“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.“
I often think that all Christians should be interested in astronomy. That does not mean that I think you should be experts in how stars work, or how light travels. But the Psalmist says that “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork”. So it is good to look upwards at night, and notice what God has made out there in the heavens, because this cause to stop and consider what God has done.
We are charged in Scripture never to worship anything in the heavens, because these are things that God has created, but it is right and proper to consider stars, planets, galaxies and so on, and to stand in awe at all that God has made.
In Genesis 1:14, God tells us that one of the purposes of the night sky is to mark signs and seasons for us. When night falls, it will be different stars that appear on the horizon at different times of year, because of the position of the Earth in its orbit around the Sun, so we keep track of the seasons. But also, by measuring the angles of certain stars above the horizon, and above the equator, we can work out what latitude we are at. Coupled with the longitude, calculated using accurate time, we can pinpoint our position on the Earth.
With our modern technology of smartphones and satellites, we take such matters for granted today. But God provided us with time-keeping and positioning software in the sky, right from the beginning of creation. That is certainly a cause to praise His Name!
As we gaze into the heavens, Lord, we see that they declare your handiwork. We are amazed by the beauty of the sky, and our amazement increases, as we learn more about it. We praise You, for You are great and holy. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Image: Galaxy M8, license: Public Domain (NASA)