2 ¶ And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? 3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. 4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. 5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
Abram poses the impertinent question of what can God give him of value since he has been denied a child. God’s plan is greater than Abram, in his complaint, can imagine. He will not only give Abram what Abram desires; an heir, but God intends to give him a great heritage, more than he can imagine.
God challenges Abram to count (tell as in a bank teller) the stars if he can, as the number of his descendants shall be like the number of stars.
Up until the invention of the telescope mankind was able to count only a few thousand stars. However, God likens their number to the number of particles of sand on the sea shore. This is not an exact numerical comparison but an equivalence, meaning the numbers are similar, an amount too great for a man to number.
Hebrews 11:12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
However, it is not so with God. He can count them and has names for every one. This is one of those amazing facts about how great the God who created the universe and who orders all matter, energy, space, and time is.
Psalm 147:4 He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.