• Retief Burger

Star-gazing DAY 28

“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

Isaiah 40:25-26

When you go bargain hunting in the streets of Bangkok you will hear a familiar phrase by desperate merchants: ”Same-same, but different”. That is kind of how I feel like, after I heard the news that we have moved to level 4. But at least it is in the right direction and we have much to be thankful for. As our time together with these devotions are drawing to a close I’d like to share the Scripture that carried me through this period. In Isaiah 40 God is speaking to the nation of Israel through the prophet Isaiah with the common theme of salvation and future blessings for God’s people. He was giving them a message they would need later when they were in exile in Babylon. The whole chapter starts with these amazing words:

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.

And that is what I believe God is laying on my heart to tell you tonight. There is comfort for all of us in this time. And the key lies in these later verses…

“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these?

No one can compare with Him and no one is His equal. All we need to do is lift up our eyes and look to the heavens. Every now and then during this lockdown I have done exactly that. I stepped into my garden, took a deep breath and looked up to the starry host. I call this getting perspective. We can so easily become discouraged and short-sighted when our eyes are only cast on the earth and all the troubles and uncertainties we are facing right now. But as I look up I find comfort in the fact that the One who created all of this is the One who knows me personally and He’s got this. He has my future in his hands and I can fully trust Him.

The Scripture goes on and says that He calls the stars forth every night and He knows them all by name. Wow. All of them? Really? Yes. There are different models for estimating the number of stars in the Milky Way and the answers they give differ depending on what is used as the average mass of a star. The most common answer seems to be that there are 100 billion stars in the Milky Way on the low-end and 400 billion on the high end. But as you know, our Milky Way is only one of many galaxies in the universe. The Hubble telescope reveals an estimated 100 billion galaxies in the universe or so, but this number is likely to increase to about 200 billion as telescope technology in space improves.

Can I ask you in this time to lift up your eyes and really SEE the stars! God has a name for every one of them. So, if you wonder if He knows your name, relax. If you fear the future, relax. You can put your hand into the hand of the Star-breather, the Star-namer. He has got this and He will comfort all who will look up not just to the stars, but to Him.

Stay safe and stand strong.

Retief Burger

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