Tonight at about 9:00 the Constellation Ursa Major, also known as the Big Dipper, will be just north of the zenith point in the sky.
The constellation Ursa Major, meaning "big bear," and its cousin Ursa Minor, meaning "little bear," received their current names through an ancient linguistic accident. The Greeks substituted the Hebrew word for bear, dohv, for the word for "sheepfold," dovhen, thus creating the "Bear" names. The ancient names for the constellations were the "greater" and "lesser" sheepfolds.
Ursa Minor (the lesser sheepfold) represents the holding place for the sheep, or believers, who lived before Jesus came. This understanding comes from the star named Kochab, which means "waiting on Him who comes," as those Hebrew and other believers had to look forward for the Messiah. Another important Star in Ursa Minor is Polaris (turned upon), which is the North Star. Polaris is actually being pulled toward the North Pole by the precession of the equinoxes, and will arrive in 2102 AD. This ascendancy to the dominant celestial polar position is a sign in the sun, moon and stars of the Second Coming and reminds us that Jesus will rule the Earth from Jerusalem, home of those who waited on Him who comes, when He returns.
Ursa Major, also known to the Hebrews as "the assembled together" represents those believers who came after Jesus, the church. The star named Dubheh Lachar, "the latter herd," points to this meaning. And, in addition, the name of the star at the end of the handle of the Dipper, Alkaid, means "assembly," the very name of the church in Greek. The two stars on the other end of the Dipper point to Polaris, the North Star, and their names, Dubhe, meaning "flock," and Merek, meaning "Purchased," show that both the greater and lesser sheepfolds were a flock purchased by Christ.
The two sheepfolds shining overhead tonight remind us that God has set aside a place for His sheep which we call heaven. So tell someone about the pictures of heaven in the heavens above, and invite them to join you on your path to heaven.
Ron Allen is a Christian businessman, CPA and author who serves in local, national and international ministries, spreading a message of reconciliation to God, to men and between believers. He is founder of the International Star Bible Society, telling how the heavens declare the glory of God; the Emancipation Network, which helps people escape from financial bondage; and co-founder with his wife, Pat, of Corporate Prayer Resources, dedicated to helping intercessors.
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