Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth; and so it was. Genesis 1:14-15
On the first day of creation, God said, “Let there be light.” On the fourth day of creation, he added, “Let there be lights.” Light reflectors and generators in the expanse replaced the intrinsic light force that God created on day one. The stated purpose of the sun, moon and stars was to divide, direct, and dazzle.
Besides dividing the day from the night, the luminaries in the sky set the seasons and serve as signs. By day four if not before, the earth is tilting on its axis and unveiling the cycles of spring, summer, winter and fall to the new planet. The beautiful seasonal changes on earth provide variety and a spice to life.
In what way do these lights serve as signs? Of course, for centuries sailors have used the stars in the sky as navigation points. Scientists and astronomers study the stars to determine tides, eclipses, seasonal changes and so on. But is there something more to this? Some say God wrote the gospel in the stars but that the signs of the zodiac have been corrupted by pagan astrology. This theory has huge theological problems but it does make for interesting discussion.
God never intended for us to worship the sun, moon and stars. But the history of humanity demonstrates how prone we are to worship the creation rather than the Creator (Rom. 1). In Greek mythology, for instance, Apollo is the sun god and Artemis is the goddess of the moon. The Greeks also worshipped a number of lesser “sky deities.” Hindus worship Aditi who is the mother of the sun and moon gods, Mitra and Varuna. Eskimos worship Akycha, the sun spirit. The Mayans worshipped Ah Kinchil, the god of the sun. Ama-Terasu is the Japanese sun goddess. And the list goes on and on.
Sun worshippers beware! Some speculate that the reason God did not create the sun first is because he knew we would worship it. No matter what day he made the sun, we are still prone to wander from our Creator, aren’t we?
Well, you may already be familiar with the term “legalism.” But what about mysticism or asceticism? Each of these three is an obstacle to our Christian faith, and can keep us from genuine spiritual growth. Exactly what do these terms mean? And how will we know them when we see them? Find out next, as Ron continues his teaching series “Colossians: Jesus Is Greater Than.”All Sermons by Dr. Ron Jones