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Thought for the Day by Alex Forrest (Voluntary Staff Worker)
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
Whenever I read Genesis 1 in all its majesty and beauty (which I highly recommend doing by the seafront at sunset!), I always get to this section of God’s creation and have to pause and sit in awe of God. The sun and the moon have for so much of human history been the ultimate expression of unchanging power and beauty in the universe, so much so that many primitive cultures used to worship them. And yet, our gloriously powerful God, who was around long before they were, simply spoke and they were there.
I’d never been one for stargazing in my life, growing up in a city where they are rarely particularly visible, until I went to Zimbabwe and Uganda on mission trips. It’s saddening that the air and light pollution we pump into our atmosphere hides most of them from our eyes, but in rural African landscapes with less industry, the beauty of God’s starry landscape is there for all to see. It’s well documented that “he also made the stars” is probably the most understated claim in all of scripture. The majesty of the night sky is reduced to one sentence in the almighty glory of God’s creative powers.
Whenever I read this, I think ‘surely this is the pinnacle of God’s creation. This is the sun, moon, and stars! How much better can creation get?!’ But we know what God created on the final day of his creation, before resting. He made us. The stars weren’t the pinnacle, the sky wasn’t the pinnacle, the oceans weren’t the pinnacle, the sun & moon weren’t the pinnacle. We were. We were the end result of his creation, he made it all for us to live in. He made the sun and moon so we could have an understanding of time, days, and years. He gave us light in the sky to guide our paths. He made the stars to signify his beauty and how he reigns in his heavens above them. If you ever doubt God’s love for you, remember that he made all these things out of love for us, so that we could give love back to him.
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