Genesis 15:5-6 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Many of you may be familiar with a popular song by the group OneRepublic called Counting Stars! The song is certainly a great hit for this group. I really enjoy listening to the song and singing along when I am driving in my car.
One of the lines in the song is "Said no more counting dollars we'll be counting stars".
Counting dollars is something I am very familiar with. For years I was in banking and some of that time I was a teller and spent many hours counting dollars! I became very efficient and fast doing this task! I noticed recently that the tellers now have machines that count the money for them.
I have spent only a small amount of my life counting stars, however! Yes there have been nights that I took the time to look upward and ponder the vastness of the heavenly lights but not as often as I should have probably.
It seems that life could be summed up on most days as counting dollars not counting stars. That may be a mistake on our part that causes us to miss out on God's best for us.
I believe Abraham was more focused on counting dollars than counting stars, too. His greatest concern was having a son of his own to leave his "dollars" to. Okay, so he called it his inheritance not his dollars but it is basically the same thing! A materialistic possession! Right? Right! I am glad we agree on that!!
Genesis 13:2 says: for Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold. Also in Genesis 13:14-17 the LORD said to Abram, "Look as far as you can see in every direction. I am going to give all this land to you and your offspring as a permanent possession. And I am going to give you so many descendants that, like dust, they cannot be counted! Take a walk in every direction and explore the new possessions I am giving you."
Wow! A very rich man was told by God that he was going to be receiving even more! I just believe that Abraham starting "counting dollars" don't you?
Genesis chapter 14 tells us about a war that broke out in the region soon after God told Abraham about the new possessions he would be receiving. Abraham and his allies fought this war and were victorious because God helped them! They recovered all the wealth and food that had been taken by the invaders.
The next thing we see happen after the new possessions were won with God's help, is an opportunity for Abraham to tithe! He gave a tenth of all the goods he had recovered to Melchizedek and on top of that he gave the possessions he recovered back to the original owner (the king of Sodom).
In Genesis chapter 15:1-6 the LORD speaks to Abram again in a vision and said to him, "Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great." But Abram replied, O Sovereign LORD, what good are all these blessings when I don't have a son, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. You have given me no children, so one of my servants will have to be my heir."
Then the LORD said to him, "No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own to inherit everything I am giving you." Then the LORD brought Abram outside beneath the night sky and told him, "Look up into the heavens and count the stars if you can. Your descendants will be like that-too many to count!" And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD declared him righteous because of his faith.
One of the most important lessons we can learn from this story is that no matter what we have or don't have, we can still believe God. What can we believe God for? Whatever we need! Abram had money but needed a son! He believed God and kept believing and eventually he got Isaac the son of the promise that God made. (Read Genesis 21:1-7)
You may have a son or daughter already and need money to take care of them and leave an inheritance to. Okay! No problem!
Do what Abraham did! Count the stars and believe God! The stars represent the promises of God! In Philippians 4:19 God promises to meet ALL our needs. What do you need? Ask God to provide that need! Believe that he will!
A couple more things, God did not give Isaac to Abraham in an instant, so if God does not provide your need as quickly as you would like, do not stop asking or believing! Also, remember that what was given to Abraham, he gave back a tenth of it to the LORD.
Are you asking, believing, and giving a tenth of your blessings back to the LORD?
Let me leave you with the chorus of the song by OneRepublic:
Lately I been, I been losing sleep (hey!)
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I been, I been prayin' hard (hey!)
Said no more counting dollars
We'll be counting stars
Stop losing sleep!
Start prayin' hard!
Stop counting dollars!
Count the stars! (God's promises)
You will receive from God what you need!
Father in heaven,
I pray for those in need today! I pray that they will start praying and believe that you are able and willing to provide all their needs just as you did for Abraham! Whatever their need might be I pray that they would ask you for it and that you would provide it at just the right time!
Help them not to falter in their faith if the need is delayed in their eyes but believe that they will receive it right on time! Help us all to stop counting dollars and start counting stars (your promises). Help us to believe as Abraham did and give as he did also!
Thank you that your Word says that we are Abraham's descendants so we can be blessed as he was blessed. In Jesus name, Amen