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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Black (10/15/09)

TITLE: Clothed in Sackcloth
By Clyde Blakely


“Out here on the beach the stars are sure bright, Dad.”

“They’ve been bright for a long time, Tom.”

Oh boy, here comes another lesson. Keep my mouth shut; maybe a short one.

“Son, they’ve been shining their light for thousands of years yet we can still see them.”

“My science teacher says stars have been around for billions of years and haven’t run out of fuel yet.”

“Whether it’s thousands, as the Bible’s time table says, or billions, needed for the evolutionist, we still shouldn’t see many stars.”

He thinks he’s going to make an important point here, looks like I’m trapped into another “lesson” tonight. “But there’s still plenty of fuel in them, Dad.”

“That’s not the point, son, where has all that light gone since they first appeared?”

“It’s flying around out there in space.”


I believe I just heard the trap slam shut! “Exactly?”

“Scientists have wondered for a long time why we can see any stars at night with all the light out there in space. By their calculations the night sky should be illuminated bright as day.”

“But, Dad, there aren’t that many stars up there.”

“Did you know some of those ‘stars’ we’re looking at are really galaxies? The Hubble telescope has opened up the heavens and now science believes there are over 100 billion galaxies and each one of those galaxies contains at least 100 billion stars, that’s a one with 23 zeroes after it. (1) There’s a lot of light ‘flying around out there is space’.”

“Wow, that is a lot of stars…and a lot of light.” My Dad, accountant.

“Science says that number is the equivalent to all the sand on all the seashores in the entire world.”

“Hmm, that sounds familiar somehow.”

“It’s a term out of the Bible.”

“I remember, Dad. God told Abraham He would make his offspring like the stars in the heaven, and the sand on the sea shore.” (2)

“Very good! God mentioned it to Abraham long before man could come close to calculating the number of stars. So where is all the light those stars have produced over time? The night’s sky should not be black. Science doesn’t have the answer.”

But Dad does and I’m sure he got it out of the Bible. “Where is it?”

“It’s covered with sackcloth.”

“What?! Sackcloth?”

“Tom, I don’t have the answer to what God meant when He said He covered the heavens with sackcloth, only that He clothed the heavens in blackness using what He calls ‘sackcloth’.” (3)

The night is still, two men, alone with God and their thoughts, study the night sky.

“I like to think that God did that so we could see His greatness, Dad. You know, the heavens declare the glory of God as the Psalmist said.” (4)

“I can’t think of a better explanation, Son.”


“Yes, Son.”

“It reminds me of the tree in the garden.”

“The tree?”

“The tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

Okay, I’ll have to go with him on this one. I’m lost. “I’m not sure what you mean, Son.”

“Well, Dad, God made the blackness of space so we could see His stars clearly and understand His greatness. He also knew Adam would eat the forbidden fruit of that tree when He placed it there. It was for a reason. To show man how good He is.”


“Well, just as the blackness of space reveals the stars, so having the knowledge of evil allows man to know just how good God is.”

He’s growing! Growing in his understanding of God’s word. “That is fantastic, I had never thought of it that way.”

The night is still, two men, alone with God and their thoughts, study the night sky.

“Tell you what Son, how ‘bout a little contest?”


“Sure, you more than matched me on that one. How ‘bout a contest?”

I hope this isn’t one-upmanship. “What do you have in mind? A race?”

“Sort of. Let’s each take a handful of sand and give a name for each grain of sand.”

“Dad! That’s impossible.”

“For man it is but God knows every one of the stars by name.” (5)

Two men glaze back into the night’s sky while feeling the sand under their bare feet. Alone with God and their thoughts; praising Him for seeing His glory through the sackcloth of blackness.

(1) 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars
(2) Genesis 22:17
(3) Isaiah 50:3
(4) Psalm 19:1
(5) Psalm 147:4

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This article has been read 613 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Margaret Kearley 10/24/09
Wow! What an amazing enormous God. Great writing. Thankyou for this lovely glimpse of God's greatness.
c clemons10/24/09
Kind of confusing, hard to tell who was speaking at times. Good reference scriptures though.
Jan Ackerson 10/26/09
I was confused about the age of the son...he talks about his science teacher, and he sounds young, but you call them both men.

Interesting conversation!