Recall that the sun, moon and stars reflect the nature of God in separating the day from the night and the light from the darkness (Gen 1:4,18). Notice too that God made the sun, moon and stars to govern or rule (literally, to have dominion over) the day and night (Gen 1:16-18); why then is it also natural that these would come to represent the various thrones, dominions, rulers and authorities that God establishes, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible (Col 1:16), to uphold justice and govern His creation by separating light from darkness, i.e., by separating that which is good and right and true from that which is evil? See Gen 37:9-10, Rev 1:20, 12:1-2; cf. 1Ki 3:28, Psa 72:1-5,12-14, Jer 21:11-12, 22:1-3, Rom 13:1-4. How does this also help us to understand the relationship between the physical hosts of heaven and the spiritual hosts of heaven? See Gen 2:1, 1Ki 22:19, Neh 9:6, Job 38:7, Psa 33:6, Isa 45:12, Dan 4:35.
As sin entered into the world, in what ways were the luminaries that God gave to separate light from darkness upon the earth also corrupted? Think: Rather than being bearers of His light that men might by them see the Creator from Whom their authority derives, in what way did they begin to see themselves as their own source of light, as if gods themselves? Cf. Gen 3:5. How are the rulers of this present evil age like that, creating their own laws as they see fit to benefit themselves, rather than seeking to understand God’s holy laws in order to separate light from darkness? What does this remind us about how godly authority differs from worldly authority? What does Paul say was the result of men failing to acknowledge God’s light and suppressing the truth in their unrighteousness? See Rom 1:21-22. In what way was this also true even among the authorities in the heavenly realms, so that rather than separating light from darkness they themselves were darkened and ceased to shine forth with the light of life? See Rev 12:3-4; cf. Rev 8:12, Dan 8:10, Isa 14:12-15. As sin entered the world and the foolish hearts of men were darkened, what does Paul say was the result in regard to their worship? See Rom 1:25. Besides idolatry and the demon-worship it represents (cf. Psa 106: 34-38, 1Co 10:19-20), how was that worship of created things also manifested in regard to those who began to see and present themselves as gods possessing their own source of light? See Isa 31:3, Eze 28:2-9, Dan 6:7, Act 12:22, 14:11-13, 28:6 and consider the emperor worship of Rome as well as North Korea’s worship of its leader even today. What warning does this give even to those in western civilization today especially as they forsake God and increasingly look to their leaders for a worldly salvation?
Notice from Eph 6:12 that our struggles in this world are not ultimately against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places; notice also from Dan 10:13,20-21 that behind the great authorities of this world are great princes in the spiritual realm; cf. 2Ki 6:14-17. So magnificent and powerful are these authorities that the apostle John erroneously fell at the feet to worship two of them (Rev 19:10, 22:8-9). Even Satan, who fell from his original glory is still glorious enough to appear as an angel of light (2Co 11:14), was carefully addressed by Michael the archangel in deference to his glory (Jude 1:8-9), and is not easily vanquished by Michael and his more numerous angels (Rev 12:4,7-8). As men’s hearts were darkened and they came to serve created things rather than the Creator, why then is it also natural that they would come to worship those spiritual luminaries as well and bow themselves to the host of heaven as their surrogates? See Deut 4:19, 2Ki 23:4-5, Jer 8:1-2, Act 7:42-43. What belief with daily forecasts in the local newspaper still followed by millions today in our age of modern science reminds us of how pervasive these false notions are? Consider too the common expression “thank my lucky stars”.
Returning now to Matthew 24:29, how does the spiritual significance of the sun, moon and stars as types of both earthly and especially heavenly authorities that separate light from darkness help us to better understand Jesus words that these shall be darkened? See Isa 24:21-23, Eze 32:2,7-8. What else does Jesus say in Mat 24:29 that confirms this understanding? Cf. Luk 21:25-26, Heb 12:26-27. In what way was this true of the powers behind the Jewish nation? In what way was it more recently true of the powers behind the Bush and now the Clinton juggernauts?
1. Such as in Lee Greenwood’s song Proud To Be An American.↩