D. JAKE ROBERTS: Arenology, a rare study of sand – Scottsbluff Star Herald



So common, yet virtually unknown, is this incredible study topic about one of God’s tremendous creations. If you’ve ever attempted to count something astronomically large and commonplace, it’s likely you compared it to facts from arenology.

While practicing one of the most important matters in my life, the morning devotions, there is always found an encouraging and challenging word to ponder and, ultimately, put into practice. So it was in Our Daily Bread on Aug. 3.

The word “sand” appears only 32 times within the approximately three quarters of a billion words in our Bible. The devotional cited that Dr. Gary Greenburg has devoted much of his life to arenology, the study of sand. The number of stars and the number of grains of sand are vast and nearly immeasurable. In addition to attempting to count them is the fascinating task of analyzing what a grain of sand truly is. Its magnified and photographed content has revealed colors, minerals, shell and coral fragments can be a source of valuable information about various coastlines.

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It’s estimated that a cubic foot of sand contains a minimum of 3 million grains of sand. When an attempt is made to estimate how many sand-grains are in a desert, and even how many atoms are in a grain of sand it’s mind-boggling to estimate the Sahara alone as having over 100 billion billion grains. And the estimate of number of stars far exceeds the grains of sand.

And our uses for sand are many. We are familiar with sand boxes, hourglasses, beaches, deserts, fine and coarse granules. And what about Mr. Sandman at sleepy-time? Some of our grand prairie views are undulating sand hills and sand dunes. Mom would consequently shout out, “Wipe your feet before you come in here.”

So, one of the 32 occurrences of sand is a discussion between the Lord and Abraham after Abraham had demonstrated his faith with his son Isaac.

“By myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son — blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore.” (Genesis 22:16, 17)

Hey, Ancestry.com, good luck running that DNA and genealogy test. Abraham’s typical moniker has become “Father Abraham.” King David’s pen inked this, “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.” (Psalm 139:17, 18)

I enjoy daydreaming out our front windows. More truth about sand … You can make glass by melting silica-based sand.

PRAYER NUGGET: Dear creator of every star, every grain of sand, every hair on every head, every atom and element. We declare your works of righteousness and worship You. Thank you for Your invitation to come, now, and reason together … our sin, though red like crimson, has been purged and transformed into a white that is whiter than snow. (Isaiah 1:18)

We love you, too. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

D. Jake Roberts is the assistant pastor at Monument Bible Church in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Before semi-retiring in 2010, he served as the lead pastor at Monument Bible Church for nearly 20 years. He and his wife, Sharry, have been married for over 50 years.


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