Shine Like the Stars

Have you paused to consider the encouraging words of Daniel 12:3? (Get the podcast audio version here.)

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”

Have you ever looked up at the sky on a dark night, a night without clouds, buildings and streetlights to dim your view?

As a child growing up in Spencer, IN, I enjoyed a rural night sky. And when I visited a village in South Africa, without electricity and without artificial lighting for miles, I witnessed a night sky filled with stars. Most recently, I enjoyed a family vacation to the Pennsylvania mountains, where we ventured into the night on a John Deere Gator to look up at the night sky, filled with stars, to identify some constellations. Stars are amazing features of God’s creation and deserve some attention.

  • Q. Which star is the closest to Earth?
  • A. The sun.
  • Q. How many stars are in our galaxy?
  • A. One. The sun.

What do we know about the sun?

  • It is BIG. In fact, 1.3 million earths would fit into the sun. Think of it this way. There are 6,500 Cheerios in a family-size box. If Earth was a Cheerio and the sun was a cereal bowl, it would take 200 boxes of Cheerios to fill the bowl.
  • It is BRIGHT. If you stare at it briefly, you will lose your vision temporarily. If you stare at it for 30 minutes, you may lose your vision for as long as a year. And if you stare at it for a long time, you will lose your vision perhaps for the rest of your life.
  • It is FAR AWAY. It is 93 million miles from Earth. To achieve a comparable distance, you would need to travel around the equator once a week (plus an extra week), every year, for 70 years. Let that sink it.

And this describes the sun, the only star in our galaxy. But astronomers tell us that there are 1 BILLION TRILLION stars in the universe. Compared to the rest of these stars, the sun is relatively small.

When you look up into the night sky, you will not see all of these stars. Distance and interruptions inhibit your view, even on the clearest, blackest night. But they are still there!

So when Daniel says that some people will someday shine like the brightest stars in the universe, what does he mean? He means that though they may not be visible, obvious and noticeable now in this present world, they will be obvious in eternity when the mess and muddle of this present world go away.

And who are these people? They are people who think carefully about the Word of God and draw insight from it, then live accordingly and persuade others to do the same. These people don’t stand out now in this present world, but that’s okay. They will in God’s eternal kingdom. And that’s what matters.

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