What Can the Stars Tell You?
THE starry heavens on a clear night are truly a magnificent sight, even to the naked eye. The silvery moon, the countless twinkling stars, the glimmering Milky Way—all of them appear so serene, so mysterious. It is only natural that one wonders: ‘Why are they there? Are they trying to tell us something?’
Since time immemorial, men have been trying to find the answers to these perplexing questions. Only relatively recently, however, have scientists begun to perceive how unsearchably vast the material universe is and, in comparison, what a tiny, insignificant speck the earth is. How absurd it is to imagine that all the thousands of millions of galaxies of stars, millions of light-years away, are there just to spell out our life and fate! They must have something far grander to tell us.
A Clear Message
Although some, as we have seen, endeavor to read in the stars mystical signs and omens, to ever so many people, the grandeur of the starry heavens conveys a lofty and elevated message that stirs their deepest feelings of awe and reverence. “The natural laws of the universe are so precise,” observed space scientist Wernher von Braun, “that . . . these laws must have been set by somebody.” Similarly, regarding the “orderliness of the whole universe about us,” former astronaut John Glenn noted that the only logical conclusion is that “some Power put all this into orbit and keeps it there.”
However, it does not take a highly trained professional or a great scientist to perceive this. For example, an ancient Hebrew king, moved by such a sight, uttered poetically what may well summarize the natural response of most of us. He wrote:
“The heavens are declaring the glory of God;
And of the work of his hands the expanse is telling.
One day after another day causes speech to bubble forth,
And one night after another night shows forth knowledge.
There is no speech, and there are no words;
No voice on their part is being heard.
Into all the earth their measuring line has gone out,
And to the extremity of the productive land their utterances.”—Psalm 19:1-4.
Just as a masterful painting tells us something about the genius and skill of the artist, so the stars, without speech, words, and voice, are telling us something. No, not that they are charmed or that they, in some way, are influencing our personality and fate. Rather, the order and design manifest in the stellar heavens convey the clear message that they are the handiwork of an intelligent and powerful Designer and Creator. As the apostle Paul put it: “His invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship.”—Romans 1:20.
The Force That Governs All Things
By studying the material universe, scientists are learning that all matter—from the largest galaxies to the smallest atoms—is governed by certain physical laws. And we are part of that universe governed by well-defined laws and principles, including laws and principles of morality.
The 18th-century German philosopher and educator Immanuel Kant, who is well-respected for his treatises on logic and reason, wrote: “Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and the more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above and the moral law within.” Yes, the one who created the laws that govern the physical “starry heavens” also created “the moral law within.” (Romans 2:14, 15) That “law within,” nourished and developed by God’s Word, can guide us in our pursuit of happiness and purpose in life. It is for this reason that the psalmist, after being moved to acknowledge the glory of God from observing the starry heavens, went on to say:
“The law of Jehovah is perfect, bringing back the soul.
The reminder of Jehovah is trustworthy, making the inexperienced one wise.
The orders from Jehovah are upright, causing the heart to rejoice;
The commandment of Jehovah is clean, making the eyes shine.
The fear of Jehovah is pure, standing forever.
The judicial decisions of Jehovah are true; they have proved altogether righteous.”—Psalm 19:7-9.
So, what do the stars tell us? That the Creator, in his wisdom and love, has provided not only physical laws to govern the intricate operations of the universe around us but also moral laws to guide us in our fast-paced and changeable society. No, God did not make us like pieces on a chessboard, whose “character” is predetermined and whose “moves” are controlled by the player. Rather, he provided us with moral laws that can help us to act wisely, but as free moral agents, it is up to us to accept and apply these God-given moral laws.
Where are these laws found? The apostle Paul tells us: “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) Yes, the inspired Word of God, the Bible, contains beneficial guidelines for all human activities. For this reason, the Bible urges us: “Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight. Do not become wise in your own eyes. Fear Jehovah and turn away from bad.”—Proverbs 3:5-7.