Genesis 1:16 (ESV) … “And God made the two great lights - the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night – and the stars.”
Whole libraries have been filled with books relating to man’s studies of the stars. The Bible is not a handbook of astronomy or of any other science. However, each time the Spirit of God refers to a subject that can be scientifically investigated, He does so with unerring precision.
Moses, for example, declares, “God made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night” (1:16). How did Moses know that the sun was bigger than the moon? Ordinary observation would lead to the opposite conclusion. We have all seen the giant harvest moon, seemingly eight feet in diameter, hovering over the skyline, dominating the evening sky. We have never seen the sun look as large as that”. Ancient peoples thought the moon was far greater than the sun, and accounted for its lack of light and heat, as compared with the sun, by assuming it was very much farther away from the earth than the sun. Moses did not make that mistake. He said that the sun was bigger than the moon. We know, of course, that it is so much bigger that it could contain six million moons.
But Moses could have easily made the opposite mistake and said that God appointed “the greatest light” to rule the day. Many ancient peoples worshiped the sun as the greatest object in the heavens. But what a terrible blunder it would have been had the first page of our Bible declared the sun to be the greatest object in the sky! The star Antares, for example, is so large that it could swallow up 64 million suns the size of ours. And in the Auriga constellation the star Epsilon is so vast that its diameter is 3,000 times that of our sun and its volume some 27 billion times our sun’s.
With what astonishing brevity, too, God dismisses the creation of all the stars of space. He employs just five words—“He made the stars also.” What a perspective of truth. The Bible takes some fifty chapters to discuss the construction and significance of the Tabernacle. Yet it was only a very temporary sanctuary. Fifty chapters about the Tabernacle, five words about the stars. Truly the Bible looks at things from quite a different perspective from ours. The Bible is a handbook of redemption, that is why. It was nothing for God to create; to create He had only to speak. But to redeem, He had to suffer. That is the perspective of the Bible.
Had man written the Bible apart from the controlling inspiration of the Spirit of God, it would have been quite a different book. Chapters would have been written about the stars—the billion stars in our galaxy, the one hundred million other galaxies in known space, the postulation that known space is only one billionth of theoretical space. Sir James Jeans tells us there are more stars in space than there are grains of sand on all the seashores of all the world. God dismisses it all as of little account. The KJV puts it best as it says “He made the stars also.” God is more interested in people than He is in planets, more interested in souls than in stars.