With all of the city lights around; the majesty and beauty of the night time sky is usually missed. On a clear night; the sky sparkles with beauty from the distant stars. This is usually only seen if you are away from the city lights. I live out in the country, but even so, there are lights around that detract from the beauty of the sky in certain portions of my property. If you get away from the lights and look up; they blaze in all of their brightness.
When I look off into the night time sky, especially when it is clear, I sometimes think about Abraham (Abram at this point) in Genesis 15. God told him to look towards the heaven and count the stars.
Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Genesis 15:2-5
God tells Abram to look towards the heavens to count the stars. It could have been a cloudy night with only one star shining. One offspring would still have taken great faith to believe God for since his wife was barren. I am reading between the lines, but I am assuming that it was a clear night with the stars blazing at their most intensity, since God said, “…if you are able to count them.” (vs. 5).
Abram was out in the wilderness with clear skies and no man-made lights like today to weaken the intensity. Thousands and thousands of stars were seen. This was a strong confirmation for Abram of knowing that he will have many descendants, including the promised Seed. Abram knew to have many; it had to start with one. Abram believed and trusted in God’s word that God is reliable and trustworthy.
Then Abram believed in the LORD; and God reckoned it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:6
This simple act of believing God’s word to be true placed Abram in a right relationship with God. Abram believed that God would bring at least one offspring which will in turn bring the promised Messiah. Since Abram believed, God thought about it or reckoned it and decided that Abram’s belief in God’s promise was enough to make him righteous. With Abram’s simple belief in God’s promised off spring, God accredited or placed into his account righteousness.
Later in this chapter (vss. 12-19), God makes a one-sided covenant with Abram showing that it doesn’t matter what Abram does; God was going to keep His Word. Abram is already righteous in God’s eyes by believing in Him that he was going to give him a son and ultimately the promised Seed; the Messiah. God did this legal act showing that He is trustworthy and will keep His Word about Abram’s righteousness and the promised Seed and Land in spite of what Abram or his kin will do.
The Gospel has always been a simple belief in Jesus Christ finished work on the cross. Those in the Old Testament looked forward to Jesus’ coming and we look back to what has already been done on the cross by Jesus Christ. It not about what you have done, what you are doing and what you are going to do. It’s about believing God’s Word to be true. Knowing God is through belief in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. God has already done what needs to be done. He has provided a way for us to know God. We just need to trust God’s word and do it His way.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18