Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

The Star of David

The Star of David

When we think about the Star of David, the first image or the first idea that comes to mind is the symbol for the Jewish people or the Jewish nation of Israel. We see the Israeli flag and prominent in the middle is the star of David. Interestingly enough, no one really knows why this particular star is used as a symbol for God’s people and it didn’t become the ‘official’ symbol for the Jewish people until way into the 1800s, but today the Star of David is used much as we in the Christian faith use our crosses - the Star of David stands as a way to recognize those who belong to the Jewish faith or members of the nation of Israel.
What is important for us is not so much the star itself but that the star directs us to the idea of a King. We sing in many of our Christmas Carols phrases like “Glory to the newborn king!” When we think about Advent and think about the coming baby, we are to think about the fact that this newborn baby is going to become a king - our King.
But at Christmas time as we picture the baby in a manger, the baby Jesus doesn’t look much like a king. What the Bethlehem shepherd saw when they visited the manger was a ‘baby wrapped in swaddling clothes’. The wise man had the same encounter. They were looking for the King of the Jews - wonder what they thought when they left the palace in Jerusalem to find the king and ended up in the small town of Bethlehem only to find a small boy in a humble home - Surely the wise man thought as they look at the young boy Jesus - “Is THIS the King of the Jews?” - the same question Pontius Pilate would ask three decades later when he stood with Jesus - “Are YOU the King of the Jews”?
In the book of Numbers in the Old Testament there is a prophecy that the coming Messiah was a ‘star arising out of Jacob’ which turns out to be a small little shepherd boy, the eight son of a man named Jesse in a little town called Bethlehem. The prophet Samuel came to Jesse and said, “God has sent me because he told me one of your sons is going to be the next king of Israel so let me interview your sons and God will point out to me which one has been chosen.” So Jesse rounds up his sons and Samuel looks at each one and God doesn’t indicate any of them to be the next King. Samuel says to Jesse, “Are these all your sons?” And Jesse says “Oh, yes, there is another one, David. I almost forgot about him.” This over-looked little shepherd boy, the eighth so forgotten about by his father, was about to be anointed the next King of Israel, the little shepherd boy who would defeat the giant Goliath, who would become the beloved King and the King who in God’s own words - “the King closest to my own heart”. This boy whom his father had forgotten about became the most famous and beloved king in the history of God’s people - the one today whose star reminds us of the promises God made to David - “there will always be a descendent of David on the throne” - a promise that points to the baby in Bethlehem who will become the King - our King - who sits on the throne on the right hand of the Father.
Because the prophecy stated the Messiah must come from the line of David, the Messiah had to be a descendent of David, both the gospel writers Matthew and Luke take time in their accounts of the life of Jesus to list the genealogy of Jesus and of course prominent in those lists of Jesus’ ancestors is the name of David.
We have insignificant little David whom his father forgot, who grew up in what the Bible calls an insignificant little town. Bethlehem was just a small village - the prophet Micah says: “
But you, Bethlehem ,though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
God said, “My son, the Messiah, will come from this forgotten little shepherd boy who is from the smallest little forgotten town…..
But that is so like how God does things. So often God’s choices follow the pattern of David and

Bethlehem. God’s promises come from things that are unexpected. Who would have conceived the savior of the world would be born in a manger or that the means of salvation would be death on a cross - a cross that remember had the sign over it that said “King of the Jews” - Pilate meant it as a sarcastic way to get back at the Jewish leaders - Pilate’s way of saying, “Here’s the kind of king you have…… nailed to a cross” but we know that God recognized this dying man as the one who would reign over his Kingdom forever and ever.
Did you ever notice the stories Jesus told were always about ordinary people doing ordinary things - a woman sweeping her house, a farmer planting a field, a woman baking bread, a traveler going down the road, a fisherman hauling in a net…
We don’t have a God who likes big and grand and super - we have a God who likes small and insignificant and ordinary. It is been said that the star of David was chosen as the star of the people of God because of its simplicity. And throughout the stories of the Bible we see simple, ordinary people who accomplish great things for God - Shepherds and fishermen…. the two lowliest professions of the day… tax collectors the most hated profession in all of Israel..… to point to the Messiah and change the world. Unexpected, small, ordinary, despised. This is how God works.
“Look at the stars” we are told by David as he writes in his Psalms. Psalm 8:3-6 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet.
What David is point out that compared to the glory and the vastness of the night sky, we are pretty insignificant…. But to God we are crowned with glory and honor. That is how you are to think of yourself. Ordinary and insignificant we may see ourselves, but not to God who sees you as a person with power in the kingdom of God
Go out and look at the night sky and what do you see? Tiny little dots of light in the sky and on first glance they don’t see like much - just tiny little dots. But we know that these little points of light are suns - just like our sun. And what happens when we get closer and closer to a sun - we realize the hugeness of the sun and the power held in that sun - the power enough to heat our earth 93 million miles away - to hold our earth in its orbit - to make life on our planet possible.
What appears to be just a tiny little point of light in the sky is a great and powerful sun….. Those who appear to be just insignificant, ordinary people, places that are small and out of the way produce great Kings… People like us in the eyes of God are given places of honor!
Look at us. We are just ordinary people - and we are the ones God chose to be citizens in the Kingdom of God; we are the ones God chose to continue God’s work in the world today; we are the ones who gather around the manger at Christmas and worship the newborn King.
We are the ones who are stars in the eyes of God.