Man in the Moon 3 - Sun, Stars and the Moon
I went to the Scriptures to see what insights God’s Word would reveal about what I had seen looking at the moon that night. I started in Genesis 1, and saw that at the very inception of creation, the sun, moon and stars were designed as a light for the earth to rule the day and its reflected light to rule the night, as signs in the heavens. Genesis 1:14-18 is the account of the creation of the sun, moon and stars. Although the words sun and moon are not used in Genesis 1:14-18, it is very clear that God preordained the design of the sun and moon to be a separation of day and night, to give light to the earth, and to be a sign for ages to come.
14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 Then 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 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. (NKJV)
In Genesis 1:14, God says the sun and moon are to divide the day from the night; because the earth is round the sun can only light half the surface of the earth at any given time, dividing day and night, but that is only part of the picture. Verse 16 tells us “God made two great lights;” and vs. 15 and 17 He tells us they are to “...give light on the earth.” The sun generates heat and light, so it is easy to see how it can dispel the darkness and rule the day. The moon on the other hand generates neither heat nor light, but it still rules the night, dispelling darkness by reflecting the light of the sun, giving light to the whole earth.
If the sun moon and stars are to be signs in the heavens, what wisdom are they supposed to impart? What are we supposed to importune when we looked at them? I found the answer in the first passage of Scripture that uses the word moon. The sun and moon symbolize a husband and wife and the stars their children; God Himself gives us this example in Genesis 37:9-10, with the prophetic dream of Joseph.
9 Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.” 10 So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you? ” (NKJV)
The prophetic dream God gave Joseph is filled with imagery, but I want you to look at only three points:
1 The relation between sun, moon and stars; the sun is the husband, the moon is the wife and the stars are their children.
2 This is the first time the word moon is used in the Scriptures.
3 God Himself uses this dream to establish the sign in the heavens the sun, moon and stars are to represent.
Neither the role nor importance of the woman nor the moon is ever minimized in Scriptures, the statement the LORD makes before He fashions Eve from Adam’s rib in Genesis 2:18 is another portrait of the moon describing the woman He fashioned for the man. “18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” (NKJV).
The Hebrew word נֶגֶד “neged” is translated with the English word “comparable,” this does not lend itself to the imagery of this passage. “Neged” means, in the sight or presence of, parallel to, in front, opposite; drawing a picture of the moon opposite to and in front of the face of the sun. God using this same imagery describes the relationship of a husband to a wife. This imagery was not lost on the Apostle Peter, he tells husbands to give honor to their wives and wives to be adorned with the hidden person of the heart, (I put the order man-woman to show the imagery.) 1 Peter 3:3-4 and 7 , Peter speaks to the wives first.
“3Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 7Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” (NKJV)
If we look at the honor the sun gives the moon, as the honor the husband is to give to his wife, a husband should light his wife’s countenance with honor and make her shine and the wife in like manner, reflect his light or honor back to the earth. Peter is not the only New Testament writer to use the sun giving light to the moon as an image of how a husband should see or present his wife to himself, or how the wife should show that light to the world. Read Paul’s admonition to the church of Ephesus in Ephesians 5:22-27: “22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (NKJV)
Paul is saying the same thing here that Peter did in 1 Peter 3:7, but he adds a spiritual dynamic to it. It is the husband, namely Christ that gives light and honor to His bride, the Church.
Because the words “lesser light” and “weaker vessel” are used in Genesis 1:16 and 1 Peter 3:7 respectively, some have misunderstood the Scriptures to put women in a subservient role, or worse yet as a second class citizen. I found the answer to this in of all places the same passage of Scripture that the words “lesser light” appear; Genesis 1:16 and its interpretation in Gen. 37:9-10. “16Then 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.” (NKJV) The statement “the lesser light to rule the night” is again only a part of the picture; the real clue is in the following sentence. “He made the stars also.” God did not paint the picture of the moon as merely a wife and bride, but as a mother. The glory of the man is the seed of life; the woman accepts that seed of life into her own body and a baby is born. It is in procreation that the glory of the bride truly shines. Genesis 1:27-28 tells us the first command God gave His creation. “27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (NKJV)
This first command has never been rescinded, we are to fill the earth and subdue it, in both a physical as well as spiritual sense. Look at Genesis 3:20 and 4:1
“20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” (NKJV) Motherhood is a gift from God, Eve’s words. “I have acquired a man from the Lord” gives God full honor for this gift. The next example from Scripture concurs with this; it is Sarah not Abraham that received the blessing in Genesis 17:16. “16 And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.” (NKJV)
I could cite Rachel or Hannah and the blessing God poured on these women, but look at the prophetic words of Isaiah 54:1 “1 “Sing, O barren, You who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married woman,” says the Lord.” (NKJV) God is speaking of the redemption of His chosen city Jerusalem and her children i.e. Israel. And again in chapter 62:1-5 of the same book; “1 For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns. 2 The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord will name. 3 You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, And a royal diadem in the hand of your God. 4 You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; For the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married. 5 For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” (NKJV)
If we utilize the imagery from Genesis and take what we now see from the preceding passages, we can tie it together with Christ’s call in the great commission in Matthew 28:18-20; “18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (NKJV)
The passage paints a huge picture; vs.18 God raised Jesus from the dead, giving Him all honor and glory in the heavens and earth. Vs. 19 Jesus gives His light i.e. honor to His bride, to make disciples, or more simply, children of light. As the bride of Christ, we are to procreate, taking the light and seed of life given to us by our Bridegroom and do what only a wife can do, make babies. In raising these points of light i.e. stars in the true Light, vs.20, we thereby give glory to our spiritual Bridegroom, namely Christ. Paul says in 1Corinthians 15:40-41; “40 There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.” (NKJV) Here Paul tells us the glory from the celestial is a visible glory of tangible light, yet we should reflect the spiritual glory of a greater intangible light. The sign in the heavens God shows us in the sun is a picture of Christ and a picture of a husband. The sign of the moon is a picture of a wife, mankind and a believer as well.
Quoting from 7700 Illustrations again, I learned; “The moon is 240,000 miles away, and the tides twice a day are usually a gentle reminder of its presence. Tides of the ocean run as high as 60 feet in some places, and even the crust of the earth is twice a day bent outward several inches by the moon’s attraction. All seems so regular that we do not grasp to any degree the vast power that lifts the whole area of the ocean several feet and bends the crust of the earth, seemingly so solid. Mariners and meteorologists have not been able to account for the “freak” waves that sometimes sweep the sea. One captain was piloting a ship when it encountered what he estimated to be a 100-foot wave that came down on the ship with speed like an express train. He believes that such waves overwhelming some ships have caused their cargoes to list. The vessels then roll over without there being time for distress signals. He thinks these accounts for their disappearance without an inkling of what happened to them.” The pull of the moons gravity induces the tides that wash the earth, change the barometric patterns that allow rain to fall and a myriad of other unseen actions that keeps life teeming on earth. Our prayer life and the Christ centered life we live does in the spiritual realm what the unseen effects of the moon does to the earth; the Holy Spirit washes the world and rains in our lives and the lives of those we pray for, bringing life sustaining Spiritual Water. His rain can fall inducing growth in His saints and softening the ground of the hearts of the unsaved, or as we saw from the freak storms above, He can also chasten and destroy without a warning.