God Said Man Said

Stars, Sand, and Abraham

In quantifying the seed of Abraham, God compared them to the stars of heaven and referred to them as innumerable. He made this promise to Abraham approximately 4,000 years ago. This was in clear contradiction to the wisdom of the day. It was a clear contradiction until just 394 years ago. Up until then, man numbered the stars at only a few thousand.
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Stars, Sand, and Abraham

Article#: 768

I asked the young hitchhiker, "What was the greatest day of your life?"

He answered, "It was the day I graduated from high school."

For a blood-bought believer, the answer to that question should be, "The day I believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ and fully surrendered my life to him as my Lord and saviour was the greatest day of my life." When Jesus Christ is the center of your life there can be no other answer.

What was the greatest day of your life? If you answered something other than Christ Jesus, click on to "Further With Jesus," on the navigation bar on your left. It will lead you to the narrow gate which opens into the Kingdom of God. NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, Genesis, chapter 22, verse 17:

That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

MAN SAID:  The Bible is a bizarre book of old, outdated, archaic mental meanderings of mere men. Men created God, and not the other way around.

Now THE RECORD. When God spoke to Abraham, He said He would multiply his seed as the "stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore." Hebrews 11:12 refers to Abraham’s seed as innumerable. In Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, innumerable is defined as, "not to be counted, that cannot be enumerated or numbered for multitude."

As an aside, it’s interesting to track the growth of our mathematical vocabulary. As mathematical computations expand, numbers are created for which our vocabulary has no name. As the common use of a huge number grows, a name for that number is established. The largest number in the scriptures, that I am aware of, is 100 million-plus (Revelation 5:11).

The Word of God also states that Abraham would be the father of many nations, and he truly is that. His first born was Ishmael. All Moslems dub themselves Ishmaelites. All Hebrews are of the lineage of faithful Abraham through his son Isaac, the child of promise. After Abraham’s wife Sarah died, he married Keturah who bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah, and all their lineage of course lays claim to Abraham. All Christians are of the seed of Abraham. Galations, chapter 3, verse 16 and verse 29:

16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

From a faithful man named Abraham, a vast multitude followed, embracing as much as three quarters of the world’s people. At a two-percent growth rate, approximately 90 million people would be added to the ranks of Abraham on an annual basis.

In the days of old, skeptics could confidently point to contradiction in the Word of God concerning Abraham. In quantifying the seed of Abraham, God compared them to the stars of heaven and referred to them as innumerable. He made this promise to Abraham approximately 4,000 years ago. This was in clear contradiction to the wisdom of the day. It was a clear contradiction until just 394 years ago. Up until then, man numbered the stars at only a few thousand. According to Dr. DeYoung, in his book Astronomy and the Bible, "On a clear, moonless night, about 3,000 stars are visible with the unaided eye." [End of quote] Three hundred ninety-four years ago, in 1694, Galileo turned his first astronomical telescope toward the sky and put God’s skeptics to silence.

In an attempt to estimate the stars of heaven, Dr. DeYoung offered the following calculation:

The stars we can easily see are all in our corner of the Milky Way Galaxy. The entire galaxy numbers about 100 billion stars. And beyond the Milky Way are other galaxies with many shapes and sizes. Around 100 billion such galaxies are known to exist. Taking the Milky Way as an average galaxy, the total number of stars is 10 to the twenty-second power. This figure would be pronounced as "ten billion trillion" stars.

Suppose these stars were divided up among the world’s total population of 6 billion people. Then each person on Earth would receive more than 11/2 trillion stars! Yet all these stars may be only page one in God’s catalog of the heavens. For man, the stars are innumerable, but for God of the Bible it is a simple task. Psalm 147, verses 4- 5:

4 He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.

5 Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

Remember that in God’s prophecy concerning Abraham, He compared stars and sand. A final excerpt from Dr. DeYoung’s book is a calculation of the sand on the world’s seashores. It reads:

Let us consider a rough estimate for all the sand grains on the seashores of planet Earth. We will depict this total as a block of sand that is 10 feet deep, 100 feet wide, and 1,000,000 miles long. This length equals 42 trips around the world, a generous figure for the extent of the world’s sandy beaches.  [End of quote]

After a series of complicated computations, the result is that the sand upon the seashore equals 10 to the twenty-second power. This is the same number used by astronomers when they estimate the stars of heaven: 10 to the twenty-second power.

So in review, when God spoke the prophetic words over Abraham in Genesis 22:17, man had a number for the stars, which was only a few thousand. The sand was obviously innumerable, but the stars were not, therefore, the skeptics pointed to the error of the Holy Scriptures. Today, modern astronomy estimates the stars one can see with the most sophisticated telescopes to be 10 to the twenty-second power. Modern mathematics estimates the sand upon the seashores at the same 10 to the twenty-second—basically innumerable. Only the God of creation could have known that the stars of heaven and the sand upon the seashore would compare in quantity. And only the God of heaven could record it in His Word thousands of years before man would be able to certify its veracity. Genesis 22:17 is just another beautiful proof that the God of the majority-text King James Bible is our Creator.

GOD SAID, Genesis, chapter 22, verse 17:

That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

MAN SAID:  The Bible is a bizarre book of old, outdated, archaic mental meanderings of mere men. Men created God, and not the other way around. Now you have THE RECORD.



References:

King James Bible

DeYoung, D., Ph.D., Astronomy and the Bible, Baker Books, 2000

Taylor, P.S., Origins, Films For Christ Association, 1983

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