Signs in the Heavens: Blood Red Moons and Shmittah
Its been the ‘hot topic’ of the season, subject of best-selling books and of much speculation. Will these ‘signs in the heavens’ bring economic meltdown, World War III, or even the second coming of Christ?
What really lies ahead?
The ‘topics’ include Blood Red Moons and Shmittah. What are these things and how should we respond?
First, blood red moons are lunar eclipses that give the moon the appearance of orange or red. When you have four consecutive blood red moons, it is called a ‘tetrad.’
Shmittah comes from Leviticus 25, where Israel is commanded to let the land rest from cultivation every 7th year. You are not suppose to sow, prune, or reap, because it is a sabbath’s rest for the land. Seven shmittahs are 49 years, the Year of Jubilee, where liberty is proclaimed in the land. Israel is commanded to do God’s statues and keep his judgments; it she does, she will dwell in the land in safety and the land shall yield its fruit (Leviticus 25:18-19). The Shmittah teachers say that there will be a great curse if it is not observed, though this is, at best, conjecture, since there is no specific verse that explicitly states this in Leviticus 25 (Deuteronomy 28:15 might apply).
During 2014 and 2015, we had a tetrad where the four lunar eclipses coincided with Jewish High Holy Days. Blood red moons occurred on:
• April 15, 2014 (Passover),
• October 8 2014 (Feast of Tabernacles,
• April 4, 2015 (Passover), and
• September 28, 2015 (Feast of Tabernacles).
This kind of synchronisation of tetrads with Jewish holidays has happened only 4 times in 500 years. The thesis is that when this happens, something big will occur to the Jewish people and/or the nation of Israel.
Tetrads & Jewish High Holidays in the last 522 Years:
1493-1494 - the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, where they had lived for centuries.
1949-1950 - Israel reborn in 1948 and Jerusalem declared the capital in 1949.
1967-1968 - Six Day War and Jerusalem reunified.
2015 is also a Shmittah or sabbatical year for the land. Teachers interpret this as a bad omen because of increasing western sin. They use the following Shmittah years as illustrations:
1973: Roe vs. Wade legalised abortion in America, since then 55 million have been aborted.
1980: Iran/Iraq War began with 1 million killed over 8 years.
1987: Big stock market crash.
1994: Arafat moved from Tunis to Ramallah in the West Bank (like all the other items, Shmittah teachers consider this a bad thing).
2001: 9-11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
2008: Global financial crisis (GFC), the worse economic downturn since the Great Depression.
According to the advocates, combine this Tetrad + Jewish High Holidays + Shmittah Year of 2015 and ‘something ultra big’ is going to happen in 2015 or shortly thereafter.
What are we to make of all this?
The Scripture does speak of blood red moons but it appears to be a ‘package deal.
For example, Acts 2:19-20, quoting from Joel 2:31, says:
And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
Here the ‘blood red moon’ also accompanies earthly signs like blood, fire, and vapour of smoke while the heavenly signs include a darkened sun. When? Before the great and notable day of the Lord.
Jesus speaks about darkened sun, lightless moon, falling stars, and heavens shaken ‘after the tribulation of those days’ but immediately before His second coming (Matthew 24:29).
We need to ponder these things before we get too excited or alarmed. In addition, there have been Jewish holiday-centered tetrads in history with no major event recorded, while there have been major Jewish events with no tetrad in sight.
The blood-red moons plus Shmittah in 2014-2015 are an interesting theory. My advice is not to be dismissive, since we only ‘know in part,’ but neither should we be whipped up into a lather, either. The best thing we can do is to ‘watch and pray’ (Matthew 26:41), ‘watch and be sober’ (I Thessalonians 5:16), and just plain ‘Watch’ (Mark 13:37).
By following the words of Jesus, you can never go wrong (Matthew 7:24-25).