Saturday, July 25, 2009

Signs in the heavens

As Im writing this, today is the 22nd of July ’09, and there is a solar eclipse running over India and parts of Asia. I’m mentioning the date specifically because it is the 1st of Av, on the Jewish calendar. It is interesting to note that there are three total solar eclipses in a row from 2008 to 2010 all falling around 1st of Av.

The First: August 1, 2008 – total solar eclipse – 29 Tammuz / Av 1

The Second: July 22, 2009 – total solar eclipse – Av 1

The Third: July 11, 2010 – total solar eclipse – 29 Tammuz/ Av 1

In the Jewish calendar, the first of Av, is the day when Jews lament the destruction of their temples. As the story goes, Moses caught the people worshiping the Golden Calf on Tammuz 17. Therefore, the three weeks from Tammuz 17 to Av 9 are called “the dark time”. It is the most sorrowful time of the year for the Jews. From Av 1-9, no bathing is allowed; no comforts; no clean clothes; the Jew takes his shoes off; sits on an overturned chair and reads the book of Lamentations.

We are currently in a sabbatical seven year cycle which started on the September 29, 2008, it will conclude on September 13, 2015. It is further more interesting to note that there are four lunar eclipses and two solar eclipses towards the end of this sabbatical cycle and all the four lunar eclipses are falling on Jewish feast days. The four lunar eclipses will occur on:

Passover, April 15, 2014

The Feast of Tabernacles, October 8, 2014

Passover, April 4, 2015 and

The Feast of Tabernacles, September 28, 2015

This is a very rare occurrence for four lunar eclipses to happen on successive Passovers and the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) observances. It is not expected to happen again in the next few centuries. However a series of four lunar eclipses on these particular holy days did occur in the twentieth century, that too not once, but twice. The first set occurred in 1949-1950, the year after Israel became a state. The second set happened in 1967-1968, the year Israel liberated Jerusalem. Such a phenomenon cannot be just co-incidental, but had to be divinely orchestrated.

Further, the two solar eclipses in this sabbatical cycle will occur on: Adar 29/Nisan 1, March 20, 2015

The Feast of Trumpets, September 13, 2015

These two dates are quite significant because they are special days in the Jewish calendar. For example, it was on Nisan 1, the first anniversary of the Exodus, that Moses raised up the tabernacle for the first time and the glory of God descended. Nisan 1 marks the beginning of the religious festival cycle. Six months later, on Tishri 1, the Jews observe Rosh Hashanah, the Feast of Trumpets.

When you look at these details, one cannot ignore the preciseness of these occurrences, but can only stand and marvel at the amazing handiwork of our omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent God.

I’m not getting into further interpretation nor getting into speculation of what is in store. But let us be like Daniel who, when he came to know that the captivity of his people was about to end (Daniel 9:1-2) when he read the prophecy given in Jeremiah 29:10. He straightaway repented for himself and on behalf his people, so that they may be in right alignment with God’s perfect plan.

As I reflect on the various signs in our times in the light of the scriptures, I’m made more aware that all of these portend to the soon coming of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

It’s for all of us to recognise the times we are in (Prov 25:2) and stand up and lift up our heads, for our redemption is truly drawing near (Luke: 21:25-28).


Thomas Mathew

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