The human soul yearns to know the truth.
I could hear the hippos snorting in the river below as I looked to the great expanse of dark sky at the horizon and could see the large constellations Scorpio and the Southern Cross—brilliant, stunning like I’d never seen before! Pilanesberg, South Africa.
I’ve always been drawn to the sky ever since our family camping trips where we’d huddle around the last embers of the campfire and look up to see the stars. Sometimes we’d sleep out on the ground in our sleeping bags just to watch the sky until we fell asleep.
When I became a Christian I used to wonder how people before there was writing or people living in isolated cultures would be able to hear about Jesus if there wasn’t anyone around to teach them. Then one day someone taught me that the whole history of the universe is written in the stars. All anyone needed to do was look up!
The phenomenal thing is that the same message of the stars was across all ancient cultures. As far away as China is from Egypt, both cultures interpreted the constellations in the same way. The names for the constellations, the numbering of the stars within them and the names of the individual stars had the same meaning across all the ancient cultures. The Chinese, Chaldean and Egyptian recordings go back more than 2000 years B.C.
Of course over time, the stories got corrupted, but the original meanings remained. God’s plans, purposes, and promises were written in the sky before they were ever spoken or written down. And remember that before all the big cities and indoor living, people were either nomadic or if they lived in cities, much activity took place outside or on the roofs, so watching the heavens was a big part of their lives.
Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylonia taught people how to read and interpret the stars the way God put them there. Psalm 147:4 says: “He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.” There are references to the constellations and their messages throughout the Bible. They tell the story of Jesus, from before his birth to His life on earth, to His coming back in glory. That’s how the Magi knew to go to Bethlehem to find Jesus. They were taught how to read the heavens from their ancestors.
I learned the most about the true meaning of the constellations from a wonderful book by E.W. Bullinger called WITNESS OF THE STARS. Also there are some awesome works on-line at www.lcmi.org .
There are twelve zodiac signs. Between each zodiac sign, there may be several smaller constellations. Each constellation tells a part of the story of God’s plan. For example, Virgo (the virgin) is a woman holding a branch. The brightest star in Virgo is Al Zimach, meaning “the branch.” The branch in the Bible is Jesus the Messiah. Zechariah prophesied: “Behold I will bring forth my servant the branch” (Zech 3:8). And, “Behold the man whose name is the branch” (Zech 6:12).
Another star in Virgo is Zavijaveh, (I pronounce it java java). It means “the gloriously beautiful.” It’s in Isaiah 4:2: “The Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious.” In Virgo’s arm is a star whose name means “he shall come down and shall have dominion.” When the ancient people looked up at the constellation Virgo, they understood that there was going to be a promised branch of God who would be born of a virgin and come down on earth to have dominion.
The Egyptians recorded the zodiac in a circle on the ceiling of the Temple Esneh. You wouldn’t necessarily know where to begin and where to end except that the figure of a sphinx connects the two signs of Virgo and Leo. The word “sphinx” means to bind closely together. The sphinx has the head of a woman and the body of a lion. The story of Jesus’ birth on earth begins with a virgin and ends with the King of Kings, the Lion of God.
The constellations are rich with meaning. And no man can change their placement or their true meanings.
Psalm 19:1-6 says: “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.”
In all the turmoil of the world today, it’s great to have the assurance of heaven. When all else is dark, the glorious stars show brightest and their message is everlasting: Jesus Christ is the Messiah and the message of the ages.
Volume 1 of WINGS: A JOURNEY IN FAITH is available for only $5.00. Get your copy today for a better tomorrow!