The Sun, the Moon, the Stars, the Planets
Did you ever stop to ponder the meaning of the heavenly bodies? You know, God speaks to us with everything He's made. So what is He saying with these bodies? Let's consider each of them, one at a time.
The Sun, the light of the world. Ok, I gave it away already. But consider the Sun. For one thing, it's eternal. Not literally of course because it will pass away in our sin cursed universe but in comparison to Man, the Sun is eternal. It burns with incredible power. We cannot look at the Sun, it's too bright for us. We cannot approach it or we will die. It gives light and life to everything in the world. It illuminates our paths and helps us find our way. The Sun represents God Himself to us.
Now let's consider Luna, the Moon, our moon. According to Genesis 1, it was the lesser light to rule the night. It has no glory of its own and as a matter of fact if you go there you will find it a dead, cold, and barren place. Interesting also that it appears to be the exact same size as the Sun so that it can eclipse the Sun. When we allow Satan to govern, the world goes into darkness. (Consider the state of our country…) The Moon’s only light is a reflection of the Sun's glory and yet it is a thing of beauty in the night. Satan can appear as an angel of light, a thing of beauty. He is the god of this world. His domain is darkness and truly he rules the night. But it's a funny thing about the Moon's light. Even at its brightest and fullest it's still dark. Have you ever walked under the branches of a tree in moonlight? You better have a flashlight if you're not on level pavement because you may step in a h*** or something else that's unseen in our moon's light. It's light is darkness and you can easily lose your way and stumble. One other thing about the Moon. It controls the surging of the tides. Consider that the sea is a metaphor for the vast sea of humanity. Satan influences the sea of humanity. Yes, the Moon is a perfect picture of Satan.
And now, the stars! Yes they're for times and seasons but, being a former mariner, I know that the stars are also for navigating. You know, you may have thought about my example of the Sun and said to yourself "but the Sun goes away and God never goes away." Well, in truth even the Sun never goes away. It's just that the Earth turns its back on the Sun, so to speak. All of us have experienced the peaks and valleys of our lives when it seems like God has left us. In truth this is just a manifestation of the fallen condition of Man. Sometimes during these dark times we don't know where to turn. Have you ever had another Christian give you a hug and good fellowship in a tough time, or given good advice when you needed it, or heard a sermon or other message which gave you the help you needed when you were in a tough spot? Another star helped you navigate through the dark times.
Abraham was told that his descendants would be like the stars. And consider the stars. They burn with the same fire as the Sun. We, as born again Christians, have the indwelling of God through the Holy Spirit. And when we speak under the direction of the Holy Spirit we are letting the power of God shine through us. So in those times of darkness, of night, God has given us stars to guide us: our Christian brethren.
Finally, it's time to consider the planets. They are covered in the Bible too. You will find the phrase "wandering stars" in Jude referring to false teachers. Wandering stars was the term which the ancients used to describe what we now call planets. You know, planets look just like stars don't they? Yet if you look closely at them you find that they are all dead, barren bodies, inhospitable to life. They shine brightly but again, they actually have no light of their own whereas the stars have the light and fire of God. And you cannot navigate by the planets. They wander all over the sky, just like false teachers. If you try to navigate your life by these false teachers you'll be a shipwreck.
So the Sun, the Moon, the stars, and the planets are truly representative of things which we can ponder and consider. Isn't our God awesome?
Postscript on the planets: One might bring up the reference in Rev.22:16 where Jesus is referred to as the Morning Star which we think of as the planet Venus. And I have heard Christians compare Jesus to Venus. However I don’t think that John was talking about Venus. John wrote in Greek, as did all the writers of the New Testament. In the ancient world, particularly Greece, the star Sirius was also called the Morning Star. Sirius, when it rose in the east just before dawn, was the harbinger of summer. Sirius is the brightest star in our sky. It is the leader of the stars, the captain of the heavenly host, so to speak. Now, in astronomical terms there are distant stars far brighter than Sirius however from the perspective of the Earth, it’s the brightest. I suppose that one could go round and round over this issue with some arguing that the Morning Star reference is to Venus. You know: “but it’s only from our perspective on the Earth and Venus was often called the Morning Star even in the ancient world.” One can always come up with an argument that has some kind of merit in its favor. However I really don’t think that the symbol of the Lord would in actuality be a dead, hellish world, with the hottest temperatures of any planet, seas of molten lava, and clouds of sulfuric acid in its atmosphere. So I think the Morning Star referred to by John was not Venus, it was Sirius.