Did you ever stop to think about the many perplexing and mysterious things about the Christmas story, especially the star? Many wonder how the magi knew that Christ was born just by the sight of the star. How did the star “stop” over Bethlehem? The short answer to these mysteries is that the Bible does not tell us, and we honestly don’t know for sure. However, the idea of finding out by scientific means just how these strange events happened seems to be often looked down upon by Christians, and I do not think that needs to be the case.
Stargazing Isn’t Sin
First of all, what is so evil about studying the night sky? Yes, some may have used satanic power along with it and that, of course, is evil. But what’s so wrong about studying the positions of the stars and trying to figure out the signs they show? Let’s really think about this, and not just make assumptions and rely on stereotypes as fact. Looking at what the sky might have looked like when the magi saw it thousands of years ago is not wrong. The Bible does not say that the study of stars’ positions is sin. Attempting prophecy and magic arts through what the stars “say” is most definitely questionable, but just looking at the sky and seeing what lines up with the Bible is not.
A fairly good argument can be made for the distraction that the science behind Bethlehem’s star and other spectacular Biblical happenings offers. If we get caught up in how these events happened, we can very easily lose sight of the importance of the events themselves, and not focus enough on God and how we can follow Him to the utmost. This is a real danger. However, if we keep it in our heads that our relationship with our Lord is not to be compromised by any amount of scientific details, then I believe it is perfectly fine to dig into the inner workings of what happened in the sky 2000 years ago. In fact, I have experienced amazing awakenings to the majesty of God’s creation and power through the study of chemistry, biology, the human body, and many other subjects. I don’t think that the study of the sky is any different, as long as satanic ideas are excluded of course.
Couldn’t God Just Make It Happen?
Some may shy away from looking into scientific studies of the Bible because they don’t want to get into boring scientific ideas, and just want to glorify God for what He did rather than explain it all away. I understand this viewpoint, but to me that’s comparable to refusing to study the human brain because we don’t need any explanation of how chemicals react in our body when we feel love, or when we lie, or when we are sad, because that’s not necessary, and God could just make it happen, right? Yes, God could just “make it happen,” but you cannot deny that the human brain uses physical methods of operating. That’s just the way God designed our body. It doesn’t mean that we are animals and don’t have non-physical souls that are responsible for how we act, but God has made a way for our emotions to function, and He has decided to make it physical. We shouldn’t get mad at people studying how God’s creation works because we like to think God just “makes things happen.” He can, and sometimes there are no explanations except a miracle for how events take place, but if there is, that’s just God’s way of accomplishing His goals, and it’s nothing to be scared of.
One very important thing to remember here is that we are talking about God. Don’t forget that God made all of creation, and He knows every intricate detail of it. He created our brain. He knows that He used chemicals to assist us in our emotional functions, and we’re not necessarily pretending to be smarter than Him by discovering that. We’re simply seeing just how complicated our brains are, and just how glorious God must be to have made them. If we hear about someone’s ideas as to what signs the magi saw in the night sky, then we should not scoff at them as if they are sniveling scientists trying to make God smaller than He really is. Many of them are only attempting to further understand God’s deep involvement in His creation and how He uses it to accomplish His divine will. There is much beauty in natural, uninterrupted creation if we allow ourselves to embrace it as God’s design and plan from the beginning.
The Star Of Bethlehem
There is a very good documentary called “The Star Of Bethlehem” that goes through a man’s theories about the famous star. He attempts to figure out how the star stopped over Bethlehem, what the magi saw, and other things having to do with the study of the stars that ultimately lead to the crucifixion. You may guess that he’s arrogant and prideful, or that he draws far too much attention to his ideas rather than the Gospel, or that the praise of God is swept away in favor of charts and mathematical calculations, but you’d be wrong. I was pleasantly surprised to find that he was a humble man who drew all the attention to the Gospel, and his efforts resulted in my personal praise to God for the indescribably glorious nature of His creation. I don’t know for certain if his ideas are true, but the evidence he offered is immense, and in any case he did a fantastic job of pointing out just how awesome our God truly is. I would encourage you to look it up.
So next time you hear about scientific theories regarding something in the Bible, whatever it may be, please don’t assume the worst. Of course, be on the watch for those who are prideful, for those who do try to outsmart God with their discoveries, and for that which may lead to the worship of science rather than God. But do realize that our Lord is not distant from His creation. It is, in fact, His creation. He created it, and He is intimately involved with every aspect of it. Don’t ignore what goes on behind the scenes of His masterpiece. Exult Him in all of it.
“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made…” (Romans 1:20)