Gen 1:14-19 "And 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 years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 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. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon 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 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day."
In this passage God prepares to make the sun, moon, planets and stars. We know those things exist in outer space, therefore this firmament is the outer part of the expanse God created on the second day. It might be termed the ‘closed’ firmament of heaven because, until the early 1060's, no human could go there. At that time we watched on TV as Alan Shepherd became the first American to go into space and John Glenn to orbit the earth. In the late 1960's we watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. Today human beings go into space all the time - near space. Man is still limited by his humanity from going too far.
God told Daniel, "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall be increased." (Dan. 12:4) Man’s ability to travel into space is a sign that we are in the endtimes. An increase of knowledge was required in order for man to develop the technology to be able to do these things.
In Gen. 1:14 God gives the first of several reasons for what he will create on this day: "to divide the day from the night." This goes again to the concept of separation. On the first day God divided the light from the darkness, which was a general, all encompassing separation, but on this fourth day he gets more specific. Later, after man was created, man would need to be able to clearly distinguish the difference between day and night. As mentioned earlier, the Jewish day begins and ends at sunset, actually, after dusk when the first three stars of medium size appear. In ancient times they actually had people watch for these stars and, after they appeared, then declared the start of the new day.
God then gets more specific: he gives five more reasons for what he will create on this fourth day. "and let them be: (1) for signs, (2) and for seasons; (3) and for days; (4) and years; (5) and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light on the earth. And it was so."
The first purpose was for signs. A sign is something that points to something else, for example, there is a sign on the highway that says, "MacDonald’s, one mile." You could pull over, walk up to the sign and order a Big Mac, but you would wait forever for your order to arrive because the sign is not MacDonald’s, it points the way to MacDonald’s. These signs in the stars point to prophetic events. Joel 2:31, Acts 2:20, and Rev. 6:12 all state that the sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood at a certain time in the future. When this happens it will be a very important sign of certain things that will be about to happen. In Luke 21:25 Jesus said there would be signs in the sun, moon and stars regarding the coming of the Lord.
God also said the lights would be for seasons. Our seasons are determined by the tilt of the earth in relation to its position as it orbits the sun. We have summer solstice (the longest day of the year) on June 22 and winter solstice (the shortest day of the year) on December 22. We have a vernal equinox on (or very close to) March 21 and an autumnal equinox on September 23. On these dates the day and the night are of equal length because of the tilt of the earth on these dates. Fun fact: it is possible to balance an egg on its end on the equinoxes. It may take a little trying, but I have done this many times. I don’t know the scientific explanation for this but I think it may have to do with the perfect balance of the earth on those days.
God went on to say the lights would be "for days." As already stated, the Jewish day starts when the first three stars of medium size are visible, so the beginning and ending of days are determined by stars, not by sunrise or moonrise.
He said they would be "for years." The Jewish calendar is very different from our Gregorian calendar. We are familiar with the concept of leap years. Every fourth year February has an extra day except in years ending in 100's that are divisible by 400. Our Gregorian calendar is a four year cycle based completely on the sun, i.e. a solar calendar. The Jewish calendar is very different: it is a luni-solar calendar in which the months are based on the phases of the moon, but the years are based on the equinox. The Jewish calendar is a nineteen year cycle, and seven of the nineteen years are leap years. In the leap year an entire month is added to the calendar, and the beginnings of the months are determined by the new moon. In ancient times their calendar was precisely precise, but since the year 453 they have been using a calculation rather than direct observation to determine their leap years. That calendar is accurate to one day in 14,000 years, but because they are using a calculation rather than direct observation, their seasons are currently off by 7.61 days. Click here to learn more about the Jewish calendar.
God’s fifth reason for the creation of the sun, moon and stars was to give light upon the earth. Not to light up outer space, but to light up the earth. He does not leave us in darkness even in the nighttime.
God placed the sun, moon and stars in the firmament that he made on the second day of creation, the day of which the Bible does NOT say ‘and God saw that it was good.’ As we have already seen, that firmament is currently inhabited by Satan and other fallen spirits.
Because the heavenly bodies are for SIGNS, they are prophetic: signs signify SOMEthing. God placed these signs in the area inhabited by Satan. This is similar to having your mortal enemy place a time bomb in your living room and you can’t do anything about it but wait for it to go off. Satan can’t disarm this bomb because as a fallen spirit he has no spiritual discernment thus cannot understand the workings of God. At Calvary he tried to destroy the creator but that didn’t work. 1 Cor 2:7-8 says, "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." No, Satan’s fate is sealed. The only thing he can do is try to take as many humans as possible with him to destruction, and unfortunately, he’s very successful at this.
Verse 16 tells us, "And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night." The sun reminds us of Jesus: it is always shining whether we see it or not; without the sun the earth would not be able to sustain life; and it is consistent, it always rises in the east and sets in the west. The sun emits three different types of rays. The heat ray is red, it is felt, not seen, and it witnesses of God the Father who no man hath seen at any time (John 1:18). The light ray is yellow, it is seen, not felt, and it witnesses of God the Son who hath declared the Father (John 1:18). The actinic or chemical ray is blue, it is neither seen nor felt, but its presence is revealed by its effects in a chemical action which produces changes such as in photography, and it answers to God the Holy Spirit who is known by his wondrous operations (John 3:8).
The moon is a picture of national Israel - God’s chosen people. The moon generates no light of its own - it reflects the light of the sun. God has always dealt with people on an individual basis, but he specifically dealt with the Jewish people as a nation. Once each year, on the day of Atonement, the high priest would go into the holy of holies, the dwelling place of God at that time, and make atonement for the sins of all Israel. The moon represents Israel because it has no light of its own, it reflects the glory of the sun (which represents Jesus). Because it is so close to earth it appears to be large, a whole, complete entity. It goes through phases: new moon, half moon, waning moon, and in the same way Israel shone brighter with the presence of God at some times than it did at others.
Gen. 8:22 indicates that the sun and the moon will continue to exist so long as earth continues to exist, and the same is true of Israel. Psa. 104:19 says, "He appointed the moon for seasons." Jesus spoke of the fig tree (Israel) and said that when we saw it shoot forth we would know that SUMMER was near. Prophetically the season of summer is the millennium when Jesus will reign on earth for one thousand years, and we would know that this time was near by watching Israel,
Verse 16 says "he made the stars also." Stars are a picture of Christians. According to Rom. 4:16, Abraham is the father of our faith. God told Abraham, "in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;" (Gen. 22:17; Heb. 11:12) Abraham is the father of two groups: the Jews, the earthly people, the natural seed, multiplied as the sand of the seashore; and the Christians, the heavenly people, the spiritual seed, multiplied as the stars of heaven.
Verse 17 says, "And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth." Notice "God set…" He literally placed the sun, moon and stars in their appointed places. Psalm 8:3 says, "When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained…" This verse tells us that God placed the stars with his fingers. The word ‘ordained’ literally means set or appointed. Psa. 147:4 (confirmed Isa. 40:26) says, "He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names." God actually numbered and, he himself, named the stars. We will learn later that Adam named the animals, but God himself named the stars.
Psa. 19:1-6 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof."
Psalm 19 tells us the heavens declare the glory of God, the firmament shows his handiwork, and both day and night show knowledge which can be understood by every language. All of humanity is able to read the message written in the heavens. The declaration of the heavens, the wisdom and knowledge demonstrated in the stars, is the Zodiac, but not as understood by current day astrology. Astrologers believe that events in our lives are predetermined by what sign we were born under, but this is what God says about astrology: Isa 47:12-14 "Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail. Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it."
God is not impressed with astrology, and he will judge those who are involved with it.
Still, those constellations are out there, and the Bible says the stars are for signs, God named them and they show knowledge – what are we to make of this? Up until Genesis 11 the whole earth was of one language, and it is very interesting that in the various languages of the world the names of the stars all have the same meaning and the names are traceable to the same root meanings.
The various constellations are represented by pictures, although the actual star groups don’t look like the pictures that they’re supposed to represent. Throughout history, from language to language and culture to culture, the same pictures have been assigned to the star groups, which leads me to believe that these ideas originated prior to Genesis 11, in other words, when God named the stars and set them in their appointed places. When God did this he actually set the gospel in the heavens. In the form of prophecy, he declared the course of the spiritual warfare that would occur in human history. God placed this declaration of his will in the area inhabited by Satan and other fallen spirits, and there was absolutely NOTHING that Satan could do about it - his fate was sealed and declared.
God has always given man an unchangeable record that he could read, but until the time of Moses (about 1500 B.C.) the word of God was not written down on paper or stone or papyrus. I believe God used the heavenlies for the first 3500 years of human history. The record in the stars will continue to proclaim the same message until the time comes when God destroys this present heaven and earth and creates a new one, and the record that is written in the stars cannot be altered. The only recourse left to Satan was to pervert it, and this is the origin of astrology. The tower that was being built in Babel was to be used for worship of the heavens: this is why God confounded the languages. Astrology is as old as man and it is an abomination to God. Man was not to worship the stars, but to learn God’s message from them. Today, thankfully, we have the written word.
The word zodiac is from the G. word zodiakos and is defined as a way or a path, or going up by steps. The Zodiac consists of twelve major constellations, each of the twelve having three sub-groups or decans. The twelve signs are divided into three series of four groups each, presenting Jesus as the suffering savior, the glorified redeemer, and the reigning judge. Each of the four groups present their story in a specific sequence: the person of the redeemer in prophecy and promise; the work - grace; the work - conflict; and the fulfillment of the prophecy in victory and triumph. Some people have speculated that the Sphinx, the Egyptian statue with the head of a woman and the body of a lion, was built to show that the Zodiac begins with Virgo (the virgin) and ends with Leo (the lion).
There are several books available that fully develop the themes, pictures and names represented in the Zodiac. One of my favorites, The Witness of the Stars by E.W. Bullinger, is available on Amazon.
When God placed the stars in the sky and named them, he declared the important facts of history, including the existence and works of Satan which would be completely judged and destroyed by Jesus Christ through his birth, death, resurrection and return. Did Satan perhaps have a little panic in his heart on the fourth day of creation? I sure hope so. God is faithful. He put these pictures in the sky so man would have a revelation of what God intended to do before there was a written word. The pictures were placed in the dwelling place of Satan and they absolutely prophesy his failure and judgment, which is why he has perverted their true meaning through the use of horoscopes. The constellations in the sky, their movement in relationship to one another, and which one happened to be prominent at the moment of birth of ANY individual have absolutely no value as personal prophecy. Instead, they prophesy the destruction of Satan and the blessing of those who come to God on his terms.