As is well known, Sunday night we experienced a blood moon. It was also a Super Moon and the fourth and last in a series of eclipses called the lunar tetrad dating back to April 2014.
Because this series of events coincides over the two years with several Jewish festivals, some have used this as an indication of the fulfillment of prophecy from the Biblical text that now is the that large global events will take place. Those on both ends of the spectrum are making comments the past several days about the validity or falseness of it all.
There has been much hype about this blood moon. Some of it humorous, some of it cautious, some of it hysteria, and some just wonder and awe over the coolness of the event.
I personally didn’t get to see it as I was in an airplane at the time with the wrong vantage point. I did get to see the Super Moon after we landed and it was impressive.
As a pastor and having grown up in the pentecostal tradition, I have heard my entire life about the “End Times” and over and over heard one person or another predict the coming apocalypse. Again, this time, there have been those using these events to make predictions about what is coming next. Of course, as Social Media is prone to do, the hype and tone of these predictions reached a level that wasn’t what the original authors/speakers actually said or intended overall. Although as one man once said:
“You’ll never go broke predicting the apocalypse.” – Professor Gary Shogren
One thing was prevalent, people using the passages in Joel 2:31 and Revelation 6:12 in calling this the blood moon and a sign of the end according to Biblical prophecy.
Now, I have no idea what is going to happen next or when. This week could be hugely significant in history. The tribulation could start this afternoon. Or, it could be nothing this week or next or for the next 100 years or more. It’s not my place to know. It’s my place to share the love and reality of Jesus with as many people as I can while I can.
That said, it is good to study scripture and be aware of what is happening. It builds our faith when we see truth lived out.
On this blood moon thing, I just find it hard to believe that what prophecy was referring to was a predictable astronomical event that lasted for a short time one night. In fact, in looking at all that is prophesied in scripture, I don’t believe much of it will be able to be able to be explained naturally. This “blood moon” was cool and is rare, but it is not unheard of in history. These happen with some regularity. Truth is, every lunar eclipse has a red tint to it. It is a fact of how light, shadows, and reflections work and appear through our atmosphere.
Besides, this “blood moon” wasn’t even visible in the Middle East. All of Biblical prophecy is centered on Israel. Why would this event all of sudden be shifted around the globe to the US and not involve Israel at all? [Correction: see below]
Consider, also the author of Revelation in particular. One of the three closest disciples to Jesus, John was also the last living disciple as far as we know. He was a fisherman by trade: a good one from all evidence. As a fisherman, he was well acquainted with lunar and other astronomical events.
In fact, the Hebrew calendar is lunar based. The Jewish culture throughout history has used the sun and moon to mark major events. They were not alone in this. I have toured Incan, Mayan, and Native American ruins and each of these civilizations used stars, the sun, and the moon to mark time with tremendous accuracy. For instance, the entire city of Machu Picchu in Peru is built in such a way to maximize sun and moon events.
The reality is, ancient cultures knew the moon and stars and sun patterns better than we do in many ways.
I highlight this for a simple reason, a reddish moon for a short time one night (or even four over two years) would not be significant enough for John to say the “whole moon turned to blood.” Whatever John saw in his vision in Revelation 6 was significant and very much NOT natural.
I am in no way making prophecies or judgment on those who do. I don’t know. I don’t know when or what will happen.
I do know I trust God. I do know that there are people who need to hear the truth of His love right now. I do know that God does know and He has a vastly better perspective of it all than I do.
So, if the stock market tanks today, World War 3 breaks out tomorrow, the stars fall out of the sky tonight, or nothing huge happens for some time, I will keep my eyes focused on Jesus, my hands to the task, and my hope secure.
Correction: I have found out since posting this that the “blood moon” was visible in Israel in the very early morning hours on Monday. My original information came from a National Geographic article that stated the eclipse would not be visible in that part of the world. The article was obviously incorrect. My apologies for the incorrect information. This does not change any of the rest of the substance in my article. Thank you for your understanding. – Shane