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Psalms 147:1-20 :
Praise ye the LORD [or hallelujah]: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; it's pleasant; praise is comely [or desirable, beautiful]. The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathers together the outcasts of Israel. He heals the broken in heart, he binds up their wounds. He tells the number of the stars; he calls them all by their names ( Psalms 147:1-4 ).
That to me is just fabulous. I love it! I've been sort of an amateur astronomer from my youth. Always been very interested in the heavens. From the time I was going through college I went out to the Griffith Observatory every month when they have a change of program and look at the programs that they offer there at the Griffith Observatory. Always fascinated with the vastness of this universe, because it just spoke to me of the greatness of the God that I serve.
And to learn of the number of stars. It is estimated that there are perhaps as many stars in the heavens as there are grains of sand upon the earth. Some have estimated there to be ten to the twenty-fifth power number of stars. Or ten with twenty-five zeroes tacked on behind. The Milky Way galaxy which our solar system is a part is just one of the many galaxies. Outside of us, the next one is the Adromeda galaxy and they're discovering new galaxies all the time. And the galaxies, each of them contain billions of stars. If you look at the Milky Way on a summer evening out on the desert or up in the mountains, that glow that is in the sky comes from the billions of stars that are in our Milky Way galaxy.
Now, "He tells the number of the stars." Now, we guessed at the number of the stars. It's interesting that when the science of astronomy was first developed in the early stages, some of the early scientists stayed up at night counting stars. And some of the earlier astronomers declare with scientific accuracy that there were 6,126 stars in the sky. And then later another astronomer who did much the same kind of a thing revised and said, "No, he was wrong. There's 6,232." And so the estimates of the number of the stars was always very low. In other words, something under 10,000 stars. Until, of course, the ability to magnify with a telescope, and we discovered that the stars are innumerable.
Well, actually, the Bible said that all along. God said to Abraham. He said, "Look up into the heavens." He said, "Can you number the stars? So shall thy seed be." You can't number them. You won't be able to number them. And God declared that the stars were innumerable. And yet, God has numbered the stars. As far as man is concerned, we don't know. We guessed at a number, ten to the twenty-fifth power. Who knows, it may be ten to the fiftieth power. But it's a guess. It's an estimate. But God knows the number of the stars. But more than that, He calls them all by their names.
Now the stars that He has called by name is not like stars like, Hey Joe and Jim and Jeff, you know. God said to Job," Can you find the sweet influence of the Pleiades? What about Arcturus? How would you like to guide us through the sky?" And He speaks about the bands of Orion and so forth. And so God is calling them by these fancy, technical names. All of the billions of them. The next verse says,
Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite ( Psalms 147:5 ).
It would have to be just to know all the names of all the stars.
The LORD lifts up the meek: and casts the wicked down to the ground ( Psalms 147:6 ).
Again, the idea of exalting the meek.
Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: Who covers the heavens with clouds, who prepares the rain for the earth, who makes the grass to grow upon the mountains. He gives to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry. He delights not in the strength of the horse: he takes not pleasure in the legs of a man. The LORD takes pleasure in those that reverence him, in those that hope in his mercy. Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion. For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee. He makes peace in thy borders, he fills you with the finest of the wheat. He sends forth his commandment upon the earth: his word runs very swiftly. He gives snow like wool: he scatters the hoar frost like ashes. He casts forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold? He sends out his word, and melts them: he causes his wind to blow, and the waters flow. He shows his word unto Jacob, his statutes, his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD ( Psalms 147:7-20 ).
For God's special work for His people. "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 147". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26