Are You a Star? ...or a Comet?
"And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever," Daniel 12:3.
By Ken Raggio
God told Abraham that the number of his descendants would be as many as the stars of heaven (Genesis 15:5, 26:4). Certainly this was an amazing prophecy, considering that Abraham had no children at the time.
History has verified the validity of this prophecy.
There are now many millions of Abraham's descendants around the world. No one can even give an accurate estimate of how many sons of Isaac there are.
But there might be another lesson to learn in this "stars" prophecy.
Consider the fact that stars are all laid out in their places in the heavens, and their positions are fixed. They remain in the same location year after year, decade after decade, century after century. Navigators and travelers have for ages identified their locations and directions for their journeys by reading the locations of the stars. Many ocean-going sailors have been guided safely back to port due to the reliability of the stars.
Paul assured us that we have a "great cloud of witnesses," referring to the many descendants of Abraham who were also heroes of the faith. Abraham was not only the progenitor of a great race of people, but he was also the progenitor of a great company of believers in Jehovah God. "Stars" who light the dark nights of doubts, fears and unbelief. Heroes who believed God when few others did. These "stars" provide a fixed point of reference to those of us who also desire to follow God.
Fortunately for us, and the entire world, we have the steadfast examples of great men and women of God who have through the years proven their experiences with God.
Jacob showed us that there is no price too high to attain the covenant blessing.
Joseph left us an example of faith through the trials of life. He showed us that unwavering confidence in God will finally be rewarded.
Moses illustrated the powerful potential of obeying the call of God, by exercising supernatural leadership in the face of Egypt's pagan King Pharaoh. He never flinched when pressed to back down or give up.
Joshua proved that a man can keep the faith when everyone around him has quit believing. After forty years of bearing with his generation's unbelief, he still rose up in his old age and claimed the Promised Land from the hand of God.
Samuel was a child-prophet, groomed all his life for serving God. His ability to see and know the mind of God by supernatural revelation should inspire all of us to believe in the miraculous means by which God operates.
Daniel held tightly to his relationship with God, even when the powerful rulers of his day threatened to end his life for merely praying. When they finally came to throw him to the lions, he willingly suffered the penalty rather than compromise his position with God. And of course, God went with him to the lion's den and delivered him.
The three Hebrew children, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego would not violate their convictions by bowing down to Nebuchadnezzar's idol, even though they were warned that it would cost them their lives in the fiery furnace. Their sensational deliverance was a testimony for all times.
Jeremiah learned the virtues of steadfastness when God paraded the Rechabites before him. The Rechabites were not religious people, and professed no faith in God, but they had been taught by their forefathers against strong drink, and as a body, they had adhered to their grandfather Jonadab's teachings. They had been taught to be nomads and wanderers, and they faithfully kept to their upbringings. God rebuked Israel that day, because these heathen people had proved to be more loyal to their Grandfather than all Israel had been to their God.
In Numbers 25:7, Phinehas, a grandson of Aaron the High Priest, showed his loyalty to the principles of truth, righteousness and holiness, when he was moved by righteous indignation to execute an adulterous couple in the camp of Israel who flagrantly defied Moses' commands to stop committing whoredoms with the Moabite women.
ALL THESE MEN were noted for their faithful, unwavering testimonies.
They believed what they believed without being shaken by the oppositions that came their way.
In contrast, we have also seen "comets" passing through the night skies.
At first, it is not apparent that we are looking at a moving target. A comet often cannot be discerned at first. Its movement is indistinguishable from the other stars at first glance.
But careful observation will reveal that a comet is not reliable for navigation. Jude said that ungodly men "crept in unawares." These creepers (or "creeps") move fearlessly, unconcerned about God or His judgment. They are unstable; unlike a star.
These ungodly men "turn the grace of our God into lasciviousness" (religion that satisfied the lusts of the flesh).
Remember, God destroyed an entire generation of the children of Israel in the wilderness, because they FELL from faith to unbelief. And God cast down the angels who left their first estate in rebellion.
JUDE calls all such people, in verse 13: "WANDERING STARS, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever."
Are you a star or a comet?
Will you be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of God, or will you be somewhere else tomorrow, believing something different, changing your convictions, teaching a different doctrine, or losing the faith altogether?
We must earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints. We must hold fast to everything the Bible teaches is essential to salvation. We must not revise or update our positions without being careful to ascertain that every prerequisite is still being met.
Prayer is still essential. Fasting is essential. Repentance from dead works is essential. Baptism is essential. Being filled with the Spirit is essential. Holiness is still essential.
Remember, someone may be navigating by the light shining in you. Are you a star or a comet?
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