Father of the Heavenly Lights
August 28, 2019
“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow” (Ja 1:17 NLT).
I had an amazing experience camping last weekend in a backpacking tent in a campground civilized enough to have an outhouse. I suffered through the first two nights doing the midnight run (120 steps) to the biffy in the cold and rain. By the third night, the weather had cleared and somehow, I slept through until 2:04. I walked the 20 steps from our tent to the main path and turned right, into a tunnel of pure moonlight brilliantly illuminating the 100 steps of straight path ahead of me. Tall evergreens on both sides of the path formed the tunnel’s dark and confining walls, but the path was clear.
This experience would have been noted and treasured by devout Muslims, who plead 17 times daily during their obligatory prayers to be guided to the straight path. An Islamic website describes Allah’s guidance to Muslims as the greatest gift of all, because it comes from his mercy and grace. And the moon is a popular (though not official or universally accepted) symbol of Islam.
I certainly took notice, particularly because I’m about to embark on a prayer journey in the Middle East. I felt the Lord was telling me that, though I walk through darkness and in confined spaces, He will clearly show the way and lead me on a straight path. Remembering the time, 2:04, I checked Ps 20:4 and found, “May He grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!”
Not only that, the One “who created all the lights in the heavens” uses the moon for His own purposes. The lesser light, it too displays His glory (Ps 19:1-4). “In the beginning, God [the Father] created the heavens and the earth…and the Spirit of God [the Spirit] was hovering…And God said [the Son, the Word become flesh] ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Ge 1:1-3). This triune Creator chose the line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through which to release revelation of His plan of salvation in Christ. I do not doubt that early desert dwellers worshiped the Creator in the clear air of long dark desert nights, but with scant and inaccurate knowledge of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, and an unsanctified source of guidance in Muhammad’s revelations, teaching and example, the early Muslims established a false religion (Isa 2:2-3).
Worship the Father of the Heavenly Lights using Psalm 19.
Ask for God’s mercy for those who are enduring today the repercussions of Muhammad “kindling his own torch” rather than following God’s words and ways (Isa 50:10-11).
Ask for the veil that keeps Muslims from seeing His glory to fall off all who are seeking truth about the Creator – and also off whole people groups whose Islamic identity is even stronger than their ethnic identity. Declare they will glorify God’s Christ!
Pray for the day to hasten when “every tribe and language and people and nation” belongs to the one who purchased them with His blood (Rev 5:9).