Friday, May 1, 2009
Constellations & Galaxies
In 1980 I sat in a garage in NJ which was the birthing house of our new church, still in its' infancy.We had no pastor, as yet, and guest speakers preached from the pulpit.One such speaker was a Chaplain at a nearby military base.
One day a group of us were chatting after our 'carry~in~dish' fellowship dinner.He began talking about constellations, nebulae , galaxies and their relationship to God. I sat transfixed.Holy smoke! Never had my attentions been drawn to the stars in the sky in such a way before.Now I was looking up and recognizing the Gospel story .(I should have been helping the ladies clean up in the kitchen, but I didn't want to lose or miss a single word that he was saying.I was glued to my seat).
When God spread out the heavens and assigned the stars their locations,He did so with purpose,one of which tells HIS-tory. "The heavens declare the glory of God;and the firmament sheweth his handywork."-Psalm 19:1). (Genesis 1:14-18 shows that the firmament is outer space.) There's a lot more in this statement than just looking upward at a star filled sky and saying ,"Yep, that's really cool! God sure outdid Himself!" Do you know that God named every single star ? "To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? Lift up your eyes on high,and behold who hath created these things,that bringeth out their host by number:he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power;not one faileth."(Isaiah 40:25,26) In Genesis, "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 for YEARS:And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.And 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.And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth."(Genesis 1:14-17). We understand DAYS and YEARS.The turning of the earth on its axis; the orbit of the moon; the orbit of the earth around the sun. Gardeners and farmers understand SEASONS and if you pick up a Farmers' Almanac you'll see a section for planting by phases of the moon and the position of constellations for best results.What of SIGNS,though? A SIGN is something that proclaims a message.It can't be astrology because God forbids this (Isaiah 47:13,14 Deuteronomy 18:9-14).
When God answered Job,He did so with a multitude of questions and a large portion of them had to do with His creation(see Job 38-41). "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.Who hath laid the the measures thereof,if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? "(38:4-5). "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of PLEIADES, or loose the bands of ORION ? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season ? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons? Knowest thou the ORDINANCES of heaven ? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth ?" (38:31-33) . Here is mentioned Pleiades,Orion,Arcturus and Mazzaroth.The Book of Job is the oldest of the Books of the Bible (written before Moses wrote Genesis thru Deuteronomy).It is believed to have been written around 1800-1600 B.C. The constellations of the zodiac were already known at this time.
Mazzaroth ( 'Mazzarah' in Hebrew) is thought to collectively mean the constellations of the Zodiac.
DR.James Kennedy,Ph.D.,author of the book "The Real Meaning Of The Zodiac"(pg 6 CRM Publishing,P.O.Box 40 Fort Lauderdale, Florida copyright 1989),writes:
"There exists in the writings of virtually all civilized nations a description of the major stars in the heavens-something which might be called their "Constellations of the Zodiac" or the "Signs of the Zodiac," of which there are twelve.If you go back in time to Rome , or beyond that to Greece , or before that to Egypt, Persia, Assyria, or Babylonia-regardless of how far back you go,there is a remarkable phenomenon : Nearly all nations had the same twelve signs,representing the same twelve things, placed in the same order.Archeologists, historians, and antiquarians have searched the dustiest libraries,uncovered the oldest tablets , ciphered the most difficult hieroglyphics, and have failed to discover how it is that in so many nations all over the world the same signs exist.
Remarakably, the stars in the heaven which represent those twelve signs bear absolutely no resemblance to the pictures of the signs themselves."
Arab tradition states these signs came from Seth and Enoch , the son and grandson of Adam.However, by the time the Tower of Babel was being built these signs and the true story they told were corrupted by pagan religions and were renamed after pagan gods.People began to worship the sun, moon, planets and stars.They believed the stars had influence over their lives.People still believe this and horoscopes are everywhere:on AOL and a multitude of websites,in grocery stores on magazine racks, the daily newspapers, etc. God forbids astrology and horoscopes, as we read in Isaiah 47:13,14.
Job states "By his spirit he has garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.Lo,these are parts of his ways;but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?" (Job 26:13,14) Another constellation is mentioned here, the CROOKED SERPENT. But Job is telling us that these are only parts of His ways. It is not enough to see God through nature and creation.
Isaiah 27:1 "In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent,even leviathan that crooked serpent;and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea."
Revelation 12:3-4a "And there appeared another wonder in heaven;and behold a great red dragon,having seven heads and ten horns ,and seven crowns upon his heads.And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven,and did cast them to the earth:..."
Revelation 12:7-10 "And there was war in heaven:Michael and his angels fought against the dragon;and the dragon fought and his angels,And prevailed not;neither was their place found anymore in heaven.And the great dragon was cast out,that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world:he was cast out into the earth,and his angels were cast out with him.And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven,Now is come salvation,and strength,and the kingdom of our God,and the power of his Christ:for the accuser of our brethren is cast down,which accused them before God day and night."
The constellations also show these three:HYDRA the crooked(fleeing) serpent ; CETUS (Leviathan )the Sea monster; Draco (the Dragon,the old serpent).
There are 12 major Signs(also referred to as Houses or Mansions) or constellations, that follow a 360 degree ecliptic , or circle (circuit).That line is really the path of the earth around the Sun ,in the course of which the sun seems to move 30 degrees every month .Twelve months x 30 degrees = 360 degrees.Back to the beginning of the first month.
In addition to the 12 major constellations are 36 decans (minor constellations or signs) that are connected with each of the 12.Each major constellation has 3 decans which further explain the meaning of these symbols.
In the next POST on this Blog we'll take a look at each of the Major constellations of the zodiac and identify each of the decans.