OF BLOOD MOONS
We’ve all seen it swirling around on social media for the past months or so. Whether it’s a doomsday warning or skeptical scrutiny on the subject, we have seen a tremendous amount of interest, conversation, and even speculation about the so-called blood moons.
Now, eclipses happen all the time as natural phenomena and there are different types of eclipses including a lunar eclipse, a solar eclipse, and many more. What makes the “blood moon” a special point of notice is that its essentially a total lunar eclipse—where the moon “turns into blood” or it reflects a reddish coppery hue from the sun whenever the earth revolves in between the sun and the moon.
What makes it even more interesting is that the recent blood moon phenomena that we have been observing is actually a four-part episode of eclipses occurring in a short span of time which happened on the following dates: April 15, 2014, October 8, 2014, April 4, 2015, and the last of the four will culminate on September 28, 2015. This is what we call a Tetrad.
These Tetrads are a normal astronomic occurrence with a count of more than 50 times in our history. These Tetrads at times coincide with major Jewish feast days and holidays but this is something that has occurred only 10 times from the time of Jesus until the present. The significant thing about this whole blood moon occurrence is that it coincides with Jewish holidays at certain times.
Nathan Busenitz of The Master’s Academy, a Bible Seminary in Los Angeles, had this to say:
“Some have suggested that these tetrads, when they correspond to Jewish feast days, mark major events in the eschatological timeline, especially with regard to the nation of Israel. For example, the nation of Israel was reconstituted on May 14, 1948 just prior to the tetrad of 1949–50. And the city of Jerusalem was reunited by Israeli forces in 1967, during the tetrad of 1967–68.
Based on these past events, there is speculation that this current tetrad will signal another major event for Israel and the world, perhaps even marking the time of the rapture and the beginning of the Great Tribulation.”
Proponents of this view have commonly shared the following Bible verses as proof of a Biblical sign of the significance of the blood moon phenomena:
“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and glorious day of the Lord comes.” – Acts 2:20
“I watched as He opened the sixth seal. And suddenly there was a great earthquake. The sun became black, like sackcloth made from goat hair, and the moon became like blood.” – Revelation 6:12
“The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and the awe-inspiring day of the LORD comes.” – Joel 2:31
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days, ‘the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’” – Matthew 24:29
There are even people who mention that in the very beginning, particularly in the book of Genesis, God has made it clear that He created the celestial lights as signs for His people. Genesis 1:14 states: “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years’”.
These “signs and seasons”, commentators say have special terms in Hebrew (אוּת ʼût and מוֹעֵד môʻēd), which particularly mean signals, beacons, omens, or a warning. Furthermore, scholars mention that “the focus here is on the way in which God has ordained the sun and moon to order and define the passing of time according to his purposes” or to reference certain appointed times (for feasts or days set apart from the rest) in order to create patterns of worship, festivals, and observance of the law.
Now that we have a biblical backdrop of this astronomical occurrence, how then are Christians supposed to respond?
On the one hand, we have Christ-followers who take these signs quite seriously and rather take it to the extreme. They start preaching doomsday messages and have the intent to scare, shock, and escalate matters of faith into urgency in order to call upon people to repent before the time comes for the end. There are a number who flock to surrounding geographical areas for safety as if to be able to withstand the “coming judgment from the Lord” and they actually recluse to their own refuge, away from people.
On the other hand, we have skeptics, doubters, and outright deniers of these so-called signs. They brush off these seemingly false beliefs made out of the Bible along with speculative remarks, and they go on as if nothing has changed or nothing is changing. There is nothing to move them apart from the fact that they are living in the status quo.
“IT IS IMPORTANT FOR CHRISTIANS TO EXERCISE BIBLICAL DISCERNMENT AND CARE, RATHER THAN BLINDLY JUMPING ON A BANDWAGON OF FANCIFUL SPECULATION.”
– Nathan Busenitz
While both sides describe what Christians are actually doing about this blood moon occurrence, one thing is clear from Scripture that we ought to be doing, regardless of the seasons and times in which we live: we ought to be discerning and watchful of our ever-changing times.
It shouldn’t take us a blood moon Tetrad and some world-shaking signs to jolt us into action and alertness. What has been said in scripture already leaves us much to be well-prepared and watchful in the event that Jesus Christ comes back.
Although the blood moon phenomena can be considered significant and even relevant for us Christians, it should not be the main point or catalyst for us to really start thinking about the things that matter: salvation and eternal life in Christ before His soon and eventual return.
“Don’t be troubled by the return of Christ. Don’t be anxious about things you cannot comprehend… For the Christian, the return of Christ is not a riddle to be solved or a code to be broken, but rather a day to be anticipated.” -Max Lucado
We cannot all tell if indeed these blood moons will mean anything significant, but like the Old Testament heroes of faith, we can exercise our faith in ways that involve action. Noah, Abraham, Joseph, and others acted by faith based on warnings, signs, and appointed times that God had given them. They not only heard His Word to them but they heeded it with action—and they were commended for their action-packed faith.
In the same way, to us who are Christ-followers, we can hear God’s word for what He says and actually heed it in obedience.
Jesus already told us that there will be times of great pain, persecution, and tribulation in the last days, why are we to be surprised when these actually happen (blood moon or no blood moon)?
We won’t ever know when Jesus will return but we are given certain signs as clues whether His coming is near or not (Read on the Olivet Discourse from Matthew 24). One thing is for sure, whether the Lord Jesus comes back right now at this moment even while you are reading this article or if he doesn’t come for another 3-5 decades, we are still called to be ready.
We were born for such a time as this. At times of great darkness and uncertainty, there is an even greater need for great new heroes of faith to rise up and fulfill their God-given calling. One thing is for sure, Jesus Christ is returning soon—what are you doing about it this day?
While we can speculate all we want about what these blood moons actually mean, we are commanded to instead worship God and be prepared. It shouldn’t take an event like this for us to start moving in the ways of God under the Word of God. Let us not depend on a blood moon to jolt us into action but instead let the blood of the Savior compel us to take part in His redemptive plan for the world. Let us all heed Jesus’ words as we await his coming:
“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” – Luke 21:25-28
Writer’s Bio: Mike is first and foremost a slave of the Lord Jesus—redeemed as a wretched sinner by grace—and called as a wordsmith, speaker, visionary, and creativist for His Church. You may follow more of his Blog at http://thetub-thumper.blogspot.com/