Moses concludes his prayer on behalf of the sinful Israelites with a beautiful reference to the stars, thereby linking the past to the future—Abraham, Isaac, and Israel on one horizon, their far-flung descendants on the other. Stretched between them is a dazzling sea of endless stars.
Then comes the narrator’s startling remark about God’s canceling the disaster that had been ordered for God’s people.
I cannot fathom how the God of Abraham, the God that Jesus prayed to and gave everything up for so that we might know what love looks like, the One Eternal Creator in whom there is neither past nor future but only the steadfast benediction of now, could ever hold in the divine mind a plan for the disaster of God’s children. The conclusion of Moses’ prayer, therefore, speaks to me more about the mystery and miracle of prayer in our lives than about either the nature of God or the immutability of God’s will.
Instead, I look up with Moses and see the stars! Here is an irresistible order. Here is wisdom and beauty far surpassing understanding. Here is proper perspective of our place in God’s creation. And I join the song of the psalmist, proclaiming, “Who are we, that you are mindful of us?” (Ps 8:4, paraphrase).
When I am boastful, I look up. When I am low, I look up. An age-old proverb says, “Be humble, for you are made of earth. And be noble also, for you are made of stars.” God loves us. We are created for that love. O, that we would love God in return.
Tomorrow, Moses will head down the mountain. He will need our prayers.
Does the love I have for God reflect the love God has for me? How might I extend that love to others?
Eternal God, thank you for the beautiful heavens over my head. Protect me from both thinking too highly of myself and too lowly of myself. Help me to recognize the future you have for me in your love. Amen.