2nd MESSIANIC SYMBOL for the Advent Season: Stars

December 2:  Genesis 22:17-18

I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. . . . And through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me (NIV)

Have you ever been in a dark place away from city lights on a clear, starry night? Many of us live in urban areas with so many lights that we seldom can see more than a few of the very brightest stars—if we think to look for them at all. But away from the city lights we can see numerous stars. Scientists tell us that there are more than a thousand million (a billion) stars in our solar system alone. And our solar system is only one of hundreds of billions of solar systems.

When Abraham looked up into the starry sky he did not know about all the stars he could not see (though God did), but he knew that he could see too many to count. And God was promising him that he would have that many descendants. When God first made His promise to Abraham (see Genesis 15:4-6), Abraham had no children at all. By the time described in today’s verse, God had given Abraham a son. Still, it must have been difficult for Abraham to imagine that many descendants from just one son.

The most important part of God’s promise to Abraham, though, was not the number of descendants Abraham would have, but the blessing that would come to all the earth through them. Verse 18 mentions “offspring,” the same word used in yesterday’s verse. Again, this word refers to one special person. God wanted Abraham to know that someone in his family would be used to bless people in other families all over the world.

Thousands of years later Jesus was born to a descendant of Abraham. Before Jesus returned to heaven, He told His disciples to go into all the world with the good news of His salvation. As His disciples obeyed, people in more and more countries of the world have been blessed by knowing God’s love. Today missionaries continue to take the good news of Jesus around the world. God’s promise to Abraham is coming true. Through Abraham’s offspring all nations on earth are experiencing God’s blessing.

The Christmas song “Some Children See Him,” describes the image children of different races have of the baby Jesus. Small children like to think of Jesus as looking like themselves. While we know that as one of Abraham’s descendants Jesus was Jewish, He came to share his love with people of all races and all nations.

Some children see Him lily white,
with tresses soft and fair.
Some children see Him bronzed and brown,
The Lord of heav’n to earth come down.
Some children see Him bronzed and brown,
with dark and heavy hair.
Some children see Him almond-eyed,
this Savior whom we kneel beside.
Some children see Him almond-eyed,
with skin of yellow hue.
Some children see Him dark as they,
sweet Mary’s Son to whom we pray.
Some children see him dark as they,
and, ah! they love Him, too!
The children in each different place
will see the baby Jesus’ face
like theirs, but bright with heavenly grace,
and filled with holy light.
O lay aside each earthly thing
and with thy heart as offering,
come worship now the infant King.
‘Tis love that’s born tonight!

(Wihla Hutson & Alfred S. Burt – 1951)

Thank God for His love for us so that we can be called children of God and therefore have a share in Abraham’s blessing.

Ask God that people around the world would come to know Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. Pray that many more people throughout the world would be added to the number of descendants of Abraham through belief in Jesus Christ.

O God, who tells the number of the stars, and calls them all by their names; heal, we beg of you, the contrite in heart, and gather together the outcasts, and enrich us with the fullness of your wisdom; through Christ our Lord. (Sarum Breviary)


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