An Early Devo 19

“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.

Devo 18

“Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
1 Chronicles 16:31

When we think of space we tend to think only in images. But did you know there is a lot of sound in space as well? I always thought sound couldn’t travel in space but apparently there’s enough of it for NASA to make some amazing recordings of stars and planets as they oscillate at various frequencies. Louis Giglio picked up on this phenomenon and gave an incredible message about the heavens and the earth worshipping God. You can access it by clicking here.

Listening to the following recordings by NASA just took my breath away.

Space sounds from our Solar system.

You see when God commands the heavens to rejoice in Deuteronomy 32:43 and to be glad in 1 Chronicles 16:31 and Psalm 96:11 and for the sun, moon and shining stars to praise Him in Psalm 148:3 and 150:1, THEY DO! Just like the rest of nature, the whole universe is doing exactly what it was made to do—worship the Creator and bring glory to Him.

But you know what’s even more remarkable than the fact that seemingly silent heavens are joined together in a loud chorus of praise? The fact that the very beings God chose to make in His own image are NOT. Here we are with the cognitive capabilities to launch space craft that capture these recordings, with an emotional capacity to thrill at the latest images from Hubble, and with the very image of the Creator of the universe stamped upon our faces and yet we refuse to worship the One who holds every atom of our being together by the Word of His power. We really are that dead.

BUT GOD, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:4-10

Why? With a whole universe and a host of angelic beings obediently and joyfully rendering God what He is due, why did He go to all the trouble at the cost of His own Son’s life to make worshippers out of us? Ephesians answers that, too.

“So that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that He has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Eph. 3:10,11

Now can you lift up your heart and voice and rejoice together with the “angelic hosts… the sun moon and shining stars… the great sea creatures and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling His word! Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Beasts and all livestock, creeping things and flying birds!” Can you O kings of the earth, O peoples, princes and rulers, can you young man, you maiden, you old men, you children, can you, by God’s mercy, do what you were created to do?

“Praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His majesty is above earth and heaven.” Psalm 148:13

Devo 17

“The God of Israel has spoken; The Rock of Israel has said to me: When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God, he dawns on them like the morning light; like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning.” 2 Samuel 23:3,4

I grew up singing the “This Little Light of Mine” song and holding up my little index finger to show that my light wouldn’t be hid under a bushel, or snuffed out by Satan etc… But when Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:14-16 that we are “the light of the world,” He had something much brighter than a little candle in mind.

When the God of the Universe takes up residence through the person of the Holy Spirit in a lowly human soul, they don’t just emit a warm twinkly glow. Philippians 2:12-16 says that when God works in someone both to will and to do, they burst forth with brilliant, burning, blinding light, so radically different from the “crooked and twisted” darkness around them.

What a contrast to that darkness is the one who obeys Christ without grumbling or disputing, who remains blameless and innocent, who holds fast to the word of life! What a contrast is the just ruler of 2 Samuel 23:3,4! What a contrast is the true faster of Isaiah 58, who looses the bonds of wickedness, breaks the yoke, lets the oppressed go free, shares bread with the hungry, brings the homeless into his house, and clothes the naked! What a contrast are the wise in Daniel 12:1-4, and those who turn many to righteousness! And the righteous, themselves, in Matthew 13:24-43.

These are no “little lights.” These are described as “stars in the universe (NIV),” “the morning light,” “the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, ”the breaking dawn, “the noonday light, ”the brightness of the sky,” and “the sun.”

The truth is, if I was the one working in myself both to will and to do, I couldn’t even muster up a candle’s worth of light. But Oh the power of the resurrected Christ! Friend, do you know the power of Christ in you?