Genesis 1:14 speaks to us about God putting the stars, planets, sun and moon in the visible skies for us to mark off time specifically, not for astrological superstitions. Then verse 15 emphasizes the main benefit of these astronomical bodies. Speaking of the lights in space, Moses writes, “…let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so.” Not only did God create outer space and its residences to help us mark time, but also to give us light. This is the case. The bright sun in the daytime and the bright marks in the sky at night. There are more of them than there are grains of sand on the seashore. I remember being on a ship in the Persian Gulf and looking up at the night sky and noting that there was very little space between the glimmers of light I saw.

Unfortunately, we’ve been good, as a race of humans, to create our own meaning from the points of light in the sky. Atkinson says, “The ancients were, of course, fascinated by the stars. The Babylonians became the master astronomers of their day, developing quite sophisticated observational and computational skills particularly for their interest in planetary motion. Egyptian, Babylonian, and later Greek and Roman astrologers all developed schemes of relating stellar movements to earthly needs—mostly within a faith which regarded the stars as gods.”[1] I expect that this is why God directed Moses to instruct the people in Deuteronomy 4:19, “…beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.”

As far back as a thousand years before Christ the scriptures recognized the points in the night skies as creations of God. Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” In his commentary on the Psalms, Wilcock quotes Joseph Addison’s fine version of Psalm 19. “The spacious firmament on high, makes the point well. Sun and moon, stars and planets, ‘utter forth a glorious voice, For ever singing as they shine, The hand that made us is divine. Incessantly and universally  they pour forth speech, even though there is no speech, and any willing hearer can get the message.”[2]Paul uses the same idea of the creation loudly proclaiming the glories of its creator leaving all witnesses on earth without excuse (Romans 1).

[1] Atkinson, David. 1990. The Message of Genesis 1–11: The Dawn of Creation. Edited by J. A. Motyer and Derek Tidball. The Bible Speaks Today. England: Inter-Varsity Press.

[2] Wilcock, Michael. 2001. The Message of Psalms: Songs for the People of God. Edited by J. A. Motyer. Vol. 1. The Bible Speaks Today. Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press.