Let’s read that verse: “Then God said, ‘Let there be LIGHTS in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for SIGNS and seasons, and for days and years” (NKJV). We know that these “lights” in the heavens are the SUN and the MOON, for we go on to read, “and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth; and it was so. Then God made TWO GREAT LIGHTS: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also” (verses 15-16). So, the SUN was made “to rule the day” and the MOON was made “to rule the night.” Every day we watch the “sunrise” and know that it’s the “dawn of a new day.” Every night we watch the “moonrise” and know that “the day has given way to the night.” This is an easy observation known to all who can see. But in what way do they also serve as “signs” to those of us on earth who observe them?

In Strong’s Concordance the word “signs” can mean the following:  a beacon, an omen, a token, prodigy, evidence. Let’s define each of those words:

BEACON: A light or other visible object serving as a signal, warning, or guide (like a lighthouse at sea).

OMEN: A phenomenon that is believed to foretell the future, often signifying the advent of change.

TOKEN: A thing serving as a visible or tangible representation of a fact.

PRODIGY: An amazing or unusual thing, especially one out of the ordinary course of nature.

EVIDENCE: An outward sign, something that furnishes proof.

As we get a good FEEL for this word “signs” we can see that not only do the SUN and MOON (and STARS) serve as “great lights to rule the day and night,” but they are also given to 1`) warn and guide men, 2) foretell the future, 3) represent a fact, 4) amaze men, and 5) furnish proof to men of something or someone. Now let’s consider a few scriptures that will show us how God has (and will) use the sun, moon and stars for these purposes.

Joshua 10:12-13 reads, “Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel: ‘SUN, stand still over Gibeon; and MOON, in the Valley of Aijalon.’ So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped. Till the people had revenge upon their enemies.”  What an “amazing and unusual miracle” that surely “furnished proof to the children of Israel” that God was with them and was prolonging the hours of the day so Israel could pursue and defeat their enemies.

2nd Kings 20:8-11 says, “And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, ‘What is the SIGN that the LORD will heal me? Then Isaiah said, ‘This the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing which He has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees or go backward ten degrees?’ And Hezekiah answered, ‘It is an easy thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees; no, let the shadow go backward ten degrees.’ So Isaiah the prophet cried out to the LORD, and He brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down on the SUNDIAL of Ahaz.” We saw in Joshua’s sign that the “sun stood still” and here we see in Hezekiah’s sign that “the sun went backward.” Again, what a miracle! It was given to Hezekiah to strengthen his faith by “signifying that what God said HE WOULD INDEED DO! This “sign” foretold the future, it represented a fact, it no doubt amazed Hezekiah, and it furnished proof to him that he would be healed.

Matthew 24:29-30 tells us, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the SUN WILL BE DARKENED, and the MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT; the STARS WILL FALL FROM HEAVEN, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with great power and great glory.” Here will be one of the greatest SIGNS given to men by the sun, moon and stars. This amazing miracle will SIGNAL the coming of Jesus Christ in power and glory to subdue His enemies and to establish His kingdom here on earth. Men will surely be AMAZED as they see this unnatural occurrence in the heavens. It will serve as a WARNING to them of coming judgment. It will PROVE to them that God is real and that His Son is coming again as He promised He would do (for He is the Speaker in this passage).

We could cite other examples, but these are enough to prove to us that God not only made the sun, moon and stars to “rule the day and night,” but also to serve as “signs for men to observe” for the reasons we have outlined above.  (DO)  (533.1)