before God” (Acts 10:4). God said, “… if [one] cries to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate” (Exodus 22:27).
God loves all nations, all generations, all peoples and wanted to, planned to bless us with His favor.
What type of blessing would this be and what does blessed with His favor actually mean?
This promise of blessing does not mean blessings of wealth, health or prosperity. The blessing that God promised to Abram and to the nations is the blessing of His presence. God wants us to be in relationship with Him. From the beginning of time, God planned for us to know Him and to be in relationship with Him. God knows that without His influence, we self-destruct, so He created us not to be self-sufficient or self-determinate which always ends badly, but to depend on Him through relationship.
A relationship with God transcends a man-to-man, human-to-human relationship… it is not a relationship of like-being to a like-being. Relationship with God is different. It is a spiritual connection. Therefore, the blessing of His presence would be spiritual in nature. That does not mean that God does not bless man with physical and material blessings, like a child, but the promise made to Abram and to us is a higher gift… a more noble promise than temporal gifts… it is the gift of Himself. God wants relationship with all people… with all nations and with us.
Per chance, if you happen to gaze upward into the night sky and see all those twinkling diamonds, sparkling on high… remember God is thinking about you… To God, you are one of those glittering lights… you are a star of promise given to one in covenant relationship with God.
Are you a star of promise? If not, what will you do in response?