Let’s not eclipse our faith!

Let’s not eclipse our faith!

Good morning everyone and thank you for coming together this morning to meet together in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ! It’s a wonderful thing to gather together and I am thankful for the opportunity to speak with you today … and I hope that you will hear something from the Lord today that meets a need in your life or family member or someone you may know.

 

It’s been all over the news for some time now … and especially so on the internet … what’s happening tomorrow?  There’s a full eclipse coming to the USA!  In fact, it’s going to be here tomorrow morning for all of us here on the west coast.  At approximately 10:14am the official “landing” so-to-speak of the Totality Eclipse with begin its trek across our nation on the Pacific coast of Oregon.  I have to conclude that each of us here today, in Southern California, will not be traveling somewhere to witness the total eclipse.  Maybe you didn’t hear about it soon enough or maybe you just couldn’t afford it work wise or money wise to go.  Generally, this eclipse may go down as one of the most watched celestial events in modern history.  With over 200 million people living within a day’s drive of the event there will certainly be a record number of Americans, plus lots of people traveling from all over the world to come and see this event first hand!

Now I don’t mean to be dismissive, but the Celestial clock between the Sun, Earth, and Moon have been known and documented for centuries!  Pardon my pun, but there’s nothing new under the sun here!

 

So what’s the great interest?  Why are people so intrigued about a Solar Eclipse?  Anyone have any thoughts about this?

So what is a solar eclipse?  Yes this may seem like an over-simplified question, but please bear with me for the moment. J  Let’s begin our answer to this question with looking to ancient cultures and what they thought of this kind of event.

Ancient Explanations of a Solar Eclipse

In many ancient cultures, the legends surrounding solar eclipses involve mythical figures eating or stealing the Sun. Others interpreted the event as a sign of angry or quarreling gods.

Hungry Demons, Frogs and Dragons and Thieving Dogs

In Vietnam, people believed that a solar eclipse was caused by a giant frog devouring the Sun, while Norse cultures blamed wolves for eating the Sun.

In ancient China, a celestial dragon was thought to lunch on the Sun, causing a solar eclipse. In fact, the Chinese word of an eclipse, chih or shih, means to eat.

According to ancient Hindu mythology, the deity Rahu is beheaded by the gods for capturing and drinking Amrita, the gods’ nectar. Rahu’s head flies off into the sky and swallows the Sun causing an eclipse.

Korean folklore offers another ancient explanation for solar eclipses. It suggests that solar eclipses happen because mythical dogs are trying to steal the Sun.

Angry Sun

The ancient Greeks believed that a solar eclipse was a sign of angry gods and that it was the beginning of disasters and destruction.

The Tewa tribe from New Mexico in the United States believed that a solar eclipse signaled an angry Sun who had left the skies to go to his house in the underworld.

Quarreling Sun and Moon

According to Inuit folklore, the Sun goddess Malina walked away after a fight with the Moon god Anningan. A solar eclipse happened when Anningan managed to catch up with his sister.

The Batammaliba, who live in Benin and Togo, used a solar eclipse as a teaching moment. According to their legends, an eclipse of the Sun meant that the Sun and the Moon were fighting and that the only way to stop them from hurting each other was for people on Earth to resolve all conflicts with each other.

Modern Day Superstitions

Even today with the information super highway readily available and with mathematical calculations via Kepler’s Laws of planetary motion, clearly known and repeatable … there are still some superstitions that persist … yes even in the 21 century!

  • Fear of solar eclipses still exists today. Many people around the world still see eclipses as evil omens that bring death, destruction, and disasters.
  • A popular misconception is that solar eclipses can be a danger to pregnant women and their unborn children. In many cultures, young children and pregnant women are asked to stay indoors during a solar eclipse.
  • In many parts of India, people fast during a solar eclipse due to the belief that any food cooked while an eclipse happens will be poisonous and un-pure.
  • Not all superstitions surrounding solar eclipses are about doom. In Italy, for example, it is believed that flowers planted during a solar eclipse are brighter and more colorful than flowers planted any other time of the year.

The Total Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017

Here’s a view of the path that the 2017 total solar eclipse shadow will take across the USA.

The “Totality” path is approximately 70 miles wide and travels across the US at 1500 miles per hour!

Here’s a view of the eclipse seen at various equatorial parallels.  For us here in SoCal the sun is going to be at most 70% eclipsed.  Nashville gets the winning lottery ticket … the city will have 100% shadow and the longest duration … 2 min 40 seconds!

Facts

  • A Solar Eclipse is possible only Earth.
  • There are three kinds of Solar Eclipses – Partial, Annular and Total

  • The sun’s diameter is 400 Times larger than the moon, and the moon is 400 times farther away as the moon from Earth.
  • Depending on your surroundings, as totality nears you may experience strange things. Look. You’ll notice a resemblance to the onset of night, though not exactly. Areas much lighter than the sky near the Sun lie all around the horizon. Shadows look different. Listen. Usually, any breeze will dissipate and birds (many of whom will come in to roost) will stop chirping. It is quiet. Feel. A 10°–15° F drop in temperature is not unusual.
  • The full eclipse on the west coast will begin in Oregon 10:16 am
  • Totality lasts a maximum of 2 minutes and 40.2 seconds (in Nashville TN)

– The eclipse center line with pass through 12 US states, and visible in 14

Oregon, Idaho, Montana*, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas*, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky,Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina.  “*” – partial eclipse only.

– The US eclipse begins in the 33rd state of the union (Oregon) and commences at the 33 parallel

Facts – Hot Spot Flyover

– The eclipse totality path crosses several geological trouble spots:

o Cascadia Subduction Zone (10x power vs San Andreas fault line)

o Yellowstone National Park (a great volcano caldera)

o New Madrid quake zone

Another Solar Eclipse is coming to the USA!

Can’t make tomorrows event?  Do worry.  On April 8, 2024 there will be another total solar eclipse over the USA!

These two eclipse zones cross over one another centering near the New Madrid Zone … which also is the crossing of two rivers … the Mississippi and the Ohio rivers.

Some Prophetic Claims or suggested meanings and inferences

  • The full eclipse on the west coast will begin in Salem Oregon at the exact same time as sunset in Jerusalem Israel 17:16 UT on Aug 21, 2017. Oregon 10:16AM, Israel 7:16 PM  Sun goes dark at the same time … America and Israel.
  • The 12 US States having the total eclipse represents the 12 tribes of Israel.
  • The eclipse will cause a great disaster … being the eclipse will cross over the Cascadia subduction zone, Yellowstone and New madrid quake zone.
  • The crossing of the two Solar Eclipse paths puts an “x” on the USA!  (How many culturing meanings is there with that?)
  • One suggested meaning is that the crossing looks like the Hebrew letter of “Tav”. The Hebrew letter “Tav” means “sign” and has gematria value of 400. (Every Hebrew letter has a numerical value associated with it as well as a picture)
  • Final Hebrew month of Elul begins at sundown on Aug 21, 2017. Rosh Chodesh begins at sundown.  Elul comes from Akkadian wording meaning “Harvest”. Elul 2017 concludes the Jewish civil calendar of 5777.  5777 in gematria is year of completion.
5778 – Some say there’s a connection between the temperature of the sun at 5778 degrees kelvin and the upcoming Jewish civil calendar year of 5778
   
  • The temperature of the son is 5778 degrees Kelvin. The next Hebrew year is 5778 (beginning on September 21 2017)

Now back to reality … Is it the end of the world?

I know y’all didn’t come here today to have a science lesson in near earth celestial events!  So let’s go back to our original question … what’s the real interest in a Solar Eclipse?  I would submit to you that maybe this is a spiritual question. After all, where does our intrigue come from and where does this interest persist?  Isn’t it in our hearts?!  Even when we have some facts to support the physical things that can be observed, our hearts continue to seek something more!

Let’s consider the “taboo” part of our hearts. That’s the part of our desires that still holds onto ideas that are termed urban legends, old wives tales or more specifically superstitions. There’s something there that is aligned with the unknown, but our minds want to know … “inquiring minds want to know”!  But as any rational scientist will tell you plainly … celestial events are knowable, common, predictable and great entertainment, but they really don’t add to wellbeing of society as a whole at least not to the extent that people are wanting to know.

We want to know something … something that’s deeper than the every day understanding … but science says it only a physical thing.  Yet we otherwise know that somehow, inexplicably, it has something to do with God and our spirit … but what is it?

Let see what Scripture says about celestial events, our yearnings for spiritual understanding and even to know the future.

The most compelling thing people today will say about a total eclipse is that it is a “sign” of the end of the world or the beginning of war or some other major calamity.  For instance the WW 1 Eclipse occurred two months after WW 1 started.

With our pop-culture, what are some of the more recent calamity movies?  For me a few come to mind … Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, War of the Worlds.

Biblical Foundation

What does the Bible say about the primary plot lines of these movies as the world being destroyed?

Firstly, it was God who created everything.

Genesis 1:1 ESV – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Psalm 90:2 ESV – Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

God is in control.

Hebrews 1:3 ESV – He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Psalm 93:1 ESV – The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.

Psalm 96:10 ESV – Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.”

Jesus is the only one who can save us … not men.

John 3:17 ESV – For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Acts 4:12 ESV – And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

But there is another range of questions … what about biblical prophecy and the End Times?  What about people who say the end of the world as we know it is coming because of this solar eclipse, or WWIII will be starting?

Let’s be honest.  Even, the Disciples came to Jesus to ask about the End Times (Matthew 24:3) … so it’s not such a crazy question.  They asked: “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Matthew 24:4-8 ESV – Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

But here’s the true answer to when the world as we know it will be coming to an end … and it’s in Jesus’ own words from Matthew 24:36 ESV:

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Not even Jesus knows this part of the Father’s plan for mankind!  If anyone tells you a specific date about the Rapture, or WWIII or the signing of the peace treaty with Israel that marks the last seven years of this age or the 2nd return of Christ or any other supposed prophetic event … don’t believe them!

Dates or Seasons?

Contrary to knowing a specific date, what we are supposed to know is the sign of the times … having a general understanding of where the world is in relation to Scripture.  Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:37-39 what we can expect as time and history approach the end times and the beginning of Christ’s reign on Earth:

Matthew 24:37-39 ESV – As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Putting our personal faith and trust in God, Jesus and the Bible IS the mark of an active disciple of Jesus!  That means we need to take our cares, worries, and praises to Prayer and Fellowship in Jesus name!  This is exactly where the rubber meets the road with our proclamation of belief and faith in Jesus!

Jesus said don’t go where people “say” where Jesus would be.  For instance, don’t let yourself go where someone said that “people get healed at the church” or “I read off the internet that some country’s president is the anti-christ”.  Don’t fall into trusting your own heart in matters of Biblical prophecy!

What are we to do?

Your faith and trust in Jesus is just that.  It’s YOUR faith and trust.  It’s not about a bandwagon of people deciding to agree on something that truly cannot be known … specifically about anything in the future and more specifically about knowing God’s specific detailed plan! Remember that not even Jesus knows when the end of the age will come!

To answer your questions about End Times or impending calamity or anything else that may be going on in your life is all about your walk and your relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit!

Listening and responding to the Spirit’s leanings is your best source and access to gain understanding and maybe even wisdom.

Let’s take the advice from the Disciple James … and begin to ask in Prayer and by fellowship with Jesus for knowledge … for understanding … for help.  Bring all your needs to Him!

James 4:2b ESV  … You do not have, because you do not ask.

Philippians 4:6-7 ESV do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Let’s not use the occasion of this current celestial moment for mere entertainment or momentary fear & doubt and eclipse our faith.  Let’s listen to what the sprit is tell us through our prayers, fellowship and reading of the Word of God … then look up and look for Jesus everything!

Deuteronomy 4:19 NIV – And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.

Luke 21:28 NIV – When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

*** End ***

References:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iIYf_6wCcg

http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2017/july/the-coming-solar-eclipse-what-the-bible-tells-us-about-this-phenomenon

http://cs.astronomy.com/asy/b/astronomy/archive/2014/08/05/25-facts-you-should-know-about-the-august-21-2017-total-solar-eclipse.aspx

http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/is-a-solar-eclipse-a-sign-from-god.aspx

https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar-eclipse-myths.html

 

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