The God whose handprint marks the heavens, Who appointed the sun and moon’s ordered dance,
Has mapped out human history as well.
The God who calls the stars by name (Is 40:26)
Is also calling… yours.
Who isn’t swept away by the majesty of the heavens? From earliest times, we’ve stared up in wonder.
Last Wednesday morning, the night sky furnished one of its most remarkable displays: a total lunar eclipse or “blood moon.” To make the sight even more memorable, this one was also a “supermoon”—a moon that appears larger than usual because its elliptical orbit has carried it closer to us.
I got up “super” early to watch it. I stood praying that displays like this might move us all to meditate on the amazing piece of evidence an eclipse provides that our solar system was designed–laid out in ages past, with stunning purpose and precision.
Cool? Yes. Coincidence? No. Clearly it’s God-incidence!
The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge. (Psalm 19:1-2)
And what was this incredibly elaborate celestial mechanism designed for? God 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 years.” (Gen 1:14)
The heavenly bodies were put in place for us! Our wonderful loving Heavenly Father put this entire celestial timepiece in place to:
The last time I watched an amazing “super blood moon” eclipse fade into the beautiful sunrise that followed, I felt overwhelmed. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much!!
But that Biblical perspective is a little different than the prevailing view in our culture, isn’t it?
“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms…”
The words translated sign and season in Genesis 1:14 are both interesting. Let’s start with a quick look at sign. Here’s an excerpt from Strong’s definition:
אוֹת ’ôṯ; a signal (literally or figuratively), as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence, mark, miracle, (en-)sign, token, standard, miracle, proof.
So the heavenly bodies are on display to showcase the undeniable stamp of our Creator.
…Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made… (Rom 1:20)
Oh, but scientists have explained all that away, haven’t they? There are purely naturalistic arguments that remove the need to look to a Creator, right?
Wrong! Don’t let fake science steal God’s own proof point!
Yes, scientists have proposed models that attempt to leave the supernatural out of the creation equation. But the more we learn the more those models fall short–and even many people of science are recognizing this truth. What we’ve learned about cellular biology, for example, and the precision behind the construction of the universe really seems to beg the question that there must be an Intelligence behind its design.
Darwin’s proposed mechanism—random mutation and natural selection—has been accepted largely as a matter of faith and deduction or, at best, circumstantial evidence. Only now, thanks to genetics, does science allow us to seek direct evidence…. For the first time in history Darwin’s theory can be rigorously evaluated. The results are shocking. Although it can explain marginal changes in evolutionary history, random mutation and natural selection explain very little of the basic machinery of life.“
–Professor Michael Behe, PhD in Biochemistry
As for the Big Bang Theory, it can be reduced, in essence, to “Billions of years ago, nothing exploded and created everything.” How is that provable fact?
The late Dr. Robert Jastrow, an eminent astrophysicist and former Chief Scientist at NASA who’s credited with founding the Goddard Institute, went very public with his struggle with these truths. A self-styled “materialist,” Jastrow wrestles in this video with his growing discomfort over his inability to dismiss the evidence for a Creator.
For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.
–Dr. Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers
Here too, a great depth of meaning gets lost in translation. The word translated seasons ( מוֹעֲדִים, moadim (plural) or moed (singular)) shows up in a lot of interesting places–it’s used 213 times in the Hebrew Scriptures. It can mean an appointed time, an appointed place, an appointed sign or signal, an appointed gathering. It can even mean a betrothal to be married. (This makes a fascinating spiritual linkage–more on that here: When the Bride Makes Ready.) And specifically, it denotes the Tent of Meeting, the physical place where the Lord met with Moses during their sojourn in the wilderness.
It’s probably best known as the word used for the Feasts of the Lord, the seven feasts God gave to the Israelites on Mount Sinai. Those Feasts are “Divine appointments.”
But again, moadim or moed denotes more than a Feast, and more than seasons of the year. It denotes an “appointed time.” Here’s a very partial list of events for which scripture specifically indicates there was or will be an “appointed time” (moade or similar language, e.g. “the time is fulfilled” in the Greek scriptures):
Don’t miss this! The ancient prophets predicted Messiah’s first-century triumphal entry into Jerusalem AND Israel’s twentieth-century restoration as a nation to the day.
He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation… (Acts 17:26)
What’s my point?
Make no mistake. The same God who crafted the heavenly bodies and created their ordered dance has also mapped out human history.
“For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done.” (Isaiah 46:9-10)
He has also “established the boundaries” of each of our lives. You, too, have an appointed time.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them. (Psalm 139:16)
Let’s explore the word for sign a bit further. Some examples of the word אוֹת (ôṯ) in use:
So miraculous signs were one of the indications that a true prophet of God had arisen within Israel. The word σημεῖον (sēmeíon–sign, mark, token, miracle with a spiritual end purpose) takes over the same sense in the Greek New Testament.
Of course, the New Testament also corroborates the Genesis statement that one of the purposes of the heavenly bodies is to furnish us with signs.
Heavenly signs marked the beginning of the current age. And they will mark its end.
Heavenly signs that we’re reaching the end of our age have been stacking up! As are many, many other signs. We’ve been seeing those “birth pangs” for decades, but in the past year, do you have a feeling they’ve intensified? If so, you’re not alone. This article documents how large areas of the world are currently experiencing plagues of Exodus proportions. We even have an upcoming candidate for the “mark of the Beast” (see this).
Check out what Luke 21 says. Yeshua speaking!
And they [the Jewish people] will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. (Luke 21:24-28)
The first verse gives you the eviction of the Jews under Hadrian in ~135 A.D., and the 1800-year Jewish diaspora, in a single sweeping sentence! Then the context jumps to the end of the Age of the Gentiles (Church Age). Yeshua says here that the following will mark the end of the Age of the Gentiles.
The Son of Man is coming, beloved!
At the acceptable time I listened to you,
And on the day of salvation I helped you.
Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation”… (2 Cor 6:2)
I noticed something really cool! The passage Paul quotes here is Isaiah 49:8. Guess what the word for salvation in this passage is in the Hebrew? יְשׁוּעָה yešû‘āh: It’s a form of our Lord’s name! “…salvation, deliverance, help, victory, prosperity. The primary meaning is to rescue from distress or danger….” Isaiah told Israel to look for the “day of Yeshua”!
But here’s a critical truth to take in. In Jesus’ day, Israel was looking for Messiah as the Lion of Judah, who would defeat the Romans and give them their kingdom back. Instead, they got the Lamb, the Suffering Servant—and they rejected the perfect Lamb of God.
Today, people are looking for the Lamb. We’ve worked hard to spread the Good News that God is love—and He is! But many people picture Jesus only as the Suffering Servant, the gentle and meek Lamb who preached “judge not.”
I shudder to imagine their dismay when He returns as the Lion—jealous for His righteousness (1 Cor 11:2)—instead.
“And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts. “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire…” (Mal 3:1-2)
How astonished will this generation be when our Lord returns as the “refiner’s fire,” the Great High Priest, the Warrior King, and the Righteous Judge?
Brothers and sisters, come to Yeshua for salvation NOW. In this “day of Yeshua.” He stands at the door and knocks! (Rev 3:20)
Would you rather have the Lamb or the Lion as your Judge?
Rev 19 army image in banner: David Miles, used by gracious permission
Torah scroll image in banner: Lawrie Cate, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
If you’ve never opened God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus (Rom 3:23, 6:23), please please please be persuaded to do it now! It’s simple. Just tell God from your heart that you admit you’re a sinner that needs a Savior (“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom 3:23) that you’re done running your own life, and that you’re ready to make Jesus Lord of your life.
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” (Rom 10:9-11)
The decision that saves you is that simple!
Simple… But no one said living it out will be easy. Especially now.
Click on the image for an informal trailer, or….
Dave made aviation history in WWII’s daring Doolittle Raid. Now he’s a downed pilot on the run.
Miyako made a vow to bury a knife in him. That vow could cost them both their lives.
Winner, Cascade Award
Finalist, Christy and Carol Awards
Inspired by Actual Events
“A taut, crisp debut achievement that colorfully evokes the Pacific theater of WWII. Start this one forewarned: it’s a stay-up-all-night read.” –Jerry B. Jenkins, 21-time New York Times bestselling author
China, 1942. Desperate and fleeing a brutal enemy, U.S. airman Dave Delham loses all hope he’ll live to see home again. If he manages to survive this mission–somehow–he swears he’ll answer God’s call on his life.
Japan, 1948. In a world where honor means everything, what would you risk to salvage yours? The war has reduced Miyako Matsuura to a street-hardened prostitute, forced to sell herself out–body and soul–to survive. But when the pilot whose bomb stole her little brother’s life returns to Japan, she sees her one chance to salvage everything. That quest drives her like the point of a dagger.
Two competing vows. Two war-damaged people racing along a deadly collision course. Can their tragic histories be redeemed?
If you like pulse-pounding tales of redemption that brim with deeply drawn characters and taut suspense, you’ll love Linda Thompson’s powerful debut novel. Immerse yourself in this award-winning story of courage and redemption today!