My husband and I were so excited when our children were born! We made numerous phone calls and sent out hundreds of photographs and birth announcements to family and friends. We wanted to tell anyone and everyone. God was also a proud parent regarding the birth of His only begotten Son. God not only foretold of this event in His written Word, but He also set the stars to prophesy of the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Understanding the Biblical basis for astronomy helps us see how much God wanted mankind to know about the birth of Jesus Christ.
In the beginning, God set up the heavens so that He could communicate His will and His glory to mankind. God has declared spiritual truths in the names and configurations of celestial bodies.
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Biblical astronomy is the true understanding of the names of the stars as they depict the coming of the Christ. While the true meaning of the stars’ revelation has been distorted over the years, the Bible tells us that the firmament shows God’s handiwork. God placed each celestial body deliberately in the universe, and the stars have names.
He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.
The ancient names of the stars have meanings which, when properly understood, make up the foundation of a true Biblical astronomy. This field of study shows that since God set the heavens in order, as is recorded in Genesis 1, He has communicated His plan for the coming of Christ and mankind’s redemption. In the stars, God wrote the story of the Messiah, His Son, Jesus Christ. Today some of the detailed and accurate meaning of the revelation of the heavens has been lost. However, by studying ancient records, languages, and astronomical terms, and by evaluating them in light of the written Word, enough truth can be seen to demonstrate some of the greatness of God’s wonderful revelation. God did not simply set forth a vague proclamation of His glory in the stars. He established intricate and perfectly timed movements of the celestial bodies to give a detailed representation of various aspects of His plan for mankind’s salvation.
Near the time of Jesus Christ’s birth, the constellations and planets aligned in significant ways. God’s birth announcement would have been unmistakable to any Biblical astronomer. Studying ancient astronomical records has helped scholars determine when Jesus Christ was born. The book Jesus Christ Our Promised Seed gives more information about the birth of God’s only begotten Son as it was revealed in the stars.
One group of spiritual men did indeed notice God’s announcement of Jesus Christ’s birth. Referred to in the Bible as “wise men from the east” (Matthew 2:1), these ancient scholars were known as the Magi, a religious caste in Persia. Because of their study of the stars, the Magi recognized God’s announcement that the king of the Judeans had been born. Prompted by this overwhelming evidence, they traveled all the way to Jerusalem and then to Bethlehem with unspeakable joy to pay homage to the Messiah.
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews [Judeans]? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
The star they saw would not have indicated a specific house, because that is not possible astronomically. It is also not recorded as being exceptionally bright, and the Bible indicates that the Magi were the only ones to take special note of it. How then did these wise men know that Jesus Christ had been born? They knew it from their astronomical studies.
Five hundred years before the birth of Christ, the Judean believer Daniel was appointed to be in charge of the Magi (Daniel 5:11). Daniel would have known about God’s plan of redemption written in the stars, and he could have taught them the accurate knowledge of Biblical prophecy concerning the birth of Jesus Christ. The Magi would have passed this knowledge down from generation to generation and were thus able to appreciate God’s birth announcement in the stars. They responded by making the long trip from Persia and giving expensive gifts to the king of the Judeans. How exhilarated they must have been to get to see the Christ, God’s only begotten Son!
We too can rejoice, knowing that God had a plan of redemption for mankind. And as we celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth, we can certainly rejoice that God accomplished His plan and sent His Son to redeem us. When we look up into the night sky, we can remember that God set the stars in the firmament to announce the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.