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Monday, December 21, 2009

The Christmas Star

The Christmas Star

For more than a thousand years people have wondered about the star that led the magi to Bethlehem. Many proposals have been put forth—comets, conjunctions, supernatural phenomenon—and of course, each has its supporters. (I'll tell you the idea I support, if you ask.)

Why did the magi travel hundreds of miles to see the King of the Jews? What did they care about the Jews—already an outcast people for hundreds of years? So what if a new star or sign concerning a Jewish king suddenly appeared?

I believe the magi were Jews themselves who had been living by the Euphrates since the Babylonian captivity, descendants of the bright young Jews Nebuchadnezzar trained in all the wisdom of the Babylonians. Of these young men and of all the royal astrologers, Nebuchadnezzar had set up Daniel as head.

Daniel was a man of faith, knowledgeable in the Scriptures. He accurately prophesied the fall of the Babylonian Empire, the rise and fall of the Persian Empire, the rise and division of the Greek Empire, and the rise of the Roman Empire.

More significantly to the Christmas star, he prophesied that a command would be given for the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and that about 400 years would pass between that command and the coming of Messiah.

And so, I believe, the magi of the Christmas story knew the timing was right for Messiah, and they were watching for the sign: “A star shall come out of Jacob; a scepter shall rise out of Israel,” Numbers 24:17.

God is there for those who ask, seek, and knock. He rewards those who believe that He exists and who diligently seek Him. The magi were among those. May we all be.

Written by Jane Poole

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