Even with all the record of Scripture, and the works of creation about us, how dimly we perceive the majesty and power of our God. Solomon declared: “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?” (1 Kings 8:27). Isaiah expressed himself in similar vein when he reported the words of Yahweh: “Thus saith Yahweh, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?” (66:1). So the very extent of the heavens with all the myriad galaxies serves to illustrate both the level of divine power belonging to the Creator, and the awe that is the only proper response from us as His creatures.

Nehemiah leads the way with words of praise: “Thou, even thou, art Yahweh alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee” (Neh 9:6). As he gazed by night into the sparkling canopy of the heavens, embellished with bright moon and dazzling stars, Job reflected, in a delightful expression: “By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens” (Job 26:13); not a thought that would be engendered by a mere handful of stars.

When the human population was reduced to a tiny remnant in the days of Noah, “God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Gen 9:1). God’s theme here is abundance; He seeks a multitude to reflect His glory. Paul makes the same point when he speaks of God through Christ “bringing many sons unto glory” (Heb 2:10). On another dark night, such as Job experienced when he looked up with wonder at the vast mystery of the stars, God brought another man outside to look up at the stars and start counting. “Look now toward heaven,” God said to Abram on that crisp, clear night, “and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be” (Gen 15:5). The very number of the stars is thus linked by God Himself to our salvation as part of that great company of the redeemed: “and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb” (Rev 7:9).

What a God we worship! He inhabits eternity – time holds no barriers for Him. The heavens cannot contain Him – the vastness of space with all its complexity cannot contain Him. The Psalmist declares in words of wonder and praise: “Bless Yahweh, O my soul. O Yahweh my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain” (Psa 104:1–2). The heavens indeed “declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork” (Psa19:1).

God’s purpose is to fill the earth with His glory in a multitude who will bear His nature and reflect His glory. Our great desire is to be part of that number. We pray Daniel speaks of us when he says: “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Dan 12:3). Yes, God is one. But He is not a God of ones and twos; no, “ten of each” is not enough. He is a God of multitudes: “and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” (Rev 5:11). As it will be in that great day in respect to the redeemed, so today God dwells in a heaven of abundance, stars without number, as befits His glory. Like Job, like Abraham, we look up in wonder: “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” (Psa 8:3). The wonderful truth is that God is mindful of us and in Christ, the Sun of righteousness, will bring us to share in His glory in that day soon to dawn.