Daily Readings and Thought for January 22nd. “SUN, MOON & STARS”
In both our Genesis and Matthew readings today we have reference to the sun, moon and stars – and in neither case are they to be understood in a literal sense. The context makes this evident. In Genesis Joseph has a dream and tells his parents and brothers about it. “Behold I have dreamed a dream. Behold the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me” [37 v.9] His father has no doubt as to what the dream symbolises and says, “ ‘Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?’ And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind” [v.10-11]. Our minds moved forward to the time of Mary and how she kept the sayings about Jesus in mind in her heart. (Luke 2 v.19, 51)
The jealousy of the brothers is the trigger that creates a sequence of events that leads to the fulfilment of this dream – another example of how God weaves in the actions prompted by human nature, to bring about his purpose. It is also the way he oversees the character building of those he is calling to serve him.
In Matthew 24 Jesus says the sun, moon and stars will be a sign of his coming. The time of great tribulation comes to an end when “the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken” [v.29]
While we do not exclude a possible application in some physical sense, the saying has an application to a total crisis and collapse of earth’s ruling powers; the “earth (i.e. the people on earth) will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect …” [v.30-31]
As we see world Governments more and more in crisis – and financial matter may be a major factor in this as people and nations worship money instead of God, let us remember these words and build up our faith in these words, because we cannot have faith in human beings, but we must not be like the foolish virgins we will read about tomorrow.