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Look to the Lord, not to the Stars

Many years ago I had a lightbulb moment, when I recognised that in addition to the Bible accurately fulfilling prophecy and speaking authoritatively on things to come, it also diagnoses present patterns of behaviour by explaining the past. The prevalence of horoscopes and people discussing star signs in this day and age astonished me, until I considered Isaiah 47. I was astounded by the paradox in western civilized society of correlating the timing of ‘star signs’ with someone’s ‘fate,’ until I recognised that when people refuse to believe in the God of the Bible, they will believe in anything.

Do not look to the stars

Star signs are loaded with ambiguity and are sufficiently unspecific so that one can read into them and offer a loose interpretation. Some people believe in them whilst others think they might be influential to a lesser or greater degree. Nonetheless they can have an unhelpful and controlling influence in people’s lives and cause fear and anxiety. Others make a lot of money from the same. Scripture strongly admonishes us to avoid these practises.

Isaiah wrote that Babylon would be judged ‘Because of the multitude of your sorceries, for the great abundance of your enchantments (Isaiah 47:9)’, yet even more specifically Isaiah 47:12-13 outlines the futility of the astrologers, stargazers and monthly prognosticators.

“Stand now with your enchantments and the multitude of your counsels; let now the astrologers, the stargazers, and the monthly prognosticators stand up and save you from what shall come upon you.”

Isaiah spoke of the Lord’s sovereignty and futility of occult practises which are not compatible with biblical truth. “I am the Lord who makes all things, who stretches out the heavens all alone, who spreads aboard the earth by Myself; who frustrates the signs of the babblers and drives diviners mad; who turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolishness (Isaiah 44:24b-45);”

The creation points to the Creator

It is normal to marvel at creation and consider our diminutive size relative to the universe, but we need to look beyond the creation to the Creator. It is not the heavenly arrangement of stars above that determine our destiny. The believer can enjoy creation, rather than fear it. The Lord caused Abraham to look toward heaven and count the stars if he were able to number them and He would give Abraham numerous descendants like the stars in the sky. Israel’s preservation as a nation today, is a testament to God’s faithfulness in the Abrahamic covenant.

Almost a decade before I was born, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, whilst others were consulting their star signs. Yuri Gagarin ventured out into space and did not see God up there, though King David stated more wisely, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork (Psalm 19:).” A finely tuned universe including marvellous beauty, speaks of an intelligent and ingenious Creator, evidenced in the teleological and artistic evidence for God. Although James Irwin explored the surface of the moon he concluded,  “God walking on earth is more important than man walking on the moon.

Looking to the Lord

How does one find God today? The psalmist stated, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105).” The book of the Lord leads us to the Lord of the book. Contrary to things that are hidden or dark in the occult, God is light and In Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). Jesus revealed “I am the light of the world, He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life (John 8:12).”

How does one find guidance? “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).” So often the self-help ‘experts’ and the psychologists encourage us to follow our hearts, yet the Bible teaches the opposite. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12).”

We are not the sole agents who are able to find all the answers inside ourselves. The Bible does not teach the famous closing lines of Invictus “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”  Rather the Scriptures inform us that, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps (Proverbs 16:9).”   Jeremiah counselled, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it (Jeremiah 17:9)?”

How can one find salvation? Turn to the Messiah, the Lord Jesus who is the way, the truth and the life. He taught as no one ever taught. He is the only Person that is perfect and sinless. We have sinned and deserve judgement since we have broken the Law of Moses. When we look at the Ten Commandments, it is like looking at a mirror which shows us exactly how we have transgressed God’s holy law. Jesus died and made atonement for sin. Forgiveness and eternal life can most certainly be found in Him by turning to Him and trusting in His finished work, since Messiah was sacrificed and died as a perfect substitute for many.

It is a matter of not trusting in our ability to be good since our righteousness is as filthy rags but trusting in the Saviour and what He has done. Jesus rose from the grave, ascended and sat down at the right hand of God. He is returning from where He left on the Mount of Olives. Have you had your sins forgiven? Do you know Him? Are you following Him and will you be ready when He returns?