Think about the last time you were sure you misheard someone, only to discover what you heard was what they said? The resulting cognizant dissonance can result from shock, from abhorrence, from joy, or even horror. When was the last time you ran across a verse that caught you up short, shocked you, compelled you to every reference you could find to help you grapple with the dissonance in your mind?
I’m searching for an understanding of the Biblical Spiritual Cosmology. Honestly, I’m not sure what to call it, but from what little I can figure out so far, it is the spiritual reality alongside our own, where the “spiritual warfare” we don’t see takes place. It’s where the “sons of God” come before His throne, including Satan (Job 1:6). It’s the place in the heavens where the spiritual forces of evil collide with their Creator (Ephesians 6:12).
I want to know what we’re up against, the lay of the land, a map, to know the enemy and friendlies. I’m not having an easy time of it. Scripture seems to assume I know more than I do. Paul just leaves things said without providing a context. He’s provide oral teaching, and refers to it in letters without describing it further. He already has with his audience earlier, in person. But now, we don’t have that. What the stink is “the third heaven”? How many are there, for Pete’s sake?
Well, in the process of this quest, I ran across this verse:
And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.
Deuteronomy 4:19 NASB
I’m sorry, what? Our Creator and Savior allotted the “host of heaven” to all the peoples under the whole heaven? In the Theological Word Book of the Old Testament, it says He does this as “guides” not to be worshipped. The problem with interpreting this reference as “guides” is that the context is worship. But, this same entry claims that some Jewish commentators claim this passage condones idolatry among Gentiles. I’m confused.
Let’s set aside for a second whether this reference condones idolatry among Gentiles or refers to them as “guides”. Regardless, there is a sense in which they are given importance I didn’t know our Creator gives them. He allotted them to all people under heaven. Everyone who looks at them is supposed to draw some sense of importance from them, a purpose of their Creator, and ours.
Consider, for a moment, that almost every human religion ascribes some quality of deity to the sun, moon, and stars. It’s like the prevalence of flood geology. How is it that stars had such a perfuse importance to we, human creatures? And their proper relation to the “Peculiar People of God” is that we do not worship them like everyone does.
Here’s my dilemma: Since we are not to worship them, how, then, have they been allotted to us as also those under all the heavens? Not for worship, clearly, so what for? Are they “guides”, then for what? To where?
I do not know, not yet. But I believe it has something to do with the “spiritual cosmology” I’m pursuing. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, be sure to look up; not to then bow down to what you see, but, rather to marvel at the works of our Creator’s hands declaring His glory (Psalm 19:1).