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The Blood Moon

Steven P. Wickstrom

There has been a lot of hype in the religious world about “blood” moons recently. The actual term is “total lunar eclipse” used by Astronomers worldwide. During a total lunar eclipse, the earth passes between the sun and the moon which blocks the sun’s light. However, if you've ever watched a total lunar eclipse, you’ve noticed that the moon is not completely dark. What we see is the moon slowly darkening and changing color over a few hours to an orange-red, or muddy red color. While most of the sunlight is indeed blocked, some of the light rays actually bend around the edge of earth and reach the surface of the moon. The earth's atmosphere scatters and blocks the blue/green colors (short wavelengths), but the orange/red colors (long wavelengths) reach the surface of the moon (see picture below). The effect is very similar to a sunset where the long wavelengths make it through the atmosphere while the short wavelengths are scattered. The result is an orange/red sky.

copyright NASA

Some of the popular religious figures have stirred up a lot of fear and concern about total lunar eclipses and the end of the world. While I realize that fear and hype sell books, it is completely unfounded. If you are one of the people who has fallen victim to their fear mongering, you are not alone. I have received many emails from people who experience fear every time there is a total lunar eclipse. I understand your concern about what you witnessed in the night sky. The fear you experienced is normal, so please don’t think that you are “abnormal.” What I would say to you is this: God is in complete control. The Bible makes it clear that God speaks through signs of nature, including signs in the heavens. But remember, he usually uses these “signs” to speak to unbelievers, or non-Christians

copyright NASA

As for “blood moons,” the Bible only refers to them two times. Some of the references are used to imply a blood moon they do not. Some verses such as Isaiah 13:10, Joel 2:10, Joel 3:15, and Matthew 24:29, speak of the moon being "darkened" but this nothing in common with a “blood moon.” Other verses specifically mention the moon “turned to blood” (Joel 2:31 and Revelation 6:12). Please keep in mind that these are not signs that we as Christian should fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 says that God has not given us a spirit of fear. When we see these “signs” such as a red sky or red moon, I think we should rejoice that God has allowed us to witness them. I tend to hesitate to draw too much attention to these “signs” simply because the signs in the heavens mentioned in the Bible that will accompany the Lord's return may not be natural astronomical occurrences at all, such as a total lunar eclipse. Instead, they may prove to be supernatural in nature, provided by God to herald His Son's return. The warnings in Joel 2:31 and Revelation 6:12 do not say that the moon will be turned orange/red for a few minutes. It says the moon will be turned to blood. This indicates that a total lunar eclipse is not what is being referred to. It is talking about a supernatural event that will scare the (you know what) out of non-Christians, and put the fear of God in them.

I think these signs we are seeing are merely God warning the population of the earth that Christ will be returning soon and that we need to be ready. As a Christian, you are ready, and your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life. The next time God gives you the privilege of seeing a red sky or an orange/red total lunar eclipse, examine your heart and ask God if there is anything in your character that He would like to change, to make you more like Himself. Remember the fear that you experienced when you saw these phenomenon. Many non-Christians experienced the same fear that you did, only worse. Ask God how he can use you to bring them into a relationship with Christ. I think that God allowed you experience that fear so that you would understand what they experienced. You can reach a whole group of people that others (such as myself) cannot. God has placed you in a unique position to reach these people. I pray that God shows you how to do this.

Isaiah 13:10 (NASB)
For the stars of heaven and their constellations. Will not flash forth their light; The sun will be dark when it rises. And the moon will not shed its light.

Joel 2:10 (NASB)
Before them the earth quakes, The heavens tremble, The sun and the moon grow dark. And the stars lose their brightness.

Joel 3:15 (NASB)
The sun and moon grow dark and the stars lose their brightness.

Matthew 24:29 (NASB)
But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Joel 2:31 (NASB)
The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.

Revelation 6:12 (NASB)
I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;

2 Timothy 1:7 (HSCB)
For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.

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