www.earlychristianwritings.com says that Theophilus of Antioch was one of the earliest commentators on the Gospels, if not the first; and he seems to have been the earliest Christian historian of the Church of the Old Testament. Here is what he writes:
“On the fourth day the luminaries came into existence. Since God has foreknowledge, he understood the nonsense of the foolish philosophers who were going to say that the things produced on earth came from the stars, so that they might set God aside. In order therefore that the truth might be demonstrated, plants and seeds came into existence before stars. For what comes into existence later cannot cause what is prior to it.”
Theophilus wrote this to Autolycus…( who was an idolater and scorner of Christians)
“Consider, O man, His works,–the timely rotation of the seasons, and the changes of temperature; the regular march of the stars; the well-ordered course of days and nights, and months, and years; the various beauty of seeds, and plants, and fruits; and the divers species of quadrupeds, and birds, and reptiles, and fishes, both of the rivers and of the sea; or consider the instinct implanted in these animals to beget and rear offspring, not for their own profit, but for the use of man; and the providence with which God provides nourishment for all flesh, or the subjection in which He has ordained that all things subserve mankind. Consider, too, the flowing of sweet fountains and never-failing rivers, and the seasonable supply of dews, and showers, and rains; the manifold movement of the heavenly bodies, the morning star rising and heralding the approach of the perfect luminary; and the constellation of Pleiades, and Orion, and Arcturus, and the orbit of the other stars that circle through the heavens, all of which the manifold wisdom of
God has called by names of their own. He is God alone who made light out of darkness, and brought forth light from His treasures, and formed the chambers of the south wind, and the treasure-houses of the deep, and the bounds of the seas, and the treasuries of snows and hail-storms, collecting the waters in the storehouses of the deep, and the darkness in His treasures, and bringing forth the sweet, and desirable, and pleasant light out of His treasures; “who causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth: He maketh lightnings for the rain;” who sends forth His thunder to terrify, and foretells by the lightning the peal of the thunder, that no soul may faint with the sudden shock; and who so moderates the violence of the lightning as it flashes out of heaven, that it does not consume the earth; for, if the lightning were allowed all its power, it would burn up the earth; and were the thunder allowed all its power, it would overthrow all the works that are therein. “
text from www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/theophilus-book1.html
Theophilus was a man after my own heart! I love the way he writes about creation! the MARCH of the stars, the WELL-ORDERED course of days and nights. His words affirm what I know in my heart, that GOD created the world and that we did not come to be by mistake, or an explosion. How can it be that the planets are kept in the sky if all of this was an explosion? They can’t!! God’s mighty power holds us there, keeping the planets in rotation, keeping the sun a certain distance away from us, so we don’t burn up. Sir Isaac Newton thought that the sun was 900,000’s times BIGGER than the earth. I have read that it is 822,145 miles in diameter, which would definitely make it the GREATER light! I have read that the moon is 2175 miles in diameter, making it 52 times smaller than the earth and 4,150 times smaller than the sun. I cannot comprehend those numbers, just as I cannot comprehend the mighty works of God. We aren’t supposed to understand everything and if we did, we’d be blown away by all the intricacies of God. Take for instance something simple like a seed. Seeds are generally small, but they produce plants and trees that can be quite large. Without seeds, we have no plants or trees. Without plants and trees, we have no food or oxygen to breathe. Without food and oxygen we die. We need seeds. Our spiritual lives need seeds too. What are these seeds? They are the fruits of the spirit… love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. When we exhibit these fruits to others, we are planting seeds for Jesus. The more seeds we plant, the bigger the Kingdom of God will become. How does that happen? Well, it’s like when fruit is ready to be picked and eaten, it’s ripe. How does it get ripe? With tender loving care, feeding, nurturing, pruning, weeding, fertilizing. Our hearts need these very things too. I know mine does! Being a Christian takes WORK! That work involves fellowship with other Christians, people who will hold you accountable and help you grow in God’s grace and love. It is a lifetime commitment. It doesn’t come overnight, or without discipline or suffering. It DOES bring an eternity of JOY in knowing that Jesus is our friend and that He wants us to come to Him ,willingly, without force or pressures, but in love. To come to Him in love and to be IN love with Him! He is our gardener! Just as God gave us the earth to take care of, He gives Jesus to us to care for hearts. Will you make Jesus your gardener? I hope so!
In His Magnificent Love,