The Beginning

“On Judgment Day, watch out!” These are the words of GOD, my Master. “I’ll turn off the sun at noon. In the middle of the day the earth will go black.”[1]

“The end has come to my people Israel,” the Lord said to the ancient Prophet Amos. To this point Amos wrote the Lord’s declaration above concerning the sun and the day. Imagine the people’s anxiety at the next eclipse. Of course there were those who kept on keeping on with their day. Some Israelites must have kept on with their day because Amos prophesied in a time of political stability in the kingdoms of Judah (southern) and Israel (northern), 792-740 B.C. It was a time of prosperity, complete with its idolatry, extravagance, and corruption. Who had time to watch the sky? Sadly, the people of God would realize the truth in the writings of Amos when the kingdoms of Israel and Judah were overrun by enemy and exiled in the coming days. Their humiliation at the hands of their enemy must have been a dark day. Because of Amos’ prophesy coming true any new eclipse may have stirred bad memories, if not new worries. Might we have reason for our own concerns?

“The full moon will turn red for half of the world when Wednesday’s lunar eclipse occurs, but some Americans and Asians could be treated to an extra helping of astronomical weirdness – the sight of an eclipsed moon sharing the sky with the sun.”[2] This particular event is called a “selenelion,” pronounced sell-a-NELL-ion,” geometrically impossible (please read the article) but very real. Thanks to the light-bending property of our earth atmosphere if you were up early this morning you may have seen the event. Did the sight strike fear in your hearts at the sight of the blood moon? Did you run back inside for shelter? Did you drop to your knees and pray? I didn’t think so. We moderns stopped watching the sky for signs of the Lord’s judgment long ago. But, should we still?

“The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light … and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and glory,” said Jesus. Jesus seems to be reaching back to the imagery of Amos, tying in the Lord’s declaration. So, should we be concerned at the next eclipse? It depends. We who believe Jesus Christ will gather us at this time need not worry. However, anxiety may stir in the hearts of those who forgot Jesus’ prophesy.

Jesus taught that no one on earth knows when this day of darkness will come. So, rather than have each eclipse terrorize us, let every eclipse serve as a heavenly reminder that the day of Christ’s reign will come. And for us it will not be the end; I see the day as the beginning.

 

[1] Amos 8:9 (The Message)

[2] http://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/lunar-eclipse-provides-extra-twist-skywatchers-selenelion-n219586

About Pastor Steve

Pastor Steve Hodges is an ordained minister, pastoring a church in central Virginia.
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