I like catchy titles, so I’ll do the right thing and let you know up front that this post pretty much has nothing to do with Matthew 16:19. Haha.
I was inspired to share this story/astronomy lesson after I read Brandon’s post in which he nerded out astronomically and theologically. I LOVE astronomy, and it unfailingly leaves me in awe of our Creator. So here’s a story of one time that I was struck with awe at the workings of God’s power as seen in astronomy.
Imagine you’re a dedicated Christian who doesn’t struggle with doubt, who is giving up all to follow Christ, and is spending your college years growing closer to Him. You climb into a shuttle on your way back to an unaccredited Bible school (so clearly you’re there for the right reasons) after the Christmas holidays, and two minutes into the ride, your driver is trying to convince you that the Bible is true. And he never gives you a chance to say that you actually already believe that the Bible is true. But you’re too polite to break into his gentle (though unceasing) defense of the reliability of Scripture. So you listen as he preaches to the choir.
Yeah, this happened to me, haha. But it really wasn’t so bad, especially since the main argument he was using was SO. COOL.
The first words he spoke to me once we started moving were, “Hey, I want you to do something for me. Look up Job 38:31.” Grinning ear to ear and excited about where this conversation might go, I pulled out my phone (my Bible was packed away in another suitcase) and read,
Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?KJV
He then began to tell me about his educational background a bit, and how he had studied astronomy. Some of the information he gave me I already knew, some of it I didn’t, but I had certainly never connected it all the way he presented it to me on that 15-minute shuttle ride.
To the naked eye, it can look like a single star at first glance. But the Pleiades is a (gorgeous) star cluster, comprised of seven main stars.
“Can you bind the Pleiades?” In context, God is asking Job a series of questions, and the implication is that Job is incapable of doing the awesome things God can do.
“Go ahead, Job. Show Me that you know better than I do. Bind seven stars together.”
God did that. The Seven Sisters, as they travel around the Milky Way, travel together, bound by gravity.
But that actually wasn’t the point that my shuttle driver wanted to make. See, these Seven Sisters are doomed. They won’t always be bound. So the question shifts. Job can’t even bind a star cluster in the first place; can he keep one bound that is destined to fall apart?
Can he undo what God has set into motion? What God has loosed, can he bind together?
What about us? Are we fighting God? Or submitting to Him?
Rest in Jesus, dear friends.
And come back next week if you want to hear the rest of the story – the continued profundity of this verse when it talks about loosing the bands of Orion! 🙂
Blessings in Jesus,