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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

March 20, 2015

Today's solar eclipse and heavenly signs

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

In past times people did not know why the sun sometimes disappeared and fear was the result. There were superstitions explaining why this happened. In China, for example, it was thought that a large dragon or some other monster had swallowed the sun. Shouting and noise scared the beast off and the sun returned.

Today astronomers can predict a solar eclipse down to the second. But that doesn't mean that there aren't strange ideas about this predictable event. In 1999 members of an obscure sect thought that a solar eclipse would cause a great flood, so they built a bunker on a hill near the Spanish city of Tarragona. But nothing happened.

And there are also practical concerns, like the question of whether Germany's electrical network would collapse today because it is dependent to a certain degree on electricity generated by solar energy. During the minutes of an eclipse the generation of solar electricity would come to a standstill.

How will people react in the future when the heavenly signs occur that are predicted? People don't pay attention to those predictions, though, because they think the source of the prediction is not credible:

"I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up" (Revelation 6:12-14).

Jesus had announced this dramatic event to His disciples some 60 years prior to the vision in the book of Revelation: "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken" (Matthew 24:29).

According to the Bible, people will be full of fear when these heavenly signs occur. How should we react to them? "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near" (Luke 21:28).

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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