The next night, David and Hope ate their breakfast very quickly because they were anxious to hear about how God uses the stars, too, to teach us about Jesus. Thankfully, it was another very clear night, and all of the stars could be seen twinkling in their place. After they finished eating, they washed up and sat down to snuggle up with Daddy and Momma Owl. They could hardly contain their excitement, saying, “OK, OK, we’re ready, we’re ready! OK, OK, we’re ready, we’re ready!”
Daddy Owl smiled, lifted his eyes up to the sky and said, “When you first look at the stars, it seems that they are spread out all over the sky. However, if you look more closely, you’ll see that some stars are closer together and form a group of stars.”
David and Hope looked up at the sky and focused their eyes on the stars. As they kept looking, they noticed that Daddy Owl was right. Some of the stars were grouped together!
Then Daddy Owl continued, “Those groups of stars are called constellations. And in the beginning when God created the stars, He gave the constellations names and tied imaginary pictures to them, and decided to use the constellations to tell a story. Now, if God is the One who made the constellations, and if this same God is the One who gave us the story of the Bible, what story do you think God is telling us through the constellations?”
David and Hope both knew the answer right away. “The same story as the Bible!” they exclaimed.
“That’s right,” Daddy Owl said. “Now, from the beginning there have been twelve constellations in particular that God has used to tell the story of the Bible. This is because there are twelve months in the year. Each month of the year, in the morning the sun rises in a different constellation. These twelve special constellations are called the “twelve signs of the zodiac.” David, I have a question for you. When you are writing out words, do you ever use your pen or pencil to underline or circle any of the words you’re writing?”
“Yes,” David said, “I do”.
“Why do you do that?” Daddy Owl asked.
“I do that,” David said, “when I want to remind myself that the word I’m underlining or circling is a very important word that I need to remember.”
“Good,” Daddy Owl said. “These twelve constellations are like the words God has written in the sky, and the sun is like the pen or pencil He uses to underline and circle these important words. Each month when the sun rises in one of these twelve constellations, it is like God is underlining them or circling them to remind the earth how important each part of His story really is to Him. But, sadly, over the years something very evil has happened with these twelve constellations.”
“What is it?” Hope asked, feeling very curious.
“Well” Daddy Owl answered, “as we will soon see, the story of the stars, just like the story of the Bible, ends with Jesus returning to punish Satan for his wickedness and rebellion. Because of that, since the beginning, Satan has worked very hard to hide the true message of the stars from people. He has gone throughout the world and tried to get people to believe that these twelve constellations tell a story different than the story they actually tell. Sometimes, he has even tried to get people to worship the stars, moon, and sun instead of worshipping the Creator who made them! And sometimes he has tried to deceive people into believing the lie that these constellations are in charge of their lives, instead of the God who has power over everything! He is such a liar and a deceiver!”
“But,” Momma Owl jumped in with an unusual boldness in her voice, “from the Bible we know the true story of the stars! And we will proclaim it fearlessly to the earth until Jesus returns to throw that deceiver Satan into the Lake of fire!”
David and Hope rarely saw their Momma speak with such zeal and fire in her eyes. They knew that what she was saying must be very important.
Then David asked, “Momma and Daddy, will you teach us the true story of these twelve constellations, so that we can proclaim it boldly too, like you?”
“Yes, my son, yes,” Daddy Owl answered with strength in his voice. “King David from the Bible was a shepherd before he became a king in Israel. He spent many nights looking up at the stars while he was taking care of the sheep. David understood the true message of the stars, and because of this, he sought to live a righteous life as man after God’s own heart. You have the same heart as King David, my son, and so we have named you after him. We will teach you to proclaim the gospel from the stars like a king! And your sister and brother will proclaim the hope of this message to the nations as well!”
Then Momma Owl began muttering to herself, saying, “Hmmm, we’ve got twelve constellations to cover. Hmm…How should we do this? OK, Daddy, we’ve got twelve constellations to talk about. How about you take the first six, and I take the last six.”
“Sounds like a plan to me,” Daddy Owl said with enthusiasm. “The first constellation is called ‘Virgo.’ Virgo is a picture of a woman who is not married yet. She is holding a branch in her right hand, and a sheaf of grain or wheat in her left hand. Falling out of the sheaf of wheat in her left hand are lots of seeds. When God called Abraham out of Babylon, he promised that He would multiply Abraham’s seed, and that His seed would outnumber the stars. In the Bible, the Messiah is called “the Seed” and “the Branch.” When Jesus came, by the power of God he was born of Mary, a woman not married yet. When Jesus, the Branch, comes back the second time, then all those who are in Jesus, the Seed, will be raised to life like Jesus. In this way, Jesus, the resurrected Seed, will be multiplied, and God’s promises to Abraham will be fulfilled once and for all. The constellation Virgo teaches us about the promises God made to Abraham.”
“The second constellation,” Daddy Owl continued, “is called ‘Libra.’ Libra is a picture of a pair of scales used for weighing and measuring things. In the old days, a scale was a symbol of justice and righteousness. When Moses and the people of Israel left Egypt and came to Mount Sinai, God gave the people of Israel His Law. In that Law, He taught them about the things that He sees as righteous. He told the people of Israel that if they wanted to stay in the land He was bringing them into, then they had to obey His righteous laws. If they didn’t, then He would kick them out of the land. The constellation Libra teaches us about the Law God gave the people of Israel through Moses.”
David and Hope looked at each other in amazement. The story of the stars really was the same story as the Bible!
Moving on to the next constellation, Daddy owl said, “The third constellation is called ‘Scorpio.’ Scorpio is a picture of a scorpion. Scorpions have poison in their stingers, and they live in the wilderness. After God gave Israel His righteous Law through Moses, it didn’t take long for the people of Israel to start disobeying that Law. God told them to go into the land, but they sinned and disobeyed many times. Because of their sin, they had to wander the wilderness with all of those snakes and scorpions for forty years. When they sinned, it was like they stung themselves with the poison of sin in the same way that a scorpion stings people. The constellation Scorpio teaches us about the sting of sin and about the punishment that the people of Israel received in the wilderness when didn’t obey God’s Law.”
“The fourth constellation,” Daddy went on, “is called ‘Sagittarius.’ Sagittarius is a picture of a mighty warrior going into battle on a horse while shooting a bow and arrow against his enemies. Sagittarius teaches us about the days when God brought the Israelites into the land of Canaan under Joshua their leader. God gave the Israelites the victory, and by God’s power the land of Israel became theirs.”
After the fourth constellation, Daddy Owl took a deep breath and said, “OK, just two more to go, and then Momma’s turn. The fifth constellation is called ‘Capricorn.’ Capricorn is a picture of a goat with a fish’s tail. When David was running away from Saul, one of the places he went was “En-Gedi,” which means “spring of the young goat.” There were a lot of goats around En-Gedi. Near En-Gedi is a big Sea called the Dead Sea, or the Salt Sea. Even today the water of the Dead Sea has so much salt in it that fish can’t even live in it! However, God promised David that one of his descendents would be the Messiah. God said that the Messiah would sit on David’s throne as King in Jerusalem forever. And God also promised the people of Israel that when the Messiah from David’s line established His kingdom, the water of the Dead Sea would be made fresh again, and there would be lots, and lots of fish there. The constellation Capricorn teaches us about the promises that God made to King David.”
And finally Daddy Owl came to the sixth constellation, saying, “The sixth constellation is called ‘Aquarius.’ Aquarius is a picture of a strong man holding a water pitcher, with a fish from the south being gathered up into the pitcher. God had told the people of Israel that if they didn’t obey His Law, He would kick them out of the land. Well, after Israel entered their new land, they kept sinning by turning away from God and worshipping idols. Because of this, God sent Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon down south to Judah, and just as a fisherman catches fish in his net, so Nebuchadnezzar captured the people of Judah into his pitcher and took them out of Israel. The constellation Aquarius teaches us about the time that God used King Nebuchadnezzar to punish His people for their disobedience.”
As Daddy Owl finished talking about the sixth constellation, Momma Owl came over from the other side of the nest with a surprise for everyone. From a basket she pulled out some strawberries, some apples, and some crackers with peanut butter. She also took out some cups and a thermos, and began to pour hot chocolate for everyone. She said, “Just thought I’d bring out a few snacks for you to nibble on as I talk about the next six constellations.”
David, Hope, and Judah cheered and immediately began to jump up and down, and Judah, like always, started running in circles around the nest. Daddy Owl said, “Thank you so much my dear! Just what we needed!”
After Daddy Owl and the children got settled down with their snacks and hot chocolate, Momma Owl started talking about the seventh constellation of the zodiac.
“The seventh constellation,” she said, “is called ‘Pisces.’ Pisces is a picture of two fish – a northern fish and a southern fish – tied to cords and being brought back to the land of Israel. After the people of Israel had been disciplined in Nebuchadnezzar’s land of Babylon for 70 years, under Cyrus, a Persian king, God brought many Jewish people back to the land of Israel from both the north and the south. The constellation Pisces teaches us about when God brought many of the people Israel back to their land after their time in captivity.”
“The eighth constellation,” Momma Owl continued, “is called ‘Aries.’ Aries is a picture of a ram, which is male sheep. After many years of disobeying God’s Law that came through Moses, many people in Israel were realizing that they really, really needed God’s mercy and forgiveness, and that they couldn’t obey God by themselves. That’s when God sent Jesus. Jesus was the ram or the lamb that God sacrificed on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. On the day Jesus was crucified, the sun rose in the constellation of Aries. God was underlining His message of mercy on the cross so that the world would never forget all that Jesus did to save us. The constellation Aries teaches us about the blood sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God, on the cross, and about how much God loves mercy.”
“The ninth constellation,” Momma Owl continued as Judah started munching on his third strawberry, “is called ‘Taurus.’ Taurus is a picture of a big, strong, hard-working ox. In Israel, oxen were used to get the harvest ready. First, the oxen would pull a plough along the ground, and the plough would break up the soil so that seeds could be planted. Later in the year, once the harvest had come in, now the oxen were used to loosen the grain (the tasty part of the wheat) from the chaff (the yucky part). The oxen would do this either by walking on the stalks of grain, or by pulling a board with sharp metal teeth on the bottom over the stalks. These oxen worked very, very hard, and without them, the people of Israel would not have had any bread to eat. In the same way, after Jesus rose from the dead, he sent his apostles to the nations to share the gospel and teach people about God’s ways. Like oxen, they worked very hard and went through very hard times to make sure the seed of the gospel could be planted in people’s hearts. And they also worked very hard to make sure that Jesus’ people had the grain of the Word of God to eat, and not the chaff of a false gospel. The constellation of Taurus teaches us about the ministry of the apostles whom Jesus sent to the nations with the gospel.”
After Momma finished talking about the ninth constellation, she noticed that most of the snacks had already been eaten! “OK,” she said, “Lets slow down a little bit. We still have three constellations to go.”
Hope said, “That’s OK, Momma. We can sip our hot chocolate slowly for the last three, because it is still really hot.”
“That is a great idea, my love,” Momma Owl replied as she moved on to the tenth constellation. “Now the tenth constellation is called ‘Gemini.’ Gemini is a picture of two twin brothers sitting very close to each other, and giving each other a big hug. After Jesus sent out His apostles, many Jewish people and many non-Jewish, called Gentiles, began repenting of their sins and accepting the good news of Jesus. Jews and Gentiles were very different from each other, and sometimes they didn’t like each other very much. But through the gospel, Jesus was changing that. Now, Jesus’ Jewish people and Jesus’ Gentile people were being called by Jesus to stop hating each other, and to start loving each other with the same love that He showed them on the cross. Through Jesus’ blood, Jew and Gentile were now part of one big family. The constellation Gemini teaches us about Jewish and Gentile brothers and sisters in the Lord learning to love each other by the power of the cross.”
“The eleventh constellation,” Momma continued, “is called ‘Cancer.’ Cancer is a picture of a crab with ten legs. In the Bible, the crab is an unclean animal that comes out of the sea. And in the Bible the sea is often used as a symbol of the Gentile peoples that still don’t know God. At the end of the age, just as a crab tries to use its pinchers to crush its prey, so the Anti-Christ is going to gather an army of unbelieving Gentiles to persecute Israel and Jesus’ followers around the world. In the same way that a crab has ten legs, so the coming Anti-Christ Empire will have ten kings who will be under the control of Satan and the Anti-Christ. And just as the crab was seen as an unclean animal in Israel, so God will see the Anti-Christ as a wicked, unclean king who needs to be destroyed. God’s people will be persecuted by the Anti-Christ for three-and-a-half years. God is going to use that persecution to see if His people will love Jesus not just through the easy times, but through the hard times, too. When we love Jesus through the hard times too, that shows Him that our love for Him is real love, and not just a pretend love. The constellation Cancer teaches us about the coming Anti-Christ Empire and the coming persecution of the saints.”
When Momma Owl finished saying this, David looked at her and said, “Wow, Momma, the time of Cancer sounds like it is going to be very, very hard.”
“Yes, my love,” Momma Owl replied. “It will be the hardest time the world has ever known, and the saints will face the greatest persecution they have ever known. But God will be with us, and as we cry out to Him in prayer, His Spirit will give us power and grace to persevere until the Lion of the tribe of Judah returns.”
When little Judah heard his name used with the word lion, he stood up and began to roar loudly like a lion. When he roared, Daddy Owl, Momma Owl, David, and Hope all looked at each other in surprise. They didn’t know that such a loud roar could come from such a little owl! Daddy put his wing on Judah, looked into His eyes, and said, “Yes, my son, you will boldly proclaim the coming of our King in glory.”
“And that brings us to the twelfth and final constellation of the zodiac,” Momma Owl said. “The twelfth and final constellation of the zodiac is called ‘Leo.’ Leo is the picture of a very strong lion trampling and crushing a fleeing serpent named Hydra. When people talk about lions, they usually say that the lion is the king of all the animals. Jesus is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and He is the King of all kings! And when He comes back, He is going to crush the head of the wicked serpent Satan! He is going to save His people from the persecution of the Anti-Christ! He is going to raise His people from the dead and establish His kingdom on the earth! And He is going to make all of the wrong things right! The constellation Leo teaches us about the Second Coming of Jesus and about the Kingdom of the Messiah that will be set up after the Anti-Christ is crushed by Jesus. This is our blessed hope!”
When Momma Owl finished saying this, everyone shouted, “Hooray!” Then Hope said, “Momma and Daddy, I want Jesus to come back now!”
Daddy Owl replied, “I know, my love, I know. I do to. And He will come soon. The reason He is waiting to come back, is that He is giving everyone around the world time to repent and turn to Him before He comes back and it is too late. He is waiting to return because of His mercy toward the wicked.”
“Oh,” Hope responded. As she thought about this, in her heart she began to thank Jesus for the mercy he had shown to her during this time of delay. She then started praying quietly for her friends and family who still didn’t know Jesus.”
Then David, curious once again, asked, “Daddy and Momma, the time of Cancer, or the time of the Anti-Christ is still ahead, right?”
“That’s right, David,” his parents answered at the same time.
“Well,” David continued, “how will Jesus’ people around the world know that we’ve entered into those three-and-a-half years of great testing and hardship?”
“Great question, David,” Daddy Owl responded. Then he said, “In Psalm 19, which we talked about earlier, we learn that when God wants to speak a message to everyone, everywhere around the world, He likes to use the things that He put in the skies to speak that message. This is because no matter where His people are living around this big world, all of them will still be able to see the sun, moon, and stars. Let me ask you a question, David. When the Anti-Christ comes to power, what kind of time do you think that will be on the earth – a time of great darkness, or a time of great light.”
“It will be the darkest time the world has ever known!” David exclaimed with a serious face.
“Yes, you’re right,” Daddy Owl said. “The sun rises at the beginning of the day, and it teaches us about the beginning of something. From the prophet Isaiah we know that when the last three-and-a-half years begins, at that time the sun will rise in the east, but unlike usual it will not be shining with light when it rises. Instead, it will be black and covered with deep darkness. This rising dark sun will be God’s signal to us that the time of greatest darkness the world has ever seen is about to begin on the earth. The prophet Joel also tells us that later that same night, the moon will follow this dark sun into the sky, and it will be a very red blood moon. Through this, God will be telling us that the time of the Anti-Christ has now arrived, and the persecution of the last 3.5 years has begun. During this time, Satan will be very angry, much war will fill the entire earth, and many of Jesus’ people will die because they love Jesus even more than their own lives. The blood moon is God’s way of telling His people to start praying with all their hearts, because much blood is about to be spilled on the earth during the coming 3.5 years.”
When Daddy Owl finished saying this, everyone sat quietly and for several minutes didn’t say a word. Then Daddy Owl said, “But that is not the final message of the sun and moon. David and Hope, when Jesus comes back, will that be a time of brightness or darkness?”
This time Hope answered, “It will be the brightest, shiniest time the world has ever known.”
“That’s right, my beautiful Hope,” Daddy Owl said. “Habakkuk the prophet also tell us that when Jesus comes back, the sun and moon will stand still in the sky, just like it did in the days Joshua led the Israelites into the land of Israel a long time ago. And Isaiah tells us that while they are standing still, both the sun and the moon will be shining seven times brighter than normal. And you know what?”
“What?” David and Hope said together, their eyes open wide and fixed on Daddy Owl.
“When the sun and moon are standing still in the sky,” Daddy Owl continued, “they will be shining in the constellation of Leo. God will be clothing the message of Leo with the brightness of the sun when Jesus comes back. This may well be what Jesus was referring to when he talked about ‘the sign of the Son of Man.”
“Wow, I’ve always wondered what ‘the sign of the Son of Man’ was!” David exclaimed.
“Well,” Daddy Owl continued, “that is one possibility. It is hard to know for sure. I have also wondered whether the ‘sign of the Son of Man’ might be the constellation of Orion. Orion is one of the brightest and most well-known constellations in the sky. Though the ancient Greeks saw Orion as a hunter, the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians saw Orion as a shepherd king. When the Egyptians used Orion to tell stories, they often talked about the resurrection of the dead. With Orion, then, it seems that we have a picture of a resurrected king who will shepherd all the nations and who will raise the dead.”
“Hey, that sounds just like Jesus!” Hope interrupted excitedly.
“That’s right,” Daddy Owl said with a smile. “Now, when Jesus came the first time, He was crucified during the Jewish feast of Passover, and He poured out the Holy Spirit during the Jewish feast of Pentecost. Both of these feasts take place in the spring, and they are extra special holy days in Israel. Because of the way Jesus fulfilled the spring feasts, many believe that, when Jesus comes the second time, He will come at the time of the Jewish holy days and feasts that take place in the fall. These include the Day of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. In Matthew 25, Jesus tells a story about the bridegroom who comes at midnight. The Bible says that Jesus Himself is the Bridegroom King who will come back for His people, the Bride. In the fall, around the time of the Jewish holy days, the constellation of Orion rises in the east around midnight in all of his brightness. This is why I think Orion is another possibility for what Jesus meant by the ‘sign of the Son of Man.’”
“Whatever the case,” Momma Owl chimed in, “when Jesus comes back, from the north to the south, and from the east to the west, the heavens will declare the glory of our God!”
“Hooray! Hooray!” the whole family shouted together. Then with one voice, they shouted, “Come Lord Jesus, come!” And this is what they kept saying, over and over and over again, throughout the rest of the dark night.