Saturday, 4 April 2015
There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. 1 Corinthians 15:41
In the previous verse, Paul noted that there are “also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.” This verse now is not explaining that, but rather it is confirming the truth in another way. Just as there are different types of flesh on the earth, there are different types of glory in the sky above us.
When we look up, we don’t see just one object in the sky. Rather we see different objects at different times and they have a variety of purposes. First, “there is one glory of the sun.” The sun rules the day time. It provides heat to the world and it lights the day. God purposed this. It is a certain distance from the earth so that the right amount of heat and light arrive for life to continue.
There is also “another glory of the moon.” When the sun is hidden from our sight, the moon is often there reflecting the light of the sun. It appears closer or farther away at various times and it can go from a tiny sliver to a full circle as it moves. It serves God’s purposes in a variety of ways for the benefit of His creatures on earth.
And Paul notes that there is even “another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.” Not only do the stars differ in the glory they radiate on earth in comparison to the sun and the moon, but they also do so in comparison to one another. They are set in the heavens and often appear as groupings which we call constellations. The North Star remains fixed in one spot. Some stars appear bluish, others have a silvery or reddish tone. Every one of them is there for a purpose and not one is unknown to God (see Psalm 147:4).
Genesis 1:14-19 notes that each and all of these heavenly orbs have a purpose according to the wisdom of God –
“Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth’; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”
Life application: If God has put such minute care into the structure of the heavenly bodies, which were placed there as “signs and seasons” for man, then how much more can we be certain that God cares for man! And if in our fallen state He attends to us, then how much more attention can we hope for when we receive our resurrected bodies! Whatever He has planned for our eternal abode, we can trust that it will be magnificent.
Lord God, there is careful attention to the layout of the heavenly bodies so that they show us Your plan of redemption and also signs of events which occur at fixed and preset times. If You have done this for our benefit so that we can see Your mighty hand at work, then how much more do You care for us, for whom these things were ordained! We can look to the heavens and trust that You who created them have a good plan and purpose for those You have redeemed. Great are You, O God, and greatly are You to be praised! Amen.