The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
-The Gospel According to John 1:5
Night after night the natural illumination of billions of stars and reflective orbs goes unnoticed except for an occasional glimpse at the obvious moon. When the sun goes down, we use artificial light to focus our attention elsewhere.
Most of us live in areas immersed in artificial light. Streetlights, flood lights, porch lights, garden lights, gas station lights, stadium lights, airport lights, and the composite glare all detract from what can be seen in the heavens. City lights certainly keep one from seeing the dazzling brilliance of billions of stars and orbiting planets.
As a student at Moody Bible Institute many years ago, I looked out my dorm window located seven floors up from the street. I wasn’t able to see the night sky. All I saw was sky glow generated from the all-night lights of the densely populated city of Chicago. I remember feeling unplugged from what made me tick – the electric night sky.
Later in life, when I returned from business trips, I looked down on the massive grid of orange white sodium streetlights as the plane approached O’Hare airport.
Maybe you’ve seen photo comparisons between an industrialized country at night and North Korea at night. The photos are captioned to favor the massive lighting of the industrialized nation. North Korea is said to be “left in the dark ages”. But . . . maybe there is a tyranny of artificial light in the industrialized countries that matches the dark penumbra of dictators in others.
Let’s look at recorded night sky seasons of light.
One starry, starry night God covenanted with Abraham and made him promises (Gen. 12:1-3): “… I will make you a great nation … in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
Later in the Genesis account (Gen. 22:17): “I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore”.
Living in a time when there was no light pollution, Abraham could easily view the galaxy with billions of stars. Maybe he was looking at the Milky Way when God spoke to him about his descendants.
Two millennia later, another starry, starry night revelation confirmed that God would fulfill his covenant with Abraham and do it in a way that no one in heaven or on earth expected. Doctor Luke records what happened (Lk. 2:8-14):
There were shepherds in that region, out in the open, keeping a night watch around their flock. An angel of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
“Don’t be afraid,” the angel said to them. “Look: I’ve got good news for you, news which will make everybody very happy. Today a savior has been born for you – the Messiah, the Lord! – in David’s town. This will be the sign for you: you’ll find the bay wrapped up and lying in a feeding trough.”
O Holy night! The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth … in “David’s town!”
Remember the young shepherd boy David? He kept a night watch over his father Jesse’s flocks. The starry hosts not only provided enough illumination for him to keep an eye on the sheep, they also kept him company. And they gave him musical inspiration. From David’s Psalm 19:
The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
This rough and tumble God-hearted boy with enough stones to kill a Philistine giant would be chosen to be King over Israel. He was promised much more.
One night, God instructed the prophet Nathan to speak to David: “Thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel.”
Nathan then speaks of God’s unconditional covenant with David. God promises David that the Messiah (Jesus Christ) would come from the lineage of David and the tribe of Judah and would establish a kingdom that would endure forever (2 Samuel 7: 1-29). Another night sky revelation pointed the way to God’s fulfillment of his promise to David.
Some time after the birth of Jesus, a group of eastern scholars looked up at the night sky, noticed a particular star, understood its significance, and decided to follow it. When they arrived under the star’s location they asked “Where is the one who has been born to be king of the Jews? We have seen his star rising in the east, and we have come to worship him.”
It was under a star-studded night sky that Abraham heard God detail his covenant with him. Night after night thereafter the constant spectacle of luminous stars reminded Abraham of God’s covenant faithfulness.
It was to the star-studded night sky that David looked for knowledge of God and for inspiration. David intuited from the night sky what the apostle Paul wrote later to the church in Rome: For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made . . .
It was a star-studded night when shepherds were suddenly roused in their quiet pastoral setting. A brilliant celestial being – an angel – brought the good news of a savior. Today a savior has been born for you – the Messiah, the Lord!
It was a singular star in the night sky that wise men followed to find their way to a distant town and a king.
It is written “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun”.
Besides being blunt and depressing history and philosophy lessons, perhaps this verse in Ecclesiastes (1:9) can work as a motivator for us. We could seek out meaning above and beyond our mundane lives. Maybe a change in en-light-enment is in order.
Has technology blinded us to the heavens, to the billion points of light declaring the glory of God? It’s time we tone down the artificial so that we can behold the natural illumination of the night sky and gain a different perspective. The truth is out there, away from the city lights.
The light shines in the darkness, and the light pollution works to overcome it.
This is your season to shine:
Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. – Daniel 12:3
The following video discusses the effects of light pollution. Keep in mind that blue light, the closest to ultraviolet light, from electronic devices may damage your eyesight.
When was the last time you saw the Milky Way? The Big Dipper? Unadulterated night skies? See what you may have been missing:
Protests are happening
More protest video clips here:
Respect for Marriage?
Under this bill, religious organizations and business owners who do not submit to the government’s attempts to dictate Americans’ theology will be subject to legal scrutiny, endless lawsuits, and fines. Young, Ernst, Romney, Moore Capito, Lummis, and their seven other Republican colleagues who voted for the objectionable legislation were warned of its problems by legal scholars, legislators, and religious liberty groups including Ryan T. Anderson, Roger Severino, Rep. Chip Roy, Sen. Mike Lee, Alliance Defending Freedom, and Liberty Counsel. Regardless of those warnings, the GOP senators voted to proceed. (Emphasis mine.)
Why is Indiana’s Senator Todd Young in favor of this bill? I’m not in favor of it. I oppose it like many others:
Heritage’s November poll (see link below), however, found that 47 percent, a plurality, of voters represented by Sens. Todd Young of Indiana, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Mitt Romney of Utah, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming strongly oppose the legislation.
Heritage 5 State Survey (thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com) From this link:
These results show that voters’ opinions of the Respect for Marriage Act in these five states is not what is being reported. Voters in these conservative states oppose the bill and this opposition only grows when more information is given. It is clear that it will take more than a naming misdirect to convince the GOP base that this bill is not a threat to their religious liberty.
The Left is mental illness: