(4) He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. (5) Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite. – Psalm 147
This Psalm has long been a favourite of mine. Verse 4 originally caught my attention because it shows the greatness of God and the smallness of man. The universe, from a human perspective, is infinite. The bigger and better we build telescopes and the further into space we see the more stars and planets are revealed. It must both excite and disturb scientists that we probably have no concept of even how little we know of the universe around us. Yet, our God knows exactly how many stars there are and He has a name for each one. Whether this is poetic license or a literal statement, it still points to the greatness of God.
In the following verse it speaks plainly, our God is great, He has great power and His understanding is infinite. Our English word is a combination of two Hebrew words. The first means nothing, or to not exist, and the second means number. In other verses it is translated as innumerable, but in the context of God we understand it to mean infinite, without limit.
What a comfort it is, in a world that changes like the shifting sands on a beach, to know that God’s understanding is infinite. Because His understanding is infinite there is never any new information to change Him, there are never new circumstances to challenge Him and so His Word and His promises remain true.
Verses 4 and 5 particularly bless me when considered in connection with verse 3,
(3) He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
The all powerful, Sovereign Creator and Sustainer of the universe, whose understanding is infinite, cares about you.