Take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the Lord your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage. (Deuteronomy 4:19)
It would seem that mankind has always been drawn to light. We are attracted by almost anything that shines, sparkles and glows, which is why Moses warned Israel to make certain not to venerate just anything that is alluring to our eyes. This is especially important considering they were about to enter a land filled with people who did just that — worshiped the sun, moon and stars as opposed to the One who created those luminaries.
The “host of heaven” was a dominant influence in Babylon, in Egypt and throughout the Levant. Most often these heavenly bodies were seen as symbols of various deities and provoked many of the ancients to bow down and pay homage to things created. In the words of Paul, they “changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man” (Romans 1:23). Moses warned Israel not to follow the practice of the nations and be lured away by their brightness and magnificence. In short, don’t view these things in the way the pagans do because they have, essentially, corrupted the purpose of these things.
By that I mean that, what God gave to all the nations as a heritage — luminaries intended to provide light, warmth and a means to calculate times — had been perverted for a different purpose. As God’s people, we are to recognize the purpose of God’s creation, be thankful for it and give honor the One who created it. To bring it into a modern context, while we should appreciate those who are given gifts, talents and skills, so much so that they “shine” so to speak, we are never to allow their personality and gifts to usurp the place reserved for the One who created and gifted them. We must always glorify God as the Author of all things and not be lured away by anything that desires to take His place in our life.
Blessings and Shalom,