"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."
 John 3:19

 

 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
1 John 4:1

 

 

Do the Stars Guide Our Lives?

 RIGHT at the start, let us make this clear: Astronomy and astrology are not the same. Astronomy is the science of the stars, while astrology is the pseudo science which professes to show the influence of the stars upon human affairs. Astronomers are universally opposed to astrology.

 A statement is quoted from Dr. Daniel Buchanan, astronomer at the University of British Columbia, as follows:

 “Many people confuse astrology with astronomy and suppose that there are reputable scientists who believe in it. Actually astrology is an ‘art’ equivalent to crystal gazing or palmistry, and the application of astronomical data to the business of fortune telling is like trying to use the Einstein theory to pick the winner of the sixth race at Santa Anita, California. A fortuneteller could see your future just as clearly by gazing into a crystal ball as by peering into the multi-million dollar 200-inch telescope of the Palomar Mountain observatory.”

“No present-day professional astronomer who is teaching in a recognized standard college or university, or is working in a large observatory, or is employed in governmental scientific work, believes in astrology or will have anything to do with it.”

And, by the way, he reminds us that this is “true since the days when another Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe-who in his younger days practiced the pseudo science of astrology to some extent-finally, more than three hundred years ago, denounced it as a fraud. Brahe’s pupil, the great Kepler, expressed the accepted scientific opinion of the next generation when he said of astrology’s relation to astronomy: “A foolish daughter of a wise mother.”’

But what does the Bible teach about it? Do the stars guide the lives of Christians, or are they under God’s direct providence? We read, first of all, Job 22,12-21: “Is not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are] And thou says, How does God know? Can he judge through the dark cloud? Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he sees not; and he walks in the circuit of heaven. Has thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden? Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was over flown with a flood: which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them? Yet he filled their houses with good things: but the counsel of the wicked is far from me. The righteous see it, and are glad: ... but the remnant of them the fire consumes. Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.”

The writer is referring here to the people who lived before the Flood. He tells how they departed from God. They thought He knew nothing about them and could do nothing for them. They were the worlds first fatalists and, like all fatalists, they must have confused God with nature and taught that man is a helpless atom in the eternal round of the material universe. They held to the error of the Persian poet who said:

“We are but pieces in the game He plays Upon this checkerboard of nights and days; And one by one, He moves and cheeks and slays; And one by one, back in the closet lays. - Omar Khayyam

The words quoted a moment ago from Job, though written 1,500 years before Christ, are thoroughly scientific. Notice the exclamation: “Behold the height of the stars, how high they are!” Astronomers today have demonstrated the almost infinite distances of the heavens, measured not by mere miles but by the appalling immensity of light-years. We are told that the stars are so far away that light from the very nearest one, Alpha Centauri, traveling at the unimaginable speed of about 6,000,000,000,000 miles a year would take about four and a half years to reach the earth. And the North Star is 47 light-years away.

It takes a ray of light only 8 minutes to come from the sun to the earth, but a ray of light has to travel 330 years to reach the earth from Rigel, that blazing sun so far away. It takes light 370 years to come from Antares. And from some parts of the Milky Way it would take 100,000 light-years for a lonely light ray to reach us here on earth. So we may indeed say, “Behold the stars how high “they are!” This statement is perfectly scientific.

In the verses from Job 22 which we have just considered, we are told that the ancient inhabitants of earth disregarded the will of God. They denied His providence. One result was that His protecting hand was withdrawn from them. Nature ceased to bless them and became their destroyer. They were over flown with the Flood, or, as Jesus put it: “The flood came, and took them all away.” Matthew 24:39. This, too, is a scientific statement. All over the earth today we find clear evidences of some mighty catastrophe caused by water. These evidences are made clear in the geological writings of such men as George McCready Price, Harold W. Clark, Benjamin F. Allen, and Frank L. Marsh.

People before the Flood disregarded the will of God and met disaster. In reviewing their terrible fate, the prophet brings this appeal: “Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee!” Job 22:21. This shows that ultimate good depends upon the providence of God rather than upon the impersonal powers of nature, yet there are thousands of people today who disregard God’s power, God’s providence and love, and believe that the stars do control human destiny. They study horoscopes for salvation and trust in the signs of the zodiac for rest and peace. But I wish to assure you in all earnestness that the only way to be happy in this world is to be acquainted with God, to trust in Him, and to believe Romans 8:28: “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Remember that all these heavenly bodies were created by God. They obey His will and are subject to His laws. And God has created every man a free moral agent with the privilege of choice. Here is what He says in Deuteronomy 30:19: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life.”

Notice, the choice is ours. We are not the helpless victims of some impersonal law or of some far-off burning sun. God’s providence are as fully prepared for man as for the stars. The Scripture declares: “Your eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:16.

The stars in their courses show us the power of God and His infinite wisdom, but it is at the cross of Christ that we finally see revealed His great love that paid for the sinner’s redemption, the price of a human soul. 

“At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day.”
Isaac Watts

The Bible reveals Cod’s loving watch care over man and the stars, “For that he is strong in power; not one fails.” Isaiah 40:26.

Another important thing to remember is that the vast majority of those who practice astrology do not claim to be Christians at all. Millions of people who do not believe in God or Christ follow this ancient system today. Millions of non-Christian Chinese, millions of Hindus and Arabians who are anti-Christian and anti-Bible, are strong for astrology. There should be something significant about this fact to every Christian who is tempted to follow the old pagan cults of the astrologers, and it should cause him to place no credence in them. No force of the universe, no power of blazing star is ever permitted to have any influence for evil over any child of God.

In Romans 8:35. 38, 39 we read. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ... For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature [or creation], shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Therefore the stars cannot separate us from the love of God; they cannot influence the Christian adversely, for he is “in Christ.”

In John 13:3 we read that Jesus knew, “that the Father had given all things into his hands.” And that’s a good place for all things to be-in the hands of Christ. We are safe there, for no one, no thing, no influence, no creature, no part of creation, can ever take us out of His hands. Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10:27,28.

The Holy Bible teaches the effectiveness of prayer and that prayer changes things. We read in Psalm 50:15: “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shall glorify me.” Notice, the glory belongs to God, not to some planet or star which He has created. Whatever influence any earthly or celestial body might have upon a human being, we must remember that God Himself holds the key to human destiny, and prayer is communion with Him. As one great Bible believer once said: “Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary, in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him.” - Steps to Christ, Page 97. 

Charlotte Elliott wrote these beautiful words: 

“My God, is any hour so sweet,
From blush of morn to evening star,
As that which calls me to Thy feet;
The hour of prayer?

 “Then is my strength by Thee renewed;
Then are my sins by Thee forgiven;
Then does Thou cheer my solitude
With hopes of heaven.”

 Strange to say that in this so-called scientific age, astrology, in spite of its dark-age ancestry, numbers its followers by multitudes and its monetary income in nine figures. People are investing heavily in an attempt to pierce the hidden veil of tomorrow. They want to know the future and gaze into that strange land where mysterious silence reigns. Someone may say, “But they have told me many things that have come true.” Doubtless, and that for several reasons. But listen to some startling words of God’s prophet, Jeremiah: “Thus said the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.” Jeremiah 10:2. The “signs of heaven” mentioned here refer to the signs of the zodiac.

Ours is supposed to be an age of universal enlightenment but speaking of these last days God Himself has said, “Knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4. Isn’t it strange that at such a time of scientific light and human advancement, the mind of man should turn back to superstitious beliefs of three thousand years ago and that the ancient Egypt and Babylonian astrology is being revived? One reason is that there is money in it. And here’s what the Scripture says about that in Isaiah 2:6: “They be replenished from the east and are soothsayers like the Philistines.”

One modern authority tens us that astrology is of Babylonian origin and has come down to us from the noted “wise men” of Babylon. Those men claimed to be able to read destiny from the stars, but the could not read God’s hand writing on the wall, as we real in Daniel, the fifth chapter. They were compelled to admit that the future could be made known only by God, “whose dwelling is not with flesh.” Daniel 2:11.

Astrology was prevalent in Egypt when God led His people from that land, so He warned them in these words: “After the doings of the land of Egypt.... shall you not do: neither shall you walk in their ordinances.” Leviticus 18:3.

The apostle Paul found these same astrological ideas among the heathen Galatians, many of whom were converted to Christ. When he went among them, they not only worshiped the sun and other heavenly bodies, but attributed their lucky hours to them. These ideas have entered into the language of our day, being found in such expressions as, “I thank my lucky stars.” Such ideas are, of course, out of harmony with the Holy Bible.

Speaking of these people, the apostle Paul said: “Howbeit then, when you knew not God, you did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage?” Galatians 4:8, 9. Let us read also verses 10 and 11: “You observe days, and months, and times, in-d years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.” The apostle then pleads with them to leave these heathenish ways, according to which every hour of every day is considered sacred to some particular planet, and urges them to return to the simple gospel of Jesus Christ. There only, my friend, will peace of heart be found.

According to some of the modern teachers of this revived ancient heathen astrology, we are now entering the so-called “Aquarian,” or humanitarian age, the age in which every man is his own savior. But, according to the Scriptures, every man is not his own savior. The only Savior of a lost and ruined world is Jesus Christ. We read in Acts 4:12: “There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” And in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

All the stars and planets were created by God through Christ, and are but the servants of the great God who made them. Our lives are in His hands, who guides the celestial bodies as well as us. In Genesis 1: 14, we read: “God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.” And in Matthew 24 we are told that the darkened sun, the red moon, and the falling stars would be signs of the Second Coming of Christ.

In the study of astronomy, we think God’s thoughts after Him, for “the heavens declare the glory of God.” Psalm 19:1. In ancient times Cod’s people sometimes made the mistake of slipping from astronomy over into astrology. We read in Amos 5:26, 27: “You have borne the tabernacle of your images, the star of your god, which you made to yourselves. Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity.” Also, in Job 31:26-28: “If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness. And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth bath kissed my hand: this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.”

Astrology is really a hang-over from the worship of the heavenly bodies-sun worship, moon worship, and worship of the stars-which was common in ancient times and is even yet a part of the worship of some non-Christian peoples. Man really worships that to which he attributes the supreme and ruling destiny of his life and of the world, so the Creator commands: “Thou shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3.

Friends, here is good news: Our lives are not crushed in the vice of some imaginary horoscope. To the Christian there is no “fell grip of circumstance,” but the tender heart of a loving heavenly Father. The Bible teaches the free will of man. Whosoever will may come. (Revelation 22:17.) According to 2 Corinthians 6:2, today “is the day of salvation,” and “now is the accepted time”-not some other day or hour when the planets are propitious. In Job 25:5 we read that “even ... the stars are not pure in his sight.” Then why trust them as guides to life?

In olden times the planets were supposed to be the abodes of the spirits of dead heroes, and it was really the worship of those departed Babylonian heroes that was the basis of astrology. God’s divine prophecy was a sealed book to the astrologers of ancient Babylon. The so-called “prophecies” of modem astrologers often fail as did the predictions of their ancient predecessors.

The starry orbs themselves will be shaken, as we read in Hebrews 12:26: “I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.”

Friends, let us not put our trust in the conjunction of planets nor in the precession of the equinoxes, but in the promises of God. Let us heed the words of the Lord: “Look unto me, and be you saved, all the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 45:22.

“In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering over the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.”

 “When the woes of life overtake me,
Hopes deceive, and fears annoy,
Never shall the cross forsake me;
Lo! it glows with peace and joy.”

 Sir John Bowring