The night descended as a blanket and the stars, like sparkling jewels, displayed themselves one by one. From east to west they slowly passed as the earth spun and the night fled. Into this night stepped a man, leaving behind the cozy comfort of his tent. With wondering eye he viewed the starry- sky and in hushed whispers of awe and amazement repeated, “So shall thy seed be.” The wonder of twinkling stars became the wonder of the Covenant. And Abraham believed.
The oppressive smell of disease, the dull droning of pesky insects, and the pain of festering sores awoke his dulled senses. “An evil sickness,” “forsaken of God,” “a hidden sin” pounded monotonously upon his troubled mind. Doubt replaced certainty and God spoke: “Job, why dost thou doubt my wisdom and power? Look up in the sky! Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades,1 or loose the bands of Orion?”2 God’s power and wisdom displayed in the velvet night sky humbles man. Doubts were quieted and Job’s faith revived.
Silently slept the sheep unaware of the crouching form of Leo.3 Silently sat the shepherd lad as he watched Bootes4 chase away the two bears.5 Unmoved was Polaris, 6 unafraid of the frightful forms that surrounded him. All was peaceful and quiet. The moment passes when the harmonic cords of a harp and the quivering voice of the shepherd add to the still night a most beautiful song:
O Lord our Lord in all the earth
How excellent Thy name!
Thy glory Thou hast spread afar
In all the starry frame.
When I regard the wondrous heavens
Thy handiwork on high,
The moon and stars ordained by Thee;
O, What is man? I cry!
David, the shepherd lad, saw the glory of heaven as the glory of God. He saw the insignificance of man and in humble praise adored the Almighty God.
Abraham, Job, David and many other saints through the ages have gazed contemplatively at the starry sky. They saw the infinite expanse of the universe and worshipped an even more infinite God. They saw an unchangeable panorama of stars night after night and rejoiced in the Unchangeable God. Their thoughts are often recorded in Holy Writ. Isaiah writes that He “stretched out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.”7 David, in Psalm 103:11, related that “as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him.” In Psalm 147, the Psalmist sings, “He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.”
Today, we too can look with awe and wonder upon the same sky. Orion and Pleiades are still there. With the help of telescopes, it is possible to see even deeper into the vast reaches of space; much farther than our forefathers even dreamed possible. This shouldn’t cause us to doubt the creation and look for the origin of the universe elsewhere, but rather, it should cause us to worship our God in humility.
When was the last time you viewed the handiwork of God’s universe? Surely, THE HEAVEN’S DECLARE THE GLORY OF GOD!
- Pleiades is a group of seven stars which was thought to usher in the spring: the time of new life and happiness.
- Orion is a constellation best seen during the winter. The bands of Orion refer to the bands of winter. Job 38:41.
- Leo is the constellation of a lion.
- Bootes is a constellation of a herdsman seen best in the spring.
- The two bears are two constellations in the northern sky.
- Polaris is the north star. It is in line with the north pole of the earth. It does not move like other stars seem to move.
- Isaiah 40:22.
This article was originally written for and printed in the South Holland Protestant Reformed School Paper, the Reflector. It was written in conjunction with a science unit on astronomy.