On the fourth day of the creation week God made the sun, moon and stars. “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: 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” Genesis 1:14-16. Rather than being gods themselves, which the nations surrounding Israel often worshiped, the sun and moon are creations of the true God. He placed them as “lights” to mark seasons, days, and years.
Today we are still marking and adjusting our time to earth’s position in respect to these lights God placed in the heavens. A full rotation of the earth with respect to the sun marks one day, and a full orbit of the earth around the sun one year. Monday there will be a total solar eclipse, where the moon will pass between the sun and the earth. This solar eclipse will be visible along a path of totality that stretches in a 70-mile-wide swath across the central part of the continental United States. Astronomers are able to determine when such spectacular events like this take place in the heavens because there is consistency in the motion of the earth and our moon as they revolve around the sun. While the placement of the stars in heaven does not determine our destiny, it does remind us of Him who created us. This uniform behavior of the heavenly hosts is an earmark of the great design of our universe. Imagine if we lived in a world where we did not know if we would see the sun the next day, or we could not predict the tides. Imagine if we had no idea whether or not our planet would suddenly veer off course and collide with another planet. There is order in the universe. Order requires an orderer. God created the world and fashioned it. It went from being without form, void, and dark (Genesis 1:2), to having a set formation, teeming with life, and lit by the lights of heaven (Genesis 1:3-31). How true are the words of David in Psalm 19:1-4:
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 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, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 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.
Some are critical of the Bible, pointing out how it speaks of God making the sun to rise (Matthew 5:45), when in reality the earth rotates and revolves around the sun. However, even though we have understood this truth for centuries, we still use the terms sunrise and sunset. While the Bible does not speak in contemporary scientific terms it does give an accurate account for the order we find in the heavens above. The weather app on my phone gives me the exact minute sunrise and sunset will be each day for my location. You see how precise the movements of the heavens are. Without this precision the space missions that have been conducted throughout the last half of a century would have been impossible.
So the next time you look up into the heavens above, or notice the precise times we are able to predict when the sun and moon and stars will be in a particular location in regard to our location on earth, remember the Creator who placed order in this universe He intended for mankind to inhabit (Acts 17:24-27.