Did God give the stars for nations to worship?


by Shawn Brasseaux

Deuteronomy chapter 4, verse 19: “And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.” Did God actually give the stars as objects of worship to the nations? “For what saith the Scriptures?”

Originally, all nations had opportunity to know the one true God. Yet, they deliberately rebelled in unbelief at the Tower of Babel, choosing instead to worship and serve myriads of pagan idols. Historically, this is documented in Genesis chapter 11, but it is not explained until Romans chapter 1. It was here that God set aside the nation Israel in chapter 12 of Genesis, beginning with Abram or Abraham.

Romans chapter 1: “[18] For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; [19] Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. [20] For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: [21] Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

“[22] Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, [23] And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. [24] Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: [25] Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”

You can also read the rest of Romans chapter 1 (it closes at verse 32). Notice two more excerpts: “[26] For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections:… [28] And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;….” If ever you have wondered how the world, human society as a whole, ever wound up in the mess in which it currently is, simply look at the first chapter of Romans and all will be clear. We dare not speculate how the world religions originated: we just look at these passages and understand it. Astrology (worship of heavenly bodies), pantheism (“nature is God, God is nature”), and the like all began here. If that was what they wanted, that is precisely what they received—and the LORD gave them over to worship anything and everything they desired (including the celestial bodies such as the sun, the moon, the stars, and the planets).

Referring to the aforementioned evil world system and its adherents, the Apostles Paul and Barnabas preached to heathen idolaters in Acts chapter 14: “[14] Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, [15] And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: [16] Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.

Acts chapter 17 is even more explicit: “[22] Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. [23] For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. [24] God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; [25] Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; [26] And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; [27] That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: [28] For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. [29] Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. [30] And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: [31] Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”

Did you see how God, in time past, “suffered all nations to walk in their own ways” (Acts 14:16)? Did you notice their spiritual blindness in Acts 17:27 and ignorance in Acts 17:30? Remember chapter 1 of Romans! These are the results of the one true God giving the nations over to Satan back at the Tower of Babel. Before they came to faith in Christ, this was the condition of the Ephesians: “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others” (Ephesians 2:1-3). Verse 12 says of the Gentiles in time past, “ye were… without God in the world.” Galatians 4:8 comments, “Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.”

Worshipping stars and planets was common amongst Israel’s Gentile neighbors, so Moses in Deuteronomy commanded his Jewish brethren to be careful not to join them in that satanic activity. Fallen angels, evil spirits, still occupy these regions in outer space, rendering the stars or heavens unclean in God’s sight (Job 15:15; Job 25:5; Ephesians 6:12; Revelation 12:7-12). Unfortunately, the Jewish people ignored the Law of Moses—and worshipped and served idols like all the Gentiles around them. In fact, the kings of Judah (sons of David) encouraged such worship of celestial bodies: “And he [King Josiah] put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven (2 Kings 23:5). This evil happened right in the LORD God’s capital city of Jerusalem, though believing Josiah was able to reform the nation spiritually!

The concluding observation and application we can make here is simple: May we choose the truth, and not the error. JEHOVAH God values free will, so if we are content in learning and believing lies, Satan’s policy of evil will surely gratify us and we will be given over to it. If we want to know and do the truth, however, the plain record of Scripture is there (here), and let us be grateful that we have it!

Also see:
» Why does Ephesians conclude with such a “dark” passage?
» How could Satan access Heaven in Job and the Revelation?
» How does Satan operate today?
» How many angels fell with Lucifer when he transformed into Satan?
» Where in the Bible did God give Satan domain over the Earth?
» Why does God let Satan exist?
» Is there any chance more angels will leave God and follow Satan?