“The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.”
(Psalm 19:1-2 NKJV)
My siblings were so excited about the six or seven inches of snow that fell yesterday. So last night, right after dinner, Dad and us kids piled into the van and headed to the biggest nearby hill to go sledding. It was dark, and we were pretty much the only ones there.
Every time I went climbing back up the hill, I would look up into the sky and see the constellation of the warrior Orion right above the peak. It’s the only constellation I know how to recognize – the three stars forming Orion’s belt are often the first thing I notice when I go outside at night in the winter months. Most people learn to recognize the common constellations of the Big Dipper or Little Dipper. But I can never remember where to find them.
Anyway, as I looked up at Orion, I was reminded of a series of allegorical books we have called “The Terrestria Chronicles.” The stories are set in a completely different world, but contain truths that apply very well to the Christian in our world. In at least one of the books, the main character learns that the constellations in his sky are symbolic for the various traits of the King (who symbolizes Christ).
As I remembered this, I wondered if we could say the same of our constellations.
What if Orion was to remind us that God is our great Warrior King?
“The LORD is a man of war;
The LORD is His name.”
“He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth;
With the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be His belt
And faithfulness the sash around His waist.”
Or perhaps it could remind us to put on the armor of God. For example, his distinctive belt could remind us of Ephesians 6:14 – “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth…”
And what about the other constellations?
The Big Dipper could remind us of many things. For example, it could remind us that we are to “drink” of Christ.
“For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.
He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.”
It could remind us of the Living Water that Jesus offers.
“but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.
But the water that I shall give him will become in him
a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
If you look at how the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper are aligned in the sky at certain times of the day and certain times of the year, it would not be difficult to imagine the contents of the Big Dipper pouring out into the Little Dipper. But what happens when a big container’s contents are dumped into a smaller container’s contents? The small container overflows.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
My dad always taught me that if I could find the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper, I would be able to find the North Star. Parts of the Big Dipper point to the North Star, which is actually part of the Little Dipper.
And what could this remind us of? It could remind us that Jesus (Big Dipper) came to point us the way to God the Father (North Star). And it can also remind us that we as Christians (Little Dipper) should abide in Him (North Star).
“Jesus said to him,
‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through Me.'”
“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men,
the Man Christ Jesus”
(1 Tim. 2:5).
“Abide in Me, and I in you.”
The North Star is the one star that we can always depend upon. It gives us direction. And it never moves. It is a good picture of our faithful God.
“This is a faithful saying:
For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.
If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
If we are faithless, He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.”
(2 Tim. 2:11-13 NKJV).
“Jesus Christ is the same
yesterday, today, and forever.”
Canis Minor was another constellation I thought of. It is, in my opinion, just about the strangest constellation out there. It’s just two stars connected together, yet it is considered the Little Dog! How on earth would you even be able to find it – and who came up with the idea of making it a constellation?
And yet even this could be a symbolic picture. For does not God take the lowliest of us and turn us into something great and wonderful? When I look at Canis Minor, I just see two stars with an imaginary line between. But whoever came up with it saw a whole figure of a dog in that tiny connection. The same holds true for us. We may look at our life (or somebody else’s) and think there isn’t much to it. But God looks at it and sees so much more.
“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise,
and God has chosen the weak things of the world
to put to shame the things which are mighty;
and the base things of the world
and the things which are despised
God has chosen,
and the things which are not,
to bring to nothing the things that are…
But of Him you are in Christ Jesus,
who became for us wisdom from God –
and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.”
(1 Cor. 1:27-28, 30)
There are so many other parallels that I could draw. Pegasus can remind us of Christ returning on His white horse. Leo can remind us that Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. The Bear can remind us of God’s great love for His children, for we all know how protective a mother bear is of her cubs.
And of course, all the constellations point to God’s great power and might.
“Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades,
Or loose the belt of Orion?
Can you bring out Mazzaroth [or literally, “Constellations”] in its season?
Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs?
Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you set their dominion over the earth?”
“He made the Pleiades and Orion;
He turns the shadow of death into morning
And makes the day dark as night;
He calls for the waters of the sea
And pours them out on the face of the earth;
The LORD is His name.”