“Who commands the sun, and it does not rise; who seals up the stars; who alone stretched out the heavens and trampled the waves of the sea; who made the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the chambers of the south?” Job 9:7-9
As Providence would have it, the ladies Bible study I’m in happens to be studying this very topic this week. I’m out of town right now so won’t be there and thought I’d kill two birds with one stone by answering some of the questions from our Precepts study in Genesis here. So ladies, and token gents, here’s proof that I’m still doing my homework and not just playing hooky 🙂
According to Genesis 1:14-18, the purpose of the sun, moon and stars was to separate and rule over the day from the night, to be signs, and indicators of the passage of time, and to give light upon the earth.
The Hebrew word for “signs” indicates an appearing, a signal, as in a flag, beacon, monument, omen, mark, or evidence. (This information, by the way I’m having to glean from on-line sources as I’m not in the habit of packing my trusty Strong’s Concordance and Hebrew Dictionary with me wherever I go).
The heavenly lights were the first element of creation whose purpose is explicitly stated in the Genesis account. That purpose is repeated several times in scripture, my favorite example being Psalm 119:89, “Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.”
It seems the sky, the ONLY part of creation visible to every single person on earth, isn’t just vaguely hinting at the presence of a Creator. It’s boldly, clearly, eternally proclaiming His word, His invisible attributes, and His divine nature, so that all people are without excuse (Romans 1:18-20).
Are the constellations part of that bold proclamation? At least 3 of them are mentioned by name in the Old Testament (Job 9:9, 38:31,32, Amos 5:8). Some scholars claim that the Mazzaroth mentioned in Job refers collectively to the 12 signs of the Zodiac. The Jews however, were forbidden to consult the stars in order to know what would come to a person (Isaiah 47:13). But throughout redemptive history God used the heavenly bodies as signs pointing to events at hand. Christ’s return especially will be marked by signs in the heavens just as His first arrival was heralded.
As I’ve mentioned in my last post, I don’t rule out the possibility that the constellations themselves bore witness to the coming Messiah and were interpreted by the ancient Hebrews within that context and that context alone.
Psalm 19:1-4 describes the heavens as declaring God’s glory, proclaiming His handiwork, pouring out speech, revealing knowledge, and sending their WORDS out to the end of the world. Like I said, these aren’t vague hints. God has something to say to us in the sky. Are we doing our very best to look, and ponder, and understand?
Scripture warns us repeatedly not to gaze at the sun, moon and stars and be enticed into the sin of idolatry, worshipping the creation, rather than the Creator. But friends, lets also not be guilty of the sin of not gazing at all. Ignoring the celestial declaration of God’s glory. Turning a blind eye to the heavenly revelation of knowledge. Stopping our ears to the voice of the stars, the music of the spheres.
When was the last time when you, like the Psalmist, stopped to consider the heavens, the moon and stars which God set in place (Psalm 8:3)? His glory is written right across the sky! Are you waiting, longing for a revelation from God? Friend, you need only look up.