Starry Night

October Sky 002Summertime in Nebraska is a wonderful time to view the beautiful night sky.  There are so many stars and so many things to be learned from the stars.  First of all there are some that seem to twinkle while others seem to boldly stand as if on guard.  Then there are the falling stars that if you blink you just might miss seeing them fall from the sky.  Some stars appear to be dancing while others seem to be going dim.  Some stars are not stars at all but are actually traveling satellites or airplanes floating across the sky.  No matter what stars I watch I get the sense that one could never count them all.  I also feel that they are praising God, their creator as they light up the night sky with their varying degrees of brightness.  No wonder the Bible talks about the stars.

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  You have set your glory above the heavens.  Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.  When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?  Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.  You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.  O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  Psalm 8, (English Standard Version or ESV).

King David wrote this Psalm.  I can just imagine him out on the hillside watching and caring for his father’s sheep and looking at the stars for hours.  Or maybe he wrote this when he was running from King Saul and was camped in the hills hiding out with his army.  Or maybe he was sitting on the wall of his palace and was star-gazing and just wanted to give God the glory.  Wherever David was when he wrote this lovely Psalm one thing is for sure, he knew what he was talking about and he must have had a great appreciation for the night sky.  David is right, I think, when he writes that the heavenly sky is majestic!  It makes a person feel rather small and humble to see the vast night sky.  There’s another man from the Bible that spent some time star-gazing.

To whom then will you compare me that I should be like him? says the Holy One.  Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these?  He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.  Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”?  Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.  He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.  Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:25-31, (ESV).

The Old Testament prophet Isaiah was talking to his King Hezekiah in the previous chapter and I don’t really know if this passage is a continuation of that conversation or something separate, but I love this passage.  When I stare at the starry night sky I just want to give praise to God for creating such a beautiful display of His majesty, don’t you?  I mean how can anyone believe that the universe all started from some strange bang unless there was a creator behind the bang?  I see the stars and the moon and realize how they are tied to a schedule and how that schedule is tied to the ocean and to the weather and to so many other things.  Why wouldn’t I believe that something greater than me had to design it, build it and breathe it into being!  It sure is easier to believe that God created the night sky than it is to believe any other theory out there! Stars are connected to the birth of Jesus too.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”  When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.  They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”  Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared.  And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”   After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.  And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.  And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.  Matthew 2:1-12, (ESV).

Those must have been some pretty intelligent wise men to study the stars and see that Jesus was born.  I would love to talk with those guys about the stars as I am sure they spent a lot of time making charts and studying the stars.  One of the most interesting prophecies that are connected to stars was given to Daniel from the archangel Michael.

“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.  And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.  But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”  Daniel 12:1-4, (ESV).

We get a glimpse of the spiritual dimension and the battles that are going on in this passage.  I am so encouraged by the description of those who are considered wise.  Notice that the wise will shine like stars forever!  I want to be one of those stars, don’t you?  I think tonight I will plan a little night star-gazing.  I can put a blanket on the grass in the backyard and I can lay down on it and just spend some time watching the glory of the night sky unfolding before me.  I am sure that I will give praise to my God as I watch His handiwork in action.  I might even sing a little song of praise too.  It is good for the soul to spend some time with the stars.  Maybe you can do this too!

Until next time…KatherineOctober Sky 005

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