His Star…Another Look
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him (Matthew 2:1-2.)
HIS STAR…as opposed to all the other stars they were used to seeing. The wise men could have stayed home and studied all kinds of stars. Studying stars was their business. But what they were watching, and following was no ordinary star. The nations of Jesus’ day and earlier, commonly referred to rising kings as stars. The priestly caste of the kings made their living gazing at stars and making predictions.
MUCH OF IT WAS FRAUD ON A GRAND SCALE. Kings were generally dominated by fear of losing their thrones and losing their heads, so the magician/priest caste was a common source of soothing sauce for kings. They believed that somehow the stars had great influence on the success or failure of their kingdoms. Do we not refer to our movie idols and athletes as “stars” today? It is ingrained in us.
JOSEPH WAS ENABLED BY THE LORD, in his dreams, to predict the future in terms of the sun, moon, and stars: And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me (Genesis 37:9). These eleven stars were his brothers. Did it take place? Of course, it did! They bowed before him in Egypt when they came to buy grain from Pharaoh’s storehouse. Joseph, their “little brother,” was the “grain boss” in charge next to Pharaoh.
THE ADVANCED NATIONS OF THE DAY were also great trading and commercial nations, which required the use of ships to ply the Mediterranean Sea. Ship captains relied on the North Star as a fixed point for navigation. The North Star is still there in its place today and still used as a fixed point of navigation. This would be enough reason for their government to finance and keep on hand a crew of men who studied the stars. We should remember that only God knows the future and only God can design and control the future. God’s ship is the only ship to get on. But a warning goes along with God’s gift of the stars to communicate.
GOD WARNED THE JEWS DURING LAST MONTH OF THE LIFE OF MOSES: And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven (Deuteronomy 4:19).
THE PROPHET BALAAM, AS EVIL AS HE WAS, got it right when he prophesied: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel… (Numbers 24:17). The fulfillment of this was in David, who foreshadowed the one who was to follow him and sit upon his throne in Jerusalem. The Magi were 100% convinced that they had seen not just any star, but His Star.
HEROD WAS CONVINCED THAT THE MAGI HAD A REAL "STAR CONNECTION." Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared (Matthew 2:7). The Magi went on their way, …and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was (Matthew 2:9). Notice how they personally reacted to seeing the star again: When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy (Matthew 2:10).
THE WISE MEN WHO CAME TO JERUSALEM, LOOKING FOR A NEW KING were almost certainly influenced by the teaching of Daniel and written Jewish history that was passed down through wise men of Persia. Daniel lived to be an old man and had a well-established reputation for being Jehovah’s mouthpiece. Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. (Dan 6:3) They were wild not merely “star gazers.” They had a firm connection with the Lord.
THE APOSTLE PETER WRITES: We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (2Peter 1:19)
“AND THE DAY-STAR” - The morning star - the bright star that at certain periods of the year precedes the day, and which is a pledge that the morning is about to dawn. Compare Revelation 2:28; 22:16.
"…IN YOUR HEARTS" — Christ’s arising in the heart by His Spirit giving full assurance, the day has already dawned in the heart of believers; what they wait for is its visible manifestation at Christ’s coming. (Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown Commentary)
PETER SAYS WE SHOULD TAKE HEED UNTIL “the day star arise in your hearts.” He expected that to happen to the people he was writing to. How will you know when the day star has risen in your heart? You’ll be convinced of the certainty of Christ. How do you know when the sun is up? The day star in your heart is as self-evident as the noon-day sun overhead.
●This article is an edited reprint of “Good Morning December 13, 2007 and Dec. 7, 2017”
Read Through the Bible in a Year
DECEMBER 17, 2018 - MONDAY
A.M. Obadiah 1 P.M Revelation 8
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Good Verses to Memorize:
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Galatians 4:4-5)
Song for Today:
Beautiful Star of Bethlehem (4:10) (Ben Spear - Gaither)
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