But aren’t we still waiting for the promise of Abraham’s descendants to be as the stars, dust of the ground, and sand on the seashore—a future eschatological event?
B. Hodge, Biblical Authority Ministries, June 28, 2020
Abraham was given a beautiful promise to which he never lived to see fulfilled. In Genesis 13:16, 15:5, and 22:17, he was told that his descendants would be as numerous as the “dust of the earth”, “sand on the seashore”, or as the “stars in heaven” if he could count them. This was reiterated to Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, in Genesis 26:4, 28:14, and 32:12.
Yet so few realized that this was fulfilled quickly as God gave the increase (Deuteronomy 1:10, 10:22, Joshua 11:4, 1 Samuel 13:5, 1 Kings 4:20, Psalm 139:18, Isaiah 10:22, and Hebrews 11:12).
In Deuteronomy 28:62, it was prophesied through Moses that though they would reach this metaphorical number, they would be reduced to a remnant (Isaiah 48:18-19 with Romans 9:27).
And all of this came true. God is the one responsible for multiplying Abraham’s descendants and this exceeding increase came to Israel. And the Egyptians recognized this and wanted to do something about this population explosion occurring with the Israelites—hence enslaving them and trying to kill their baby boys in an effort to control them!
But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them. (Exodus 1:7)
But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. (Exodus 1:12)
Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. (Exodus 1:20)
Now is this increase a problem? No. It is not a problem for an all-powerful God to make the promise and keep it. There is no problem for God to make the Israelites as numerous as He promised. It would only be a problem if God hadn’t kept his promise, but that did not occur.
This would only be a problem if we allege that God had no part and that the increase of Israelites could only be done by human means. That is, by naturalistic means. But this population growth is no problem whatsoever for God as the promise was fulfilled. After the Exodus, the Lord comments (see also Numbers 23:10 and Hosea 1:10):
The LORD your God has multiplied you, and here you are today, as the stars of heaven in multitude (Deuteronomy 1:10).
The book of Hebrews relates:
Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude — innumerable as the sand, which is by the seashore. (Hebrews 11:12)
God’s promises to the house of Israel came to pass and were fulfilled (Joshua 21:44-45). Abraham’s spiritual descendants continue to grow as well (Galatians 3:29). As it is, Abraham is to be the heir of the world (Romans 4:13).
Read Deuteronomy 1:10, 10:22, Joshua 11:4, Judges 7:12, 1 Samuel 13:5, 1 Kings 4:20, Psalm 139:18, Isaiah 10:22, and Hebrews 11:12.