It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
It is the glory of kings to find it out.
14 Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. 15 Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened. 16 God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, 18 to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.
19 And evening passed and morning came, marking the fourth day.
Of all the things mankind has done over the last few decades, the joy of finding out new things through space exploration and technology is, for me, something that gives us all a glimpse of the glory of God shining through the darkness of man’s moral decisions.
Since time immemorial the human race has stared at the stars looking for signs. One of the things the bible says about the Sun, Moon and stars that were created on the 4th day is that they would be used as signs. We use them to determine years, months and days and set our clocks by them.
However when it comes to being signs in a broader sense there are two theories that I particularly like.
The first of these is more speculative and less verifiable than the second. However I think it has enough support to justify a closer look by those who might be interested. There are at least two books written by two different authors within a year of each other back in 1892/93 which go into the details. The idea is that before Moses wrote the first five books of the bible, God had written the gospel in the stars and explained it to Adam who then passed it on to his descendants.
The first of these books is called: THE GOSPEL IN THE STARS by JOSEPH. A. SEISS (1892). I haven’t read this one but I like the way it starts out. The second book is called: The Witness of the Stars by E. W. Bullinger 1893 which I have read and found really interesting. More recent commentators urge caution when following this line of reasoning.
The second, more easily verifiable, sign is the Bethlehem Star. Click on the link and enjoy the science. The reason it is easy to verify these days is because the stars and planets have always followed predictable paths through the sky. This means you can use a computer program to predict where the stars were on any particular night any time in the past. So when someone says that the Bethlehem Star was actually the placement of two planets (Venus and Jupiter) so close to each other in the sky that they looked like one star then you can get some off the shelf astronomy software and see for yourself.
Another fact about the stars that I really like is the deep space photos that the Hubble telescope took. The Hubble telescope is the most powerful telescope we have ever placed in space where it can see far more than we can here below the earth’s atmosphere. Astronomers controlling the telescope pointed it at an “empty” piece of the sky and left the shutter open. What they saw is an astonishing amount of galaxies. To say they weren’t expecting that is an understatement.
Like most things they have found out about space, there are usually more questions than answers opened up by discoveries like this. For instance there is no sign of a “big bang” here.
2 responses to “Biblical Creativity Day 4: Sun, Moon and Stars”
[…] Day 4: He stretches out the heavens. The macroscopic and microscopic levels are the best places to look for contradictions to any simple mechanical understanding of the universe or ourselves. Einstein found them at the macroscopic level and described them in the theory of Relativity and Bohr found them at the sub-atomic layer and described them in quantum physics. Quantum physics helps us understand free will through Heisenberg’s uncertainty theorem for instance (see Dr. Caroline Leaf’s excellent work for more details of this and other connections between quantum theory and the Bible’s descriptions of spiritual realities). […]
[…] The gospel in the stars is a theory that many people have problems with. I like it and think that it glorifies God to say that He has written the gospel in the constellations. But since we have the bible it is not something I get hung up about. If you don’t agree I don’t blame you. Just don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. There is no better explanation that I know of for the Bethlehem Star than the one described in detail at Larson’s site. I have written more about the gospel in the stars in this post. […]