Contributed by Donald Alves
“And God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also” (Genesis 1:16).
With the arrival of the astronauts on the moon, the scientific world expected to discover many things that had previously been obscure. Without a doubt there was much speculation. For example, there was the suggestion that the moon at one time had been part of the earth and had broken off and became a satellite. We reject such vain ideas, and accept the testimony of the Bible where we read that God made two great lights.
The sun, the greater light, has a mass 333,000 times that of the earth. This is a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ Whom the prophet Malachi called “the Son of Righteousness.” The lesser light is the moon, which is a picture of the Church, and whose size is approximately one-quarter the size of the earth. The relative sizes are an illustration of the Church in comparison to the greatness of Christ.
Note now these following comparisons between the sun and the moon and Christ and the church:
The moon does not have its own light but reflects the light of the sun. The church does not have its own light but only reflects the light of “Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
God created the moon to shine in the darkness of the night just as we who are members of the Church ought to “shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15).
The moon retires when the sun comes up. The Bible says, “the night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12). Since the world has rejected the Light of the World, darkness has reigned. As the darkest hours of the night just precede the dawn, so this world will get darker and darker until Christ comes in glory to bring in the Day of the Lord. While the night becomes darker and darker, the moon becomes brighter and brighter, and so should the church.
Importance of the two lights
“Let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” (Genesis 1:14). Just as the moon is a guide for man, so the Church shows to the world the true Way to Heaven.
Moses blessed the descendants of Joseph, “with the precious things put forth by the moon” (Deuteronomy 33:14). The moon exerts a powerful influence on the oceans, and man still does not understand the total effect of the tides on the seasons and the weather. From the beginning, the Church has been a strong influence on individual lives and humanity in general.
The Church is the salt of the earth and impedes its total corruption. After the coming of the Lord to take the Church to glory, this world system will fall into moral disintegration under the dominion of the powers of darkness.
From creation until today, the moon has remained exactly in the place where the Creator located it, bearing upon its surface many scars indicating that it has sustained strong blows and much suffering, but never turning back and it has never deviated from its orbit. So is the history of the true Church. The pagan emperors wanted to annihilate and put out the light, but all in vain. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church, and the more the persecution, the more it grew and prospered.
When the earth is interposed between the sun and the moon, we are not able to see the light of the moon. Likewise, when the world is interposed between the believers and the Lord, we no longer reflect the true light.
The sun is always the same, but with the moon there is waxing and waning, and so is the story of the Church. She fluctuates in her love, testimony, and power as is seen the letters to the seven churches of Asia.
“There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead” (1 Cor 15:41). When the Lord comes to take His Church, we will be glorified with Him. In the heavenly city, “There shall be no night there; and they need no candle neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light” (Revelation 22:5).
Now is the opportune time to let our light shine. The light of one candle would never be noticed under the rays of the noonday sun, but when all is in darkness, we appreciate its light. The darker the night becomes, the more the believers light should shine forth. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16).