This subject has been in overdrive, hasn't it? We've seen advertising frenzies for solar glasses and product disclaimers prompted by anxious legal counsel and nervous school administrators (and rightly so!) and bizarre predictions from end times prognosticators and wild parties from epicurean philosophers. As my mom wisely said, some folks can turn anything into a circus!
So I don't want to jump on any of these bandwagons but I do have some thoughts on this astronomically significant event. We discussed these in our adult Sunday School class yesterday and I wanted to share them with you...
1. Psalm 19:1 (which by the way is my favorite man's favorite chapter in the Bible) tells us that The Heavens declare the glory of God. He intends for the marvels of His creation to propel us to worship the Creator. As we look to the Heavens, we should be awestruck at His power and His vastness and His beauty. The details of the eclipse - how the moon can line up precisely so and block the view of earth's view of the sun and especially how this even is so orderly that it can be predicted with such precision - declare the glory of our great God.
2. Psalm 8:3,4 - When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place,what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him? When I consider the greatness of His heavens (which He made with His fingers - I love that!), I cannot help but see myself as small and insignificant. And, contrary to contemporary thought, I should! The fact that He loves and cares for me does not point to my importance but rather to His magnificent character. He loves me not because I am so wonderful and loveable but because HE IS! Glory to His name!
3. The creation account in Genesis tells us Then 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 for nights." (1:14) All the times I've read that, I've failed to notice that God says the lights of the heavens (that would be the sun, moon, and stars) are given to us for signs. Yes, for seasons and to distinguish day from night but also for signs. Now, I'm not about to go all apocalyptic on you but let's take God at His Word. What sign could God be displaying with the eclipse? Surely I do not know what all it means and what He wants to say to us. But I do know what it makes me think of. When Jesus died, Scripture tells us that the world grew dark for three hours there at Calvary.(Matthew 27:45) Since this event of redemption took place in the middle of the day, I believe this is describing an eclipse. And since God controls the events of all the world, I certainly do NOT think that was a coincidence! It was at this moment that God judged the sins of the world and laid them on Jesus so He could pay the price for failing to meet God's standard of holy perfection. The price that I owe. The price that you owe. The price that you nor I nor any other person could ever pay. God judged Jesus for what I should rightly be condemned for.
And the sky grew dark to signify the blackness of that judgment.
Now don't hear what I am not saying - I am NOT predicting that Jesus is going to return at the eclipse! In fact, I think it is a safer bet to say He is NOT going to return at that time because God says He will return like a thief in the night, when we least expect it. And plenty of "prophets" have declared the eclipse of 2017 is The Day. So I doubt He is coming during this eclipse. But I do think He would have the eclipse to cause us to ponder judgment. To remember the great price He paid for us to not bear the penalty of our sins. To praise Him for that great mercy.
And to remember that One Day, He will come again. Not only to gather His people together but also to judge the world. And for those who have not trusted Him, there will not be another chance to do so. Existence for those souls will be an eternal eclipse - dark and hopeless.
The Eclipse 2017.
God's great love