A New Year’s Invitation

Morning Star

Jesus issued this invitation, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). It was also He that spoke from heaven, “I am the Root and the offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16). Jesus, the ascended Lord, linked two important events that took place on Christmas. The oracle of Balaam, “I see him but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel” (Numbers 24:17). Jacob blessed Judah, “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until it comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his” (Genesis 49:10). Then there was the remarkable fulfillment by the Magi. “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews (Judah)? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him” (Matthew 2:2). Let us note, were the Magi expecting to find the baby king in king Herod’s royal palace?

The reference in Isaiah to a “morning star, son of dawn” is the antichrist incarnated in the ancient Babylonian empire (Isaiah 14:11-15). The same being (Satan or antichrist) shall resurrect Babylon to a power the world has never seen before. It too will fall, not by human hands, but a rock will demolish the statue or the invincible fake god (Daniel 2:31-34; Revelation 17-18). To protect the imposter’s dominion, one of the antichrist’s puppets by the name of Herod failed in his attempt to kill the real Morning Star (Matthew 2:16-18). Next, Satan himself offered Jesus the world, if He would but grant him a moment of godly glory (Matthew 4:8-9). The Rock, however, kept rolling toward Calvary in order to atone for man’s sins. Satan used Peter to thwart redemption. “Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘out of my sight, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men” (Matthew 16:21-23). Being unable to sway Jesus from freeing humans from Satan’s claws, he went after the believers of the Morning Star. And that is where he still spits fire and death (Revelation 12). The most important difference between the two stars is that one gives life and the other takes it.

The Morning Star is a reference to a new beginning, a new day or a new dawning. He represents the ushering in of an era when man the creature can change or recreate him/herself. The Star is a guide as to how it is done. It is not God reshaping man, but man must follow the Star. Like the Magi, after they had met the king of God’s people, they no longer could go back home the same way. They were warned not to return to Herod and inform on Jesus (Matthew 2:12). The Magi were not uninformed. Their ancestor Balaam had predicted that the Star would rise in Israel. At the time of the prediction, Israel had not settled in Canaan. To find the place of the king’s birth, the Magi went to Jerusalem where the chief priests and teachers pointed them to Bethlehem, as predicted by the prophet Micah (Micah 5:2). Jacob, the father of Israel, announced the coming of the “eternal king” four centuries before Balaam did. Why then, were these chief priests, teachers and elders not welcoming their own king?

The answer was not and is not difficult to isolate. When God’s people no longer follow their God, then He lets his Star rise where people become receptive. It was not by accident that Abraham was led to Melchizedeck, king of Salem, priest of God Most High (Genesis 14:18-21) and Moses to Reuel (Jethro), a priest of Midian (Exodus 2:16). Neither was it an accident that Paul was sent to the Gentiles (Acts 15:22); nor was it unintentional that pilgrims settled in North America where a nation was born under divine guidance. The fact that the Morning Star (Jesus) is no longer permitted to shine in the U.S.A. is further evidence that He will shine elsewhere.

The prophet Isaiah penned these immortal words, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has downed” (Isaiah 9:2). Could we be that people again that accept the invitation of the Morning Star for the New Year?