Sunsets and Sunshine

silhouette of a boy during sunset
Photo by Orlando Vera on

One summer evening, with the cool air whistling down Montana’s Boulder River valley, Ken and I were teaching a group of 160 5th and 6th graders who were getting ready to sleep under the stars. Their day had been one full of swimming, horseback riding, archery, competitive games, hiking, fishing and generally darting around camp with all the abandonment of newborn kittens.

Because of the high mountains (foothills of the Rockies) on either side of the camp, darkness descended with surprising suddenness. Once the sun moved to the other side of the mountain, all was dark.  But the campfire popped and sizzled, and an occasional flashlight flashed (though they were supposed to be off). One of the counselors led the group in singing and the voices filled the dark woods with words of praise.

Then Ken began talking about David and Psalm 8. He painted a word picture of David sitting out in the fields, his sheep meandering around him.

When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
    the moon and the stars, which You have set in place,
What is man that you are mindful of him,
    and the son of man that you care for him?

I remember looking at the night sky and thinking about God setting the sun and moon in place.

And I’m not sure why it hit me right at that moment in that place (because of course, I always knew it), but I had a new realization that this moon we were looking at and the sun we had looked at earlier in the day, were exactly the same moon and sun that David wrote about hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

How cool to remind our kids of that – when David wrote the Psalm, he was writing about the same sun and moon we see right here, right now in 2019,

By the way, did you ever think of all the verses about the sun and moon? The Bible has many.

Here are just six, good ones to discuss with our kids.

*Psalm 72:5 — a picture of life – as long as the sun and moon endures.

May they fear you while the sun endures,
    and as long as the moon, throughout all generations!

*Psalm 136:8-9 — a picture of God’s steadfast love.

The sun to rule over the day,
    for His steadfast love endures forever;

The moon and stars to rule over the night,
    for His steadfast love endures forever.

Psalm 148:3 — God is worthy of praise even to the sun and moon.

Praise Him, sun and moon,
    praise Him, all you shining stars!

Ecclesiastes 1:5 — Many verses in Ecclesiastes use the sun and the passing days as a picture of the vanity of life.

The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
    and hastens to the place where it rises.

Ephesians 4:26 — a picture of evening – don’t go to bed being angry!

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,

Revelation 24:5  — and then the great finale! When we get to heaven we won’t need the sun and moon because God will be our light.

Next time you and your kids (both personal and ministry) are taking a walk in the bright summer sun or a moonlit night, discuss all the word pictures God uses in His Word to describe the characteristics of the sun and moon.


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