THE NORTH STAR, a devotion for 16 June 2017 Anno Domini
21 And he brought the ark into the tabernacle, and set up the vail of the covering, and covered the ark of the testimony; as the Lord commanded Moses. 22 And he put the table in the tent of the congregation, upon the side of the tabernacle northward, without the vail. 23 And he set the bread in order upon it before the Lord; as the Lord had commanded Moses. 24 And he put the candlestick in the tent of the congregation, over against the table, on the side of the tabernacle southward. 25 And he lighted the lamps before the Lord; as the Lord commanded Moses. 26 And he put the golden altar in the tent of the congregation before the vail: 27 And he burnt sweet incense thereon; as the Lord commanded Moses. Ex 40:21-27 (KJV)
The North Side, or Sides of the North, is generally conceded to be the side representing the Place of God. Though the Ark of the Covenant, the Mercy Seat, and the Curtain of the Holy of Holies was on the east side of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, this more accurately represents the approach of the King of Kings at His Coming – bringing in His trail Mercy and Grace. The Tabernacle faced away from Mount Zion and toward the East away from Law and toward Mercy and Grace. But on the north side of the Holy of Holies (without the veil) was the Table containing the Shewbread. This is the Bread of Heaven which is Christ. On the south side of the same foyer was the table of the Candelabrium representing also the Light of Christ by means of the Holy Ghost in leading us to Christ. Before we approached the Altar of the Mercy Seat (behind the curtain) we must come by way of (between) the Bread and Light of Heaven.
But the North Side represents the unchanging nature of the fullness of the Godhead. The archangel, Lucifer, fell from his role as attendant at the Throne of God, and was cast down as Satan, owing to his ambition and pride to become “like the Most High” (on the north sides). 12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the SIDES OF THE NORTH: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Isaiah 14:12-14 (KJV)
For many centuries, the North Star, or Polaris, meaning Polar Star, has served as the celestial body upon which seaman, and even land travelers, have used to compute their navigation. It is so close to the axis through the polar cap that it has led many ships and travelers to safe harbor. It is very much a physical illustration of the Word of God in leading His elect children to safe harbor beyond the restraints of this worldly existence. The North Star can be considered an inexact physical representation of God. It has been identified in a variety of cultures as a source of sure guidance. In Old English, the North Star was called the “Scip-Steorra” or Ship Star. In the Hindu, the star was called the Dhruva, meaning fixed or immovable. In the medieval period, it was referred to as the Stella Maris (Star of the Sea) in 1270 (Bartholomeus Angelicus). An older English name was simply ‘lodestar’ which meant “Guiding Star.” This latter name was perhaps heavily influenced by the Old Norse (Leiðarstjarna) and Middle High German, Leitsterne (Leading Star).
Like the fullness of the Triune Godhead, the North Star is not one star, but three. Yet it is still one North Star just as the Trinity is One though comprised of Three Persons. NASA released images taken from the Hubble Telescope that reveals three members of the Polaris ternary system, all of which are part of the Ursa Minor constellation. The third star (Polaris B) comprising the North Star was discovered by William Herschel in 1780.
The North Star lies in an almost perfect plumb line with the polar axis of the earth, all other heavenly bodies seem to rotate around it. This fixed position affords many benefits of navigation. Being the singular star to dominate that empty space, it is clearly discernible from all other stars. “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. Job 26:7 (KJV) God did, indeed, hang the earth upon nothing as proven by satellite images from deep space.
Man has always presumed to be, as the failed Lucifer, like God. The greatest of English writers has Julius Caesar, who in actuality did presume to be God, say: ““I’m as immovable as the northern star, whose stable and stationary quality has no equal in the sky. The sky shows countless stars. They’re all made of fire, and each one shines. But only one among all of them remains in a fixed position. So it is on earth. The world is full of men, and men are flesh and blood, and they are capable of reason. Yet out of all of them, I know only one who is unassailable – that is me!” Act 3, Scene 1, Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare. How did Caesar fare following that pretentious comment? He was brutally murdered outside the Roman Senate by men presumed to be compatriots and friends. Rather than being unchanging, his body molded and was eaten by worms just as the way of all mankind.
As our North Star, Jesus Christ is truly unchangeable and immutable. “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” Mal 3:6 (KJV) and “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Heb 13:8 (KJV)
There is no North Star to compare with the Wisdom and Counsel of the Lord. Just as in the Wilderness, the Tabernacle faced to the East, so did the early churches face to the east awaiting the expectant arising of the Sun of Righteousness – see Malachi 4:2. Just as surely as our own universal Star – the Sun – rotate around Heaven under the watchful eye of the North Star; so does the Sun of Righteousness revolve about the perfect Will and purpose of the Triune Godhead.
If you have lost your way on the rough Road of Life, there is a North Star to guide you aright. If you learn to know that North Star (which is so easy to identify, you will know the Way you should go: ““I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 (KJV)
The gate of the Temple at Jerusalem opened directly to the East. Only at the Spring equinox did the sun rise at precisely 090 degrees from the Temple. This was the time of Passover, and this orientation symbolized Christ rising as our Passover. The earthly sun rose precisely into the gate of the Temple at that time, and the Sun of Righteousness will arise as our Passover in the discretion of God’s timing. That dimly lit North Star will be transformed into the brightness of the Sun at His Coming. “19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your heart.” 2 Peter 1:19 (KJV) Believe it or not, our own sun is merely an average-sized star. So what makes it so bright and of great warmth to us? In other words, what makes it a SUN? Betelguese is 700 times larger than the sun and 1400 times brighter. Five million suns would fit into Antares. So why does our sun appear so big and bright? It is because of its nearness to us. What makes the Lord Jesus Christ so warm and of such brightness to us? It is because of His nearness to us as the brightest Star in our Heaven. “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”,Prov 18:24 (KJV)
Without the Word of God as our perfect celestial navigation, it would be impossible to follow on the course He has ordained for us to walk in. We must study the astronomy of Heaven to know that Star: “15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15 (KJV)
Our best Star of Guidance, once we have studied the Chart and Compass of Heaven is faith: 6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Heb 11:6 (KJV) It is possible to know many Scriptures, and be able to quote them profusely; but without being combined with FAITH, they will mean little to us.