W is for…

This Week’s Memory Verse: W is for…
“When you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars –all the heavenly array– do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.” Deuteronomy 4:19
This verse ties in perfectly with our current study of the sky. This week we are beginning a survey of the signs of the Zodiac and how the ancient Hebrews viewed them before their meaning became perverted through pagan astrology. From scripture we know that God created the stars “to be for signs [from the Hebrew “avah” or “a mark,” as in the signs Moses used before Pharaoh] and seasons [from the Hebrew “moed” or “a fixed or appointed time,” never seasons of the year] (Genesis 1:14).” We also know He set the stars in their appointed places rather than just scattering them randomly across the sky (Psalm 8:3). God also named the stars (Psalm 147:4). He didn’t delegate this job to Adam like He did the naming of the animals. “The grand truth is that God made the stars for a witness to mankind of a coming Redeemer who would save fallen man from the clutches of the enemy, destroy the enemy and his power, and finally establish a kingdom of righteousness and light (Fleming, 12).”
But God also warned man repeatedly, as in our memory verse above, not to be lured into a false reverence for these created things and ignore their true purpose, to bring glory to their Creator. Of course, that is exactly what happened to His story in the sky. The real hero, the coming Messiah, was replaced by pagan personas and the stars themselves became their own source of meaning and power. This is astrology as it was millennia ago and as it is today. Here are a few quick facts to introduce our study:
1. The term Zodiac is from the Greek and means “a circle.” It’s root is from the word “zoad” which means “a way or path or going by steps”
2. The Biblical term for the Zodiac is “Mazzaroth” which means “the separated, the divided, or the apportioned”
3. Looking at the stars themselves which make up the 12 signs of the Zodiac it is only with great difficulty that one can imagine them to make up the intricate pictures and stories associated with them. And yet, they are universally found across all cultures to possess nearly identical names and meanings. Clearly, there had to be a common knowledge and understanding of these signs prior to the great dispersion of people mentioned in scripture. It is this ancient understanding and interpretation that we will be exploring in the next few weeks.

Boys enjoying the sunshine with a buddy.
Boys enjoying the sunshine with a buddy.

Hymn of the Week: “There is Sunshine in My Soul” (Hewitt/Sweney)
There is sunshine in my soul today, more glorious and bright
Than glows in any earthly sky, for Jesus is my light.

O there’s sunshine, blessed sunshine, when the peaceful happy moments roll;
When Jesus shows His smiling face, there is sunshine in my soul.

There is music in my soul today, a carol to my King,
And Jesus, listening can hear, the songs I cannot sing.

O there’s sunshine, blessed sunshine, when the peaceful happy moments roll;
When Jesus shows His smiling face, there is sunshine in my soul.

Mom & Sam with Sunshine in our Souls
Mom & Sam with Sunshine in our Souls

8 thoughts on “W is for…

  1. We learned the names of the constellations in our Latin study this year (maybe I should have thought a bit more about that!). (We had no horoscope discussions!) I think the children would be really interested in learning this. The Beechick book was brief (at least the part that I actually read!) yet amazing. I had NEVER thought about this until you introduced it to me! Interesting stuff…


    1. When I first started reading about this I was so broken, thinking that if this were really true, God has been systematically robbed of the glory of His story in the stars for as many years as the pagan interpretation has been in the forefront of our thinking. Even though we now have His precious written Word, it is still such a privilege to teach our children the Gospel as proclaimed throughout the heavens.


  2. Julie, this is so fun to read. Who needs Google for anything related to this subject…just come here! Those pictures are great. That one of the boys’ shadows is a prizewinner for sure. I just got back from Joshua Tree a few hours ago. Saw the house I lived in until I was three, etc. Saw a bunch of bighorn sheep last night. Crept to within a few dozen feet of them. So close I could hear their hooves clattering on the rock. Can’t wait to see you guys in a couple of months. All 6 1/2 of you.


    1. I’m sooo jealous of all these fun trips you’ve been taking but look forward to seeing great pictures from some of our favorite spots. Oh yeah, and have you heard the extra “1/2” is another boy?


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