The Sign of the Eclipse
Rarely does one see a total solar eclipse. The last time there was one that crossed the entire continental United States was 99 years ago. Tomorrow the sun, moon and earth will be uniquely positioned for such a phenomena to occur. Darkness will cover a 67 mile swath in the heartland of our country beginning at 10:15 am PDT in Government Point, Oregon and ending at 2:46 pm EDT in Charleston, South Carolina. This eclipse coincides with the new moon at the beginning of the month of Elul on the Hebrew calendar. The people of Israel will be celebrating Elul at sundown on August 21. This is the month to draw closer to God. It is said that, "The King is in the field." In addition, the four Hebrew letters in Elul make an acronym from Song of Solomon 6:3. "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine."
Another point of significance is that August 21 is the first day of the Jewish season called Teshuvah. This word means "to return to the presence of the Lord." It is a 40-day period that leads up to the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). God-fearing Jews come before God daily in a spirit of repentance and humility. In essence, they realign their lives with God's plans and purposes. Two Scriptures are typically read during this time period. Ezekiel 33 discusses the appointment of a watchman to warn the people of coming judgment. Verse 7 says, "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me." The other Scripture read is Psalm 27. This Psalm is an invitation to intimacy. Verse 4 explains, "One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple." Verse 7 is a cry to the Lord. "Hear my voice when I call, O Lord; be merciful to me and answer me."
Several prophetic voices from our day are saying that this eclipse is a warning from God that danger is coming to our country unless we repent for our ungodly behavior. Anne Graham Lotz is among them and points out that Jewish rabbi’s view solar eclipses as warnings from God to Gentile nations. She felt compelled to warn the people of the United States that this event is meant as a call for us to rend our hearts and return to God in a spirit of humility. She quotes Joel 2:31. "The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." She also quotes Joel 2:13 and 14 as verses of hope. "Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing..."
Johnny Enlow, spiritual mentor and writer of books on "the seven mountains" of our society suggests that the sun (light) represents God, the moon (reflected light) represents the Church and the earth (object of the light) represents the world. His research shows him that the last time there was such a solar eclipse in the United States was in 1776 when we became a nation. God led him to read Romans 8:20-21. "For the creation was subject to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God." He believes that the Church is being called into reformation and renaissance and that the "reset" will take place on August 21. He believes that the 67-mile path of the eclipse speaks of a prophetic destiny for the United States. God's heart for America is displayed through Psalm 67. It declares, "May God be gracious (merciful) to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. Selah. May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you...Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us...and all the ends of the earth will fear Him."
This is definitely a Kairos time in the history of the United States and the Church. From the beginning of time, God has used signs in the sky to speak to His people. Why not now? Let us pray that the Body of Christ will see the eclipse as a sign from the Lord so that we approach Him with a spirit of repentance and humility that leads us into greater intimacy with Him. As we praise the Lord, a harvest will be realized. It is no coincidence that this eclipse is happening during Elul—meaning harvest—when the King is in our fields. Time will tell the meaning of this eclipse. In the meantime, this is when we should seek Him as He is making Himself available to us. Truly, His deepest desire is to tabernacle with us.
Joan E. Mathias