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We are now going to consider a little more about the way in which the sun, moon and stars show the infinite glory of God. Something of this can be seen in connection with the size of the heavenly bodies and their number. Scientists believe that there are some stars so huge that not merely the earth but the whole of our solar system would be small in comparison. The star Betelguese is thought to be twice as wide as the distance between the earth and the sun! Antares is even bigger and Epsilon Aurigae is greater still! When we think of such sizes we realise our own littleness and our Creator's glorious greatness.
In the book of Genesis the stars of heaven are spoken of in the same way as the sand of the sea shore for number. (Look at Genesis 15.5 and 22.17) Scientists now believe that it is true that there are as many stars as there are grains of sand, probably on all the beaches of the world! All of these stars are known individually by God and are upheld by his power. Such knowledge is too wonderful for us; it is high, we cannot attain to it. Such power is beyond our comprehension. We realise that our Maker is the Almighty, All-wise Sovereign, the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity.
Sadly, although men have generally realised the wonder of the sun, moon and stars they have not made good use of the knowledge. Instead of worshipping the true God they have worshipped the host of heaven and "changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator". (Romans 1.25) Instead of the sun, planets and stars leading them to a true knowledge of God men preferred to be led astray into darkness by their own sinful foolishness.
For thousands of years men have also used astrology in connection with the movements of the heavenly bodies. By astrology they sought to see into the future. The positions of the planets, stars and sun in relation to one another were thought to have predictive value as to what was going to happen. Instead of turning to the true God men would look to this so called 'Royal Art' to see whether they would be victorious in battle, have a prosperous reign and so on. Our modern horoscopes are a continuation of the same error and show that the hearts of unbelievers have not changed. Sinners still prefer to depend upon these great works of God rather than the God who made them.
Another mistake often made is to think that these heavenly bodies always have been and always will be. Some sinners seem to find some sort of comfort in this but it is not true. 'The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up'.(2 Peter 3.10) The unbeliever will not accept this but the Christian knows that the God who created in the beginning, and upholds at the present will also make a complete change at the last when there will be a new heavens and a new earth.
"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things..." (Acts 17.24,25)
Infinite, scientist, solar system, incorruptible, astrology, horoscope.
1. How big are the biggest stars according to the astronomers?
2. What does their great size teach us about God and about ourselves?
3. How many stars are thought to exist?
4. What wicked practices have men followed in connection with the sun, moon and planets?
5. What does the astrologer seek to do?
6. What will happen to all these wonderful stars and planets?
1. Find some dry sand in a jar. Pour out a little of the sand and try to count as many single grains as you can. Each time you count ten grains colour one of the following circles:
(a) How many grains of sand did you count?
(b) How many grains of sand do you think were left?
(c) How many grains of sand would you expect to find on a beach?
2. Draw a diagram of the planets that orbit our sun. Give the correct names to the planets. Colour each one using the following code:
Very hot RED
Having grass/trees GREEN
Very very cold PURPLE
3. Read about Galileo then write about him using each of the following words: telescope, book, Galileo, Jupiter's moons, pope
1. Find a junior science book to tell you more about (a) an eclipse of the sun, (b) the tides and the moon, and (c) nebulas and galaxies.
2. Read about some of the damage caused by the sun in connection with sunburn, sunstroke, fires, blindness and radiation.
Find out the meaning of each of the names given below and see if you can locate each constellation on a star map:
Pegasus, Delphinus, Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, Draco, Gemini, Taurus Leo, Canis Minor, Cygnus.
Psalm 103.19-22 (Common Metre)
The Lord prepared hath his throne
in heavens firm to stand;
And ev'ry thing that being hath
his kingdom doth command.
O ye his angels, that excel
in strength, bless ye the Lord;
Ye who obey what he commands,
and hearken to his word.
O bless and magnify the Lord,
ye glorious hosts of his;
Ye ministers, that do fulfil
whate'er his pleasure is.
O bless the Lord, all ye his works,
wherewith the world is stor'd
In his dominions ev'ry where.
My soul, bless thou the Lord.