How many stars are there in the night sky? The universe is vast, unknowable, and ancient. Much like God, and with the command of God to Abram to look towards heaven and count the stars God is telling Abram that his descendants will number even greater than that.
Here is yet another reminder that we are all the children of God. While this chapter is mainly dealing with Abram’s complaints about not having an heir and that his only child is a slave to him God makes a covenant with him. He promises that his descendants will number in a range greater than the infinite vastness of space.
Now, Abram again is not coming off as the best person here as he does have an heir. He just doesn’t like that his heir was born of a slave. Abram, the same guy that sold his wife out to be raped, is complaining about his only child being one born to him of rape.
I saw today a video posted by a Christian saying nowhere in the Bible does it say you are enough. I pointed out the covenant in Jeremiah. You know the one about the word of God being written on our hearts, but here with have another covenant. One given to a deeply flawed man. God not only accepts Abram as he is but tells him that his descendants will number more than all the stars in the sky.
I do not think we need to condone Abram’s behavior to understand the importance of this covenant with God. Abram is in some ways a good man (his rescue of Lot) and in others he is not (his treatment of his wife, slave, and son).
There are other not so good people in these early chapters of the Bible, and I think it is important to have flawed heroes. It is important that we understand that we are loved even when we are not at our best. There is much to come in the Bible and in more ways than one these early stories are a foundation. If Abram is good or bad is irrelevant. God has chosen him to found a nation.
Look toward heaven and count the stars. It is good advice. We should look towards heaven and count the stars for multiple reasons. It is a reminder of how small we are in the universe and our connection to it. Everyone on earth can look up and see the night sky, and as many stars as there are in the sky the children of God are more and the only way for that to be possible is if we are all the children of God.