Solar Eclipse: sign of the times?
There is a popular theme racing through cyberspace right now: that the unusual celestial happenings have some supernatural message from God wrapped up in them, and that they somehow confirm the end of the age. Today’s eclipse is said to be a precursor of the “grand” celestial event of September 23, when the greatest alignment of planets in the modern age takes place. One of the “proof texts” (there are others) regarding these magnificent celestial events as signs is Acts 2:20:
…the sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
Is God really trying to tell us something? Are these signs truly revealing the last days? If so, does it make sense that some of these events (including today’s eclipse) are not seen in Israel (the land of the Bible)?
While I do believe that Israel is God’s timepiece in many ways, I have difficulty confirming celestial signs such as blood moons (which are lunar eclipses), solar eclipses, or aligned planets, in and of themselves, as Biblical signs of anything specific to what the Bible describes in this day and age. (During the Tribulations, those things will accompany the shaking of the heavens, but we are not in the Tribulation at the moment!)
I’ll let a brilliant Christian astronomer, Dr Danny Faulkner, explain why I find it difficult to view those things as signs of the times today! He has written at least two very well-done articles: Will Lunar Eclipses Cause 4 Blood Moons in 2015-2015? and Do Total Lunar Eclipses Qualify as Great Signs for Biblical Prophecy? True, they deal with lunar eclipses, not solar eclipses, but I think his points are pertinent. (Skip to the Conclusion of each article if you lack the time to read the articles all the way through.)
What I do find in Scripture is that God has set forth a chronological course of events in the Jewish feasts. (See Jewish Feasts: God’s Calendar of End Time Events) Israel, not celestial events, seem to be God’s time table.
I find something else very interesting. When the disciples sat with Jesus on the Mount of Olives and asked, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) Jesus didn’t tell them about celestial signs or wonders in the skies. He told them specifically what they would see:
- Coming of false teachers
- Wars and rumors of wars
- Nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom
- Famines and earthquakes
- Abomination of Desolation
By including the abomination of desolation, which happens during the Tribulation (when the antichrist takes his seat in the Temple and demands to be worshipped), we can surmise that Jesus was referring not only to the time of the rapture, but also to His glorious appearing at the end of the Tribulation. So, if we are to relate eclipses and celestial events of today to end times, do they refer to the time of the rapture…of which Jesus Himself said NO ONE knows, or to His glorious appearing? (Only false prophets would dare to predict when the rapture will occur!)
So, let’s shift gears from the skies to God’s Word! God WANTS us to know and understand His plans, and He speaks to us through His Word. He wants us to trust HIM for guidance…not the sun and the moon! We have direct access to HIM, so we don’t need “signs” from Him. I’m not saying signs have no place, but for the most part, signs are for unbelievers who don’t have direct access to Him, as we do! In fact, the Bible is very clear that He desires to share secret things with those of us who know Him! Need some evidence? How about these passages:
- Luke 8:17: For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.
- Deuteronomy 29:29: The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.
- Jeremiah 33:3: Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.
- Daniel 2:22: It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things…
- Amos 3:7: Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.
- Epistles: many mentions of revealing mysteries…mystery of His will, mystery of salvation, mystery of Christ in us, etc
- John 15:5: “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
So, go out and enjoy today’s eclipse for what it is: sure evidence of God’s mighty power and creative design. But look to Him to tell you the secret things He wants you to know about end times and His coming! He longs to share His secrets with us!
Be blessed today, my friends!