DIRECTIONS FROM ABOVE or Follow The Star
From the beginning of time mankind has used the stars to guide their travel on earth.
Sun used to tell time as it passes through our heavens.
Moon used to gauge days as it goes through it's phases. The name month is derived from an Old English word monath akin to the moon.
Stars used to navigate across the vast oceans. The constellations were not just for stargazers but for those who crossed the oceans before satellites and hand held position locators.
Even now used to set bearings for travel across space.
When I was on top of a mountain on the Thai Burma border a couple of years ago, I viewed a constellation closer to the stars than I have ever been before. It was still recognizable, and when I viewed it , it was tilted at such an angle that " the milk was spilling out " as my Grandmother Elsie used to tell me. What constellation was it?
The Big Dipper - The Great Bear - Ursa Major
One of the most important for ancient navigators.
Because the " Pointer " stars, the lip of the dipper, point to the North Star - Polaris.
If you can find the Big Dipper you can find the North Star.
If you can find the North Star you can navigate ( North discovered, you know the other directions.)
God has given us a Star to guide our travels throughout our pilgrimage on earth.
YNumbers 24:16,17 God's Prediction
Approximately 2,000 years ago, God said through a reluctant prophet that the Messiah would be born. As the nation of Israel was leaving the bondage of Egypt wandering to the Promised Land Baalim hired to curse the people by Balak of Moab as they moved through his land blessed them instead. Four times, in fact. In the last of these high on a mountain he made this prediction.
A Star shall raise out of Jacob; a Scepter shall rise out of Israel - Numbers 23:17
The Fulfillment - ( Luke 1:30-33 ) The angel that appeared to the Virgin Mary said that she would bear the Messiah and that He would rule over the house of Jacob forever making this prophecy come true before her eyes.
YMatthew 2:1-12 - God's Providence
" Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east and we have come to worship Him, " the Magi said. Years of debate have followed as to what this star of wonder might be. Some said a specially designed star just for this purpose but others indicated that it must be a natural phenomena that would cause such a stir. Some feel that astronomy has come up with the answer to the start of the wise men which appeared before the death of Herod which naturally attracted the astronomers of his day from the East. " Such a belief naturally arose from Baalim's prophecy of " the star that was to rise out of Jacob " and from messianic prophecies of Isaiah and Daniel and widely prevailed in the East since the dispersion of the Jews. The older interpretation of that star made it either a meteor, or a strictly miraculous phenomenon, which lies beyond astronomical calculation, and was perhaps visible to the magi alone.
But Providence usually works through natural agencies, and that God did so in this case is made at least very probable by a remarkable discovery in astronomy. The great and devout Kepler observed in the years 1603 and 1604 a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, which was made more rare and luminous by the addition of Mars in the month of March 1604. In the autumn of the same year
( October 10 ) he observed near the planets of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars a new ( fixed) star of uncommon brilliancy, which appeared in 'triumphal pomp, like some all-powerful monarch on a visit to the metropolis of his realm.' Philip Schaff Volume 1 History of the Christian Church.
This discover led to the calculation of the birth of Jesus around 7 B.C. as it was calculated that this conjunction of planets also took place in this year as well. Jewish scholars had also placed significance of this conjunction of planets and the birth of the Messiah. They said that it had occurred just before the birth of Moses and would also accompany the birth of the Messiah.
Herod took it serious enough to kill boy children from the age of two and up in the region of Bethlehem. He was a great king but brutal to any who had aspirations to the throne. he had even killed two of his own sons. A monument has been discovered which suggests that Herod killed 22 baby boys at this time. ( See Schaff )
Whichever view is taken, whether natural or miraculous, one is awestruck by the providence of God and the announcement to the world of the birth of His Son to gentiles from the East. A precursor that the Gospel was for all people everywhere.
W2 Peter 1:16-21 - God's Provision
The Morning Star arises in your hearts - New Birth
Begotten by the Word of God
Peter declares that when we study the Word of God and understand its truths for ourselves that Jesus will take a place in our hearts. Ephesians 1:13,14 declares that the present of the Spirit in us is God's guarantee of our redemption. Romans 8:16 proclaims that it is His Spirit within us declaring with our spirit that we are the children of God. The Morning Star arising in our hearts as we are begotten by the Word of God is a true star guidance to take us through the dangers of this life safely to the next.
Look on your Bible study and meditation as a way of God building His kingdom within you and leading you safely to the promised land; or as James states it " receive the word engrafted in our lives which is able to save our souls. What a beautiful picture of what God does through us through His Word " causing the Morning Star to arise in our lives. " We do not follow a cleverly devised fable but a blood bought Spirit wrought epistle from God written upon our hearts.
WRevelation 22:8-21 - God's Promise
I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star -
Again we have a verification of Baalim's prophecy, Jesus is the offspring of David the offspring of Jacob who has come to rule the world through His love.
He is the Bright and Morning Star with whom we can travel through this life to the life beyond. This invitation to let Him guide us through life is extended by the Spirit and by the Bride of Christ, the Church. The primary reason that we are left behind is to make the invitation to others to become partakers in the kingdom and the joys of knowing Jesus.
God wants to guide you through life. He has provided life through His Son. He who has the Son, has life; he who does not have the Son does not have life. John declared in I John 5:12
Remember: God keeps His promises. If a two thousand old prediction once came true he will make it happen again. The first advent opened up the door for the 2nd advent of Jesus which is to come.
Study: Are you ready? Our Bibles are God's Word which lead us to life. They prepare us for his coming. They help us to be His witnesses as we prepare others for His coming. ( Morning Star arises in our lives )
Accept: His invitation to drink of the Water of Life freely.
I have tasted of the Lord and He is good. Are those words, your words? They can be if you yield your life to His.
You can follow this Star to Heaven where God has prepared a place for us. Revelation 1:1-7 What a beautiful picture of a wonderful tomorrow for each who believes.
An Advent Prayer
O loving Father, as the joy of that first morning in Bethlehem burst through the sky,
So we come before You bringing songs of joy and praise.
We rejoice in the Good News of the birth of Your Only Begotten Son
Asking that as our hearts will be filled with the love of Christmas, that we will let it shine on others around us.
With the rise of the Day Star in my life, I received the gift of love in my heart.
And as the Star of Wonder and Hope brought light to a dark world long ago,
Illuminate us with your Truth so we can shine forth the bright light of Faith;
Knowing that others will see You if we will magnify You in our life.
As the Star of Jacob led the Magi to the source of their salvation,
Crystalize my courage so I can lead others to bow down before Him.
With your Christ Child as my North Star, we face this coming new year expectantly,
Knowing that Your Spirit will shine with splendor in all that we do and say.
Thank you in the Name of The Bright and Morning Star, King Jesus.