Reading the Stars?

Years ago, when this site still had a Q&A section, this is one of the questions I received, along with my answer.  I think both are still relevant today …

Question“We have a friend who believes that is correct to consult the stars for answers to today’s questions.  Not astrology really.  She wants to know if there is somewhere in the Bible where it says to read the stars.  Could you help us give her a good Biblical answer.  We are having difficulty being as direct in answering as we would like.”

ReplyThat’s a good question.  There is nowhere in the Bible where we are told or encouraged to read the stars in order to get answers to our questions.  Biblically speaking, the purpose of the stars and heavenly bodies (and all of creation) is to show God’s creative power and to glorify him (Neh 9:6, Ps 19:1-4, Ps 97:6, etc), and it is un-Biblical to give them any more significance or power than that (Deut 4:19, Isa 47:13-15, etc).  Isaiah 40:12-31 is especially powerful in it’s contrast between the futility of human thought and understanding (regardless of what it is based on) and the absolute supremacy of the thoughts and power of God himself.

The famous clashes between Moses and the Pharaoh’s magicians and between Daniel and the Babylonian wise men are both examples of human/”natural” wisdom and insight versus the wisdom of God.  In fact, one of the dominant themes of the entire Old Testament (which is also in the New Testament) is that it is sinful to seek guidance from and/or worship anything that God has created (the golden calf, various idols, the stars, etc).  True insight and wisdom comes from God alone (Dan 2:19-23, Rom 11:33-36, 1Cor 1:20-25, Col 2:2-3, James 1:5, etc).  After all, when we put our daily trust in God (through a personal relationship with him), he promises to look after us (Matt 6:25-34), so there is no point in seeking council from distant, inanimate and impersonal objects.  Interestingly, the majority of the first western scientists to explore the stars and the heavens were Christians who believed that the wonder of outer space presented the glory and majesty of God like nothing else (Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, etc …).  It was Isaac Newton who said “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the council and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being [who] governs all things … and of account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God”.

In short, why go to creation for help and guidance, when we can go directly to the Creator himself?  To do anything other than the latter is un-Biblical.

What do you think?  Any comments?

Mark

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