A red moon, a lunar eclipse that makes the moon look bloody, will occur for the 2nd time in 2014 (October 8) during the Jewish Feast Day of Tabernacles, a 7 day fall festival. Does it signify anything significant beyond a normal Tabernacles festival? Does it signify the final restoration of the Church? Or the ingathering of Israel?
It’s hard to say, but there’s a lot of people writing about it including this author.
Festival of Tabernacles
The festival of Tabernacles was originally designated as the foremost joyous celebration of the harvest and as a memorial of Israel’s wilderness experience. The Hebrew word ‘sukkoth’ (booths) commemorates the years that the Jews spent in the desert
on their way to the Promised Land and celebrates the way in which God took special care of them under impossible conditions. Instructions for the festival is stated in
Leviticus 23:39-43 (NRSV) Now, the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall keep the festival of the Lord, lasting seven days; a complete rest on the first day, and a complete rest on the eighth day. On the first day you shall take the fruit of majestic trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. You shall keep it as a festival to the Lord seven days in the year; you shall keep it in the seventh month as a statute for ever throughout your generations. You shall live in booths for seven days; all that are citizens in Israel shall live in booths, so that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
Note that Israel was an agrarian nation with a festival calendar tuned with agriculture seasons. Each festival celebration was a worship experience that renewed the covenant they had made with God at Sinai. In Israel’s fall festivals which began with Rosh Hoshanna (an introspective and repentance oriented festival), the people were prepared for the Tabernacles festival which concluded the year in joyful celebration
(even Jubilee, if a 50th year). At this much anticipated festival, everyone constructed a brush arbor lean-to structure about the Temple, memorializing the campground arrangement after Sinai. It was a one week family affair where all slept and lived in temporary, insecure shelters.
The point is obvious. If God can take care of Israel during their precarious wanderings, then the great promises of God are obtained by courageous faith. When Israel came into the promised land, they had gained an appreciation of God’s power, leadership, and character. They also had a new culture and belief system, absent the mindset of Egypt, as they entered God’s land of rest and fruitfulness.
Celebrating God’s goodness and faithfulness as a memorial to our trials, renews the covenant in our hearts and minds. Worship is our expression of appreciation to the Lord, our heart’s joyful ‘thank you’ to Him.
1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Joel 2:29-32 Signs
As a people who spent most of their time outside, the heavens were always observed closely by Israel as a sort of ‘Farmer’s Almanac’. When constellations rose on the morning horizon during the zodiac’s 12 month scheduled rotation, farmers were cued to till, plant, water, fertilize, and harvest. Considering this, did a blood moon eclipse on a festival day signify anything wondrous to them? Certainly it would have grabbed their attention seeing that fall harvest full moons were anticipated.
Many prophets of doom today view such a sky event as a portent of woe. Is this correct or is it just another date setting, attention getting, apocalyptic world view? After all, the pious Christians of North America have been fatigued by various harbingers of doom who issue warnings of coincidence that seem way to complicated and historically anecdotal?
May I suggest that the blood moon eclipses soon to occur on the feast of Tabernacles this year and next is an additional heavenly herald of restoration that continues to progress off the pages of prophetic scriptures.
Joel 2:29-32 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. (30) And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. (31) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before
the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. (32) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant
whom the LORD shall call.
This passage above is quoted by Peter in his Acts 2 sermon (Acts 2:20)
which places the timing of the ‘Day of the Lord’ as the final day of the Church age. This event, a specific day, is the ‘Return of Jesus Christ’ which is considered GREAT in the eyes of the true Church, but WOEFUL to the eyes of the wicked and unbelieving.
The preceding signs of Jesus arrival are found both in the heavens and on earth. Let’s list them.
Incredibly, the Church Age SIGN that directly precedes the ‘Day of the Lord’ is the Restoration of Israel. This is called ‘the remnant’ whom the Lord shall call.
This restoration of Israel coming into the Church is two fold and is specifically identified as an event by scripture (Jeremiah 24:6-7; 31:31-34; 32:37-41, Zechariah 1:3, Malachi 3:7, Hosea 6:1-3, Ezekiel 36:24-28).
- Physical Restoration of Israel to the Holy Land precedes Jesus’ Return (Nov 29, 1947 UN Resolution 181, land of Israel re-established)
- Spiritual Restoration of Israel precedes Jesus’ Return (key event that has not occurred)
Scripture sees this two fold restoration first physically then spiritually. As we all know, the first step has already occurred but the second has not.
Ezekiel 36:24-28 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. [PHYSICAL] Then will I [SPIRITUAL] sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
There are other SIGNS given to the Church that signal the imminent approach of the ‘Day of the Lord’ (blood, fire, smoke…are portents of world war…the arrival signs of antichrist 2 Thess 2:8-12) but it seems to me that the blood moons of the Feast of Tabernacles is the ‘Starters Pistol’ of the Spiritual ingathering of Israel into Messianic Faith. Meanwhile, let’s celebrate and make a joyful noise unto the Lord.
More reading here: http://earthsky.org/space/a-christian-astronomer-talks-about-blood-moons