Who were these men? The Magi were said to be Zoroastrian priest recognized as physicians, astrologers and dream interpreters who cast horoscopes. In the King James, the term “Wise Men” was used perhaps in response to their discomfort in the term Magi which has occult origins. Would it be conceivable for God to reveal His coming in the flesh to the heathen? Think about it, God’s purpose was to redeem all men to Himself. In fact, the birth of Jesus opened the way for the gentile (translated over 100 times as heathen) despite the religious leaders of the day. The Magi found the King of the Jews lying in a manger where they had their own “God encounter” that was so revolutionary it would change their course and rumor speculated it also changed their hearts. And yet, the Jewish people and religious leaders missed His coming entirely.
What I find astonishing is that the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus were detailed in old Jewish scriptures. These scriptures were read in the synagogues, taught in their homes and were faithfully preserved to this day. They were waiting for a sign to appear telling of the coming king, yet when the sign appeared they missed it. Why? Perhaps the sign didn’t appear as they had interpreted or expected. Interesting the Magi who were charting the stars for their affect upon earth, saw the sign appear and when it did they traveled afar to find the King. Now I’m not by far endorsing the practice of astrology as scripture clearly warns against crossing the forbidden line assuming the stars influenced our lives and in resorting to worshipping the stars rather than the Creator of them. Frederick A. Larson on his web page “The Star of Bethlehem” explains it in this way, “A thermometer can tell you if it's hot or cold, but it can't make you hot or cold. This is the difference between "astrology" and what the Bible holds forth.”
What sign are you waiting for today? The second coming is foretold in the scriptures. Will the church be so caught up in its own theologies that it misses the sign of the coming king? Will we be so busy debating when the end times will occur and precisely how they will unfold that we forget to fill our lamps with the oil of His spirit and be left in the dark when the invitation to the wedding feast is sent out? Matthew 22:4-5 “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.” But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business.” Are we brushing off the signs of heaven? Wait a second; aren’t we supposed to avoid looking to the stars for answers? By all means yes, but remember the thermometer example and don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
There are numerous biblical examples of “signs from heaven” sent by God. Revelation tells of coming celestial events that will be signs of the end times. We don’t want to be so fearful of falling into astrology that we miss God’s own handwriting in the sky. The stars themselves are not the sin; one must remember who put the stars in their place. Our reverence should only be given to the creator, but that doesn’t mean we are to turn our heads from signs altogether. I suggest we need to discern the times in which we live and like the Magi, respond with action.
But what happens if we’re so set in our theology of interpretation that the signs don’t appear as we think they should? What if, instead of the clouds opening up one sunny day with all the saints being zapped to heaven in an instant, we see a giant planet hurling towards us? What happens to our faith when an encounter actually occurs and the entire planet undergoes devastation? Will you still be able to see the plaques of Revelation as the seals are opened in an instant? Now here’s something to chew on… did you know some of the pagans today are charting the current celestial events? Besides watching, they are preparing for what’s coming. Could history actually repeat itself and the Magi of the day travel afar and actually encounter God while the church misses the King’s second coming in the same way the Jewish people missed his first?
© 2011, by S. A. Tower
“America, will we go down in history as a nation with no room for its king. Will we be sleeping?” – Casting Crowns