Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2012
The Bible and History
Text: Psalm 104:1-9; Revelation 1:1-3; 2 Peter 1:21; Daniel 2; Revelation 12:7-17; Romans 16:20; 2 Corinthians 5:17-19.
Perhaps you were dazzled this last week by the cluster of planets (Venus, Jupiter, and Mercury) along with a thin crescent moon which put on a celestial show in the sky. Even through a thin haze or city lights people were able to see a “line-up” of these bright planetary bodies. If you missed the show, you can watch it online (see below). It was a set of “stars” worth watching, better than the Oscars.
Some people believe that the alignment of planets and other celestial happenings impact our daily lives. They look to astrology (not to be confused with astronomy) to make decisions about romance, vacations, and even portfolios. J.P. Morgan once said that millionaires don’t need astrologers, but billionaires do. Does anyone need astrology? Astrology has been defined as “the study of the positions and aspects of celestial bodies in the belief that they have an influence on the course of natural earthly occurrences and human affairs”.1
It is true, there some celestial signs that predict Christ’s coming is soon (see Matthew 24:29). Yet, the Bible also warns us of false prophets that we should avoid. Relying on astrologers and soothsayers who study the stars to predict our future will lead us away from God (see Deuteronomy 18:9-14). Putting our trust in crystal balls and star gazers in order to gain some type of power or protection is not how the Lord of history guides people.
Our Sabbath school lesson this week begins with a question, “Is human history a meaningless series of events, or is there a central direction toward a specific goal, all according to a plan?” Who directs history? Do the movement of the stars impact who will be chosen as our next president or when the stock market will recover (or which girl you should ask out on a date this weekend)? God directs history and it is to the Lord we should turn for guidance about the future, not astrologers.
Look again at the story of Daniel 2. Read about the greatest astrologers in world history. They flunked the test. Even Daniel admitted that without God we cannot know the future. It is the creator of the stars who guides the course of history. We can turn to God alone for an understanding of what will take place in the future. If the Lord chooses not to reveal some things to us, we can leave it in God’s hands.