The Star of Bethlehem

The Star of Bethlehem

The Star of Bethlehem

“We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him” — Matthew 2:2

Right from the outset God gave stars as a means for navigation (Genesis 1:14). Here again, a star led the wise men to Bethlehem where the new-born King of the Jews,  Jesus, was cradled in a manger. Man, however, has not just used the stars for navigation but began using them for guidance, and today millions of people are being influenced by stars.
There is no question that man needs guidance. If he does not seek it from God, he will automatically seek it from another source – and stars became “another source”. People want to know about their lives and their future, but where should they go to and from whom should they seek it?
Let us consider a little:
Some will claim an 80% accuracy rate of horoscopes. However, it has been indicated that 5% is a realistic rate.1 In a famous experiment (Carlson Experiment), it was found that the astrologers could do no better at predicting the future than random chance.2 In another article by Scientific America it stated that lots of people are looking for ways to interpret the stars for advice, but that the short answer if there is any science to back up whether astrology impacts our personality and our lives is no, none whatsoever.3
I ask you then, would you place your confidence and hard-earned money in an investment house that could only provide a 5% success rate at best with its investments, and even that not guaranteed? I’m convinced your answer would be no! But is there an alternative? Is there something better? Is there truth upon which we can confidently lean and rely?
Let us consider a little further:
In the Bible there are 735 prophecies. More than 600 of these have been fulfilled.4 The remainder are not inaccuracies but prophecies related to what is known as “end-time prophecies” waiting to be fulfilled. Scripture has a 100% accuracy rate, and we are seeing a lot happening presently that are forerunners leading up to these unfulfilled prophecies coming to pass. What is astonishing is that the prophecies are not made yesterday about today, or made today about tomorrow; the majority were made between 600—2500 years beforehand. Christ’s crucifixion was prophesied 1000 BC, before crucifixion had even been invented, and there are over 300 prophecies in the Bible relating to Christ.
It has been calculated that the probability of accidentally fulfilling just 8 of the more commonly known prophecies, about Christ, in the life of one man is 1 in 1017 (one hundred quadrillion), which is impossible. Fulfilling 16 is 1 in 1045 chance, and fulfilling 48 is 1 in 10157 chance.5 This is astonishing odds when you consider that all the atoms in the known universe are estimated at 1×1080. But when we consider prophecies contained in Scripture it should not be surprising, for God Himself said, “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make know the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please” (Isaiah 46:9b,10). He also says, “I am the Lord, who makes all things, who stretches out the heavens all alone, who spreads abroad the earth by Myself; who frustrates the signs of the babblers, and drives diviners mad; who turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolishness; who confirms the word of His servant, and performs the counsel of His messengers” (Isaiah 44:24b–26a).
Moses said that if what a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord does not happen, he has not spoken from the Lord but presumptuously and should not be feared (Deuteronomy 18:22). In other words, if the prophet is not 100% accurate, he should not be listened to at all. That is God’s standard – for God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that he should retract His words. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfil? (Numbers 23:19). Who should we believe then? Who should we follow? If we should not fear or listen to one who isn’t 100% accurate, shouldn’t we fear and listen to one who is? Who has the true power in His hands over our lives and our souls?
The difference between men’s predictions and prophecy is great: men’s predictions are men’s fallible efforts to get a grip on tomorrow. Prophecy has a higher authoritative, emphatic assurance as the sure and certain Word of God that must come to pass, irrespective of the circumstances of our lives, what the world around us looks like or all the predictions of man.
Scripture alone tells us clearly about our lives and our future. It speaks personally to every individual – to you and I. Its words are absolutely true, its picture crystal clear and its prophecies perfectly accurate. It gives dire warning and blissful hope. It tells that we are separated from God through sin and need a saviour (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 6:23); that salvation is found in Jesus alone, no-one else (Acts 4:12); that apart from Christ we will not see God nor inherit the Kingdom of Heaven (John 3:3; 14:6); that God is a consuming fire and that we will not escape if we refuse Him who speaks or turn away from Him who warns us from heaven (Hebrews 12:25,29). It foretells that God will bring each one of us into judgement (Ecclesiastes 11:9b); that God will bring every deed into judgement, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:14). It foretells of Christ’s return and rule as King, of individuals being judged, of nations being judged, of heaven’s glory to those who have repented and seek Christ and of hell’s gloom for those who have rejected and forsaken God. This is just a simple summary of some of what the Bible reveals. What more do we need to direct our lives? What further foresight do we require in order to respond and act appropriately and wisely?
The Saviour, Jesus Christ, was born in fulfilment of a prophecy made directly by God Himself in the Garden of Eden 4000 years before Christ’s birth. Before God pronounced judgement upon Adam and Eve and cast them out of the Garden, He first provided a hope – a promised Saviour who would be born and provide redemption for mankind (Genesis 3:15).
Dear Reader, if you do not know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, turn to Him while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6,7), for God calls everyone everywhere to repentance (Acts 17:30,31). Do not gamble with your life and soul on the roulette table of lies, however convenient. Seek God who has laid the truth out before us, disclosing the state of our lives and revealing the future, including that we are appointed once to die and then face judgement (Hebrews 9:27). God is the One to whom we will give an account, and He has given us the chance now to act, to respond while we draw breath.
The star of Bethlehem did not influence Jesus, Jesus influenced the star, and it guided the wise men straight to Him. For us, God’s Word, the Bible, is that true guiding light, and it too will lead us straight to Jesus, if we will but follow after Him. Come, let us be like those wise men and also worship Him!

Judson McCawl



  1. https://www.davidpawson.com/downloads/Completing_Luthers_Reformation_int.pdf (pg 86)
  2. https://muller.lbl.gov/papers/Astrology-Carlson.pdf
  3. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-astrology-real-heres-what-science-says/
  4. https://davidpawson.storage.sardius.media/file/davidpawson/Pawson/Docs/EXPL/other/7Wonders-int.pdf (pg 179)
  5. https://christinprophecy.org/articles/applying-the-science-of-probability-to-the-scriptures/
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