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Friday, December 10, 2010

The theology of the star.

After I posted my Christmas version of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star I got an anonymous comment saying the following:

...I thought you may be interested to know, though, that the wise men (astrologers actually) did not visit Jesus when he was a baby. By the time they reached him he was a young child. (Matthew 2:1-12) Also, the star that lead them to Jesus was not sent by God. If you read the account closely you will find that the star lead them first to King Herod who wanted Jesus killed. It would not be logical to think that God would use astrology, something the Bible warns against and that God abhors to announce the birth of Jesus. (Isaiah 47:13-15; Deuteronomy 18:10-12) It was only because God intervened by means of a divine dream that stopped them from returning to Herod. These facts point to the star coming from an evil source, most likely Satan. The Bible describes him as using “lying signs and portents.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9). It is also noteworthy that God did announce Jesus' birth by miraculous means by sending an angel to appear to a group of shepherds and announce the birth and provide directions so they could go and see Jesus. Then a multitude of angels appeared and praised God. (Luke 2:8-4)...

I knew that  the wise men didn't finally arrive until much later, certainly not appearing in the manger scene as often depicted, but the idea that the star is of the devil is far from what I've ever heard!  I dug in my Bible today, reading all these verses, but just didn't pick up the same idea.  I'm no good when it comes to theology so I wanted to put this out there to see what YOU know/believe about the star that led the wise men to Bethlehem.  I don't want this to be an attack or debate really of any sorts, just trying to get some information because I'm curious!


Paul said...

The story of the Magi and the star simply does not say who made the star appear. Reading through the passage in Matthew 2, the sequence of events is interestingly different than what I have always thought of:

1. The star appeared ("rose").
2. The Magi saw it and recognized that it was the star of the king of the Jews.
3. The Magi went to Jerusalem to find out where to find the King of the Jews whose star they had seen rise.
4. The Magi talk to Herod and inquire where they may find the King of the Jews.
5. Herod talks to the chief priests and teachers of the law to find where the Messiah was to be born
6. The chief priests and teachers of the law tell Herod that, on the basis of prophecy, the child is to be born in Bethlehem.
7. Herod sends the Magi to Bethlehem with instructions to report to him when they find the child.
8. The Magi leave Jerusalem to go to Bethlehem.
9. The star goes ahead of the Magi and leads them to where the child was.
10. The Magi found the child with Mary and worshiped him.
11. The Magi are warned in a dream and return to their home country by a way that avoids Herod.

It is interesting that the star did not lead the Magi until after Herod had told them that the King of the Jews would be born in Bethlehem. Somehow they saw the star rise and recognized it as pointing to the coming of the King of the Jews. Naturally they went to Jerusalem, which was the capital city of Judea, to find this king. It was common sense, not a star, that led the Magi to Jerusalem. It would be kind of like going to Washington D.C. to meet the new President of the USA. It is only after the Magi are directed to Bethlehem by Herod that the star begins to go ahead of them and stop over the place where the child is.

I think it would be a stretch to attribute the rising of the star to Satan, though I don't think it can be ruled out either; the text doesn't say how it rose, only that it did rise. Even if it were a sign placed by Satan for evil purposes, God allowed it and worked it for good so that the Magi could meet and worship Jesus.

jaesi said...

HUH?!!! that is just silly.

The star represents love and light..from the Lord.
and that is that.

Kasandra said...

Woo! What an intense comment (from a person who doesn't self-identify) for a sweet, fun blog. I thought your song was adorable, and I'm not about to rip the star off the little nativity set in my home any time soon :)

Erin said...

I think the most amazing thing about the account of the Magi is the simple fact that even at Jesus' birth, people (Gentiles) from other nations were coming to worship him. There had to be divine intervention.

Every knee shall bow!!

Anonymous said...

Matthew 2:2
"Where is the one who has been born king of Jews? WE saw the star in the east and have come to worship him.
God is light always the brightest!!
wonderful song to sing to your blessings from God.

S Club Mama said...

We talked about the star leading the Magi to baby Jesus; however, I don't believe the star was from Satan.
The star lead the wise men west. We talked about why they stopped in Jerusalem to speak with Herod. We figured the star would be out at night so perhaps they stopped for the night and Herod heard of why they were traveling. Then the star lead them to Bethleham.

I think the star was from the Lord. :)

Bethany said...

Jeb and I discussed this the other night and neither of us can agree with the comment. I don't think Satan has control of the whole universe (stars, sun, moon etc). He is the prince only of this world. I think that God put the star there because he WANTED the world to know that Jesus had been born! Why else did he make the announcement to the angels?! Also, the wisemen who were studying the stars were definitely into astronomy (study of the stars) which is NOT the same as astrology. It doesn't say if these men knew God or not but He put it on their hearts to go find the new King - they recognized that it was an important event.
It only does harm when we read more into scriptures than what God put there for us.

patsy said...

WOW is correct. I have never heard such a interpretation of scripture before. Paul and Bethany, I agree with the both of you that it was a God thing. But I too will look into this some more.