An amazing event will take place on August 21st 2017, a total solar eclipse, It will be view-able in the continental United States along a 70-mile-wide path from Oregon to South Carolina.
It’s an opportunity to give glory to God for the provision of the moon and get a better understanding of the purpose of this “simple” celestial body.
As the Psalmist says, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” So, what is this eclipse telling us or reminding us about the moon as it relates to the Lord.
First of all, the size and position of the moon is critically important for an eclipse to happen. Of the approximately one hundred moons in our solar system ours is the only one known to be capable of a perfect total solar eclipse. The reason for this is that the moon is 400 times smaller than the sun but it is also 400 times closer to the earth. This ratio allows for the moon to completely block the sun and look as if it is the same size. Secular scientists would have us believe that this is some terrific accident.
God created the sun, moon and stars on the fourth day of creation. The moon has a number of critical roles that it plays in day to day life here on earth. One of the most important is the tidal action that the moon helps cause each and every day. While the sun plays a role in the tide, about two thirds of the gravitational pull that causes tidal action comes from the moon. Twice a day the moon causes a “high” tide. These occur when it is on the near side of the earth and when it is on the far side of the earth.
The tides, and to some degree wind, help provide our ocean currents. The value of the tides can’t be over-emphasized. They cleanse our shores, break down waste coming off the land and reinvigorate the water with oxygen. Without them sea life would stagnate and eventually die. Over 70% of our world is covered with water the majority of oxygen producing plants are actually in the sea. So, without the tides provided by the moon to keep our oceans healthy we would literally be fighting to breathe! Thank God for designing a wonderful system to deliver oxygen the next time you sing the popular praise song lyrics, “This is the air I breathe...”
While the visible effect of the moon’s gravity is in the water, it also effects the land and air. The crust of the earth actually rises from one to two inches as the moon passes! There is a similar effect of tidal action in the upper atmosphere.
One of the aims of secularists is to steal God’s glory and rob Him of the title Creator. However, the scripture says, “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. … Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm”.
Of course, one of the major purposes of the moon is to mark the seasons as stated in Genesis 1:14. Not only does it help us mark spring, summer, autumn and winter but also determines the date of Easter every year. To determine Easter, you determine the first day of spring, find the next full moon and then Easter will be the first Sunday afterwards.
Did you know that without the moon the seasons would be chaotic and severe at best? The moon literally helps to keep everything from going sideways on earth. It helps keep the earth’s tilt at the perfect 23 ½ degrees. Without it the earth tilt could fluctuate between zero and 90 degrees. According to Our Created Moon by Don DeYoung, who I credit for the fascinating information in this blog,” …an earth tilt substantially greater than 23.5 degrees could lead to a permanent freezing of the oceans and the end of all life.” Maybe we should just give glory to God for placing us in just the right solar system with just the right sun and a perfectly placed moon.
Lastly, the moon and Jupiter also have a purpose in protecting the earth. There are 150 mile-wide craters on the unseen or far side of the moon which shows a great number of impacts left behind by space objects. The visible or near side has the Maria or seas (these are the dark spots) which are left behind by basalt layers but the unseen or far side has taken the majority of the collisions. I mention Jupiter because of its mass and massive gravitational pull which acts as a guard against many unwanted visitors to our solar system.
In any case, the eclipse may cause you to feel an uncertainty and sense of trepidation that you may never have experienced before. Remember, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. An eclipse is a dramatic pause that reminds us, “the heavens declare the glory of God” and remind us of His provision. And whether you are reading this before or after the American solar eclipse of 2017, it is a good time to take a moment and worship the creator…not the creation.