Eclipses are one of the wonders of the natural world. These astronomical phenomena excite our senses and captivate our imaginations, so it is understandable that news of the total solar eclipse over America made global headlines and tens of millions of people made journeys to witness it with their own eyes.

Christians have a unique perspective when it comes to these celestial events. The Bible tells us that God, the creator of the universe, uses celestial bodies for signs and wonders.

  • Why do Christians believe in signs in the heavens?
  • Does the eclipse point to Christ’s return?
  • Is God warning America about its treatment of Israel?
  • What we know God is saying for certain.

Why do Christians believe in signs in the heavens?

Many Christians believe that God speaks to us in signs and wonders and that some of the signs He communicates with are with celestial bodies, such as the sun, moon, and stars, including eclipses.

The Bible recounts how the disciples asked Jesus what signs to look out for to mark the return of Christ and also the end of the age.

Jesus explains in Luke 21:8-11:

And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them. But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.”

Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.”

Many interpret the “signs from heaven” to mean celestial signs, which is understandable because the Bible gives examples for this.

When Christ was born, the wise men came from the East having followed a star to Bethlehem. This could have been a miraculous star that appeared only for this moment, but it was likely that these ‘wise men’ were astronomers who studied the stars and understood the hidden signs within them.

Another sign of the heavens was when Jesus was crucified. There was an earthquake and the sun darkened as he hung on the cross. Different Bible translations describe the sun as being “covered” or “obscured”. A solar eclipse happens when the moon obscures our view of the sun.

Because of these reasons and more, many Christians are looking to the total solar eclipse that took place over America and are asking what this means.

Does the eclipse point to Christ’s return?

Christians have been trying to figure out what the eclipse really means. Some have mapped out the names in America that lie within the path of totality and tried to find messages within them. A common theme is that there are places like the town of “Rapture”. Is this in relation to the Church being Raptured? Does it have anything to do with the return of Jesus?

Here are Pastor John Hagee’s views on the matter:

This has gained some traction with non-Christians and the media also. Sadly, it has led to a lot of anti-Christian sentiment online with Christians being mocked because ‘nothing’ happened after the eclipse. Mocking posts of, “So where is Jesus then?” and others of a similar vein have flooded social media.

The Bible is clear that nobody knows the day or the hour of His return except the Father. Christian leaders wisely caveat their messages about the End Times with that line. Jesus also said that signs would happen but that “the end will not come immediately.”

Going back to the wise men. The real story of them doesn’t exactly follow the nativity scenes we see in children’s Christmas performances. The wise men did not reach Jesus while he was still a baby in a manger. The book of Matthew recounts how Herod ordered the murder of all Jewish infant boys in Bethlehem from 2 years old and under, likely because there was uncertainty as to the timing of Christ’s birth in relation to the sign of the star and the distance they had travelled.

So, does this eclipse have anything to do with the Rapture or Christ’s return? None of us know for certain, but many Christians certainly think there is something significant about it. There have been many eclipses that have taken place within our lifetimes, and there will be more in the future. It is important we pray and ask God for wisdom concerning these things. After all, we know Jesus is coming back in the future, and He told us to look out for the signs in the heavens.

Is God warning America about its treatment of Israel?

This latest eclipse primarily covered North America, beginning in the Pacific Ocean, then passing through Mexico, the USA, and Canada, and ending over the Atlantic Ocean. Could God be using this eclipse as a sign that America must not turn against Israel?

An interesting aspect of the eclipse is that we gained a new perspective on it. We often see things from our own perspective. From Earth, we look up and see the Sun being covered. Light is being blotted out from us. And it feels like the whole world should witness this at the same time. In reality, only a small portion of the Earth experiences an eclipse at any moment.

This year, images were broadcast from the International Space Station (ISS) which showed a unique perspective. It showed that instead of the Sun being covered by the Moon, it was in fact a shadow being cast upon the Earth. Parts of America were ‘covered in darkness.’

Could this be a sign that there is a shadow over America? Is God sending a warning to America? And could it be in relation to how America is treating Israel?

Since Israel’s rebirth as a nation in 1948, there has been no greater ally to Israel than the United States of America. This special relationship has spanned numerous presidents and administrations throughout the decades. The current US administration has also proclaimed itself as being a friend of Israel, with President Joe Biden describing the US-Israel relationship as being ‘iron-clad’.

Despite these strong statements of support for Israel, there has been growing concern amongst Christians that the US is beginning to turn its back on Israel. Recent comments by US leaders, including the President himself, have shown this. And the effects are damaging to Israel.

Headlines this week include Biden being described as “increasingly frustrated” with Israel, “outraged” by the Israeli government, and calling Israel’s approach to war against Hamas a “mistake”. This is not language that helps Israel. The Biden administration has joined the world in blaming Israel for this conflict and damaging their cause rather than standing by Israel’s side.

All these comments came from a single interview, where he also asserted pressure on Israel, not Hamas, to commit to a ceasefire. He then explained that once a ceasefire was made it would enable an influx of aid into Gaza and that was the only reason he mentioned the ceasefire was needed. He failed to even mention the hostages.

Israel should not agree to a ceasefire unless it ensures their civilian hostages will be released by Hamas. Israel is already going above and beyond to feed Gaza’s citizens, doing more than Hamas has ever done for Palestinians because Israel is the good guy in this war.

Hamas is the reason this war began. It was Hamas who invaded Israel, murdered, raped, and burned over 1,2000 Israeli men, women, and children, and kidnapped hundreds more and held them hostage in Gaza. It is Hamas that is using its civilian population as human shields in Gaza to maximise civilian casualties. It is Hamas that conflates the numbers to trick the world into hating Israel. It is Hamas that has genocidal aims of destroying Israel and the Jewish people worldwide. It is foolish for Israel’s allies to be pressuring Israel when they should be holding Hamas to account as they are the cause of this war and can end it immediately if they surrender, put down their weapons, and release the hostages.

The USA is not alone in this foolishness. Canada recently passed a law that would restrict arms sales to Israel. Again, a close ally of Israel is turning their back on them in their time of need after being misled by the lies and distortions of Israel’s enemies.

It is interesting then that the sun was ‘blotted out’ over these two nations, particularly the USA, the same week that its leaders are seemingly turning against Israel. It raises many questions.

Is the eclipse a sign from God to America? Is this a warning that God’s judgement is coming or simply a foreshadowing of what might happen if America continues down this path? Is there an opportunity for America to correct course on this issue?

We don’t know. But we are praying for America. We are praying that Christians in America will rise up and turn their nation back to God and back to being a friend of Israel.

What we know God is saying for certain.

All the above is speculation on what the sign of the eclipse could mean. There are likely many more interpretations also, but there are some things all Christians know for certain.

We know for certain that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is still on His throne. He is the God who watches over Israel and neither slumbers nor sleeps. And we know that He is the creator of Heaven and Earth, including the sun, moon, and stars.

It is God who created the magnificent spectacle of the lunar and solar eclipse. He created every aspect of this amazing universe; from the magnificent celestial spectacles that capture global attention, right down to the emotions we feel as we witness them. He created these things for our enjoyment and for our good.

Another thing God created was Israel. He made a blood covenant with Abraham and to his descendants so they would possess the land of Israel and it would be their inheritance “forever”.

Jeremiah 31:35-36 says:

‘Thus says the Lord,
Who gives the sun for light by day
And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar;
The Lord of hosts is His name: Who disturbs the sea,
And its waves roar
(The Lord of hosts is His name):
“If this fixed order departs
From before Me,” declares the Lord,
“Then the offspring of Israel also will cease
From being a nation before Me forever.”’

God specifically used the celestial bodies as a sign that as long as they are still in existence, so too the nation of Israel will exist before His eyes.

Israel is the only nation that has a certain future. It is the nation that gave us the Bible. It is the nation where Jesus was born, ministered, and died, giving the free gift of salvation to the world. It is Israel where Jesus will return. Israel is the only nation that Christians are called to pray for and the only nation in which God says he will “bless those who bless” and “curse those who curse.”

Today, many nations are cursing Israel. Sadly, they will be judged by God. The Bible made that clear and history attests to this. Every nation that has persecuted the Jewish people in the past is no more.

God is always on Israel’s side. As Christians, we stand with Israel and the Jewish people. We will continue to stand up for the truth of the Bible in our nations. And we will never stop looking up, watching, and praying because we know our “redemption draws near.”