Then he had another dream, and gave his brothers an account of it, saying, I have had another dream:the sun and the moon and eleven stars gave honour to me. Gen 37:9
We have a wrong focus. At least we typically have. What do I mean?
Let me give you an example.
When we receive a word, a prophecy, an encouragement, wo often tend to warn people afterwards that such words tend to bring troubles. There is somebody that wants to steal your promises. And that is true, and we usually mean very good, as if exhorting the recipient of the word. Just be ready. Things might happen that want to distract you from your promise.
I have come to believe that this actually is the first distraction from your promise. You just received a word and you now have to build up expectation and faith for it to come true. Because faith will draw what already is in the spiritual realm into the natural, so your promise will manifest. Without expectation and faith, promises hardly manifest. So often Jesus said: your faith has healed you. Or: I have not seen such faith in all of Israel.
But our faith is paired with fear immediately. Just because we work that way. OK, I am going to say this a little less tinted: our expectation of the good is tainted with the expectation of bad things happening to steal, prevent, or push back the good. Immediately, we at least have a split attention, a divided focus. As if we were wearing bifocals, we have in near sight the expectation of bad things happening, and in far sight the promise.
This is especially bad because we tend to believe that the good cannot come without the bad happening first, and we often miss the good.
But let me tell you a couple things about the thieve that is supposed to steal your promise.
He is a defeated foe. Jesus defeated him at the cross. Peter tells us that he now is our enemy – he is not Jesus’ any longer. But then, if we are hidden in Christ, he cannot be our foe any longer either. He is prowling the streets seeing whom he can devour. Keep off the streets then. Stay hidden in Christ.
Let’s make it clear: the enemy only has the authority you give him. Jesus said: all authority and power is given me in heaven and in earth. That does not leave much for anybody else. He continues: therefore I send you in my authority. In Christ, we have all authority he has. And only if we give the devil entrance, he has the power and delegated authority to steal, kill and destroy.
Withstand the devil, and he has to flee.
I therefore advise you to build faith and teach people to fight with their words without implanting fear. Make them strong in Christ.
But what does all this have to do with our verse today?
We not only wear bifocals in the near and small, but also in the big picture.
In several places the bible talks about the sun, moon, and stars darkening before the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
It is part of our eschatology to expect everything to get much worse before Jesus returns and cleans up the spot.
And that makes us look forward in fear – or doesn’t it? Well, at least it lets us cheer when bad things happen. Not openly, and obviously we are torn.
Torn between moaning and trying to prevent a chip that we think is the proverbial sign on the forehead, and cheering that Jesus’ return is getting closer since yet another sign is being fulfilled.
We support Israel as they – so some believe – will keep up the good work of the gospel during the 7 years of tribulation and the 1000 years of Christ’s reign on earth, while we are in heaven, while expecting and longing for two thirds of the Jews to be killed as that would usher in the advent of Christ.
I asked you what if a few posts back. What if most or even all of revelation is in the past. And that is the point I would love to talk about the sun, moon, and stars.
Let the bible interpret the bible. Therefore, when the bible talks about the sun, moon, and stars, let’s see what these meant in places that have had their fulfillment already.
The first time those three are mentioned together is in Genesis, in Josef’s dream. And it is interpreted there for us immediately. Sun, moon, and stars are father, mother, and brothers. Later, in Isaiah and Ezekiel, they represent leaders and maybe gods of cities and nations – Babylon for example. When Babylon was extinct, the physical sun did not turn dark, but the king and his leaders did.
Now let’s look at Jesus words about the last days. What if those days were the last days of the old covenant?
Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Mat 24:29
After Jesus’ death, his resurrection, and the foundation of the church and therefore the full and complete start of the new covenant, God gave Israel 40 years as a testing period to make the shift. After that, there was the Jewish war, during which one million Jews were killed, mostly killed each other, and the Romans destroyed the elements of the old covenant, mainly the temple and the sacrifice.
Animal sacrifice had become unnecessary with the one sacrifice by Jesus, for all and all times. Read Daniel: when the prince is cut off, he cuts a new covenant with the people and puts a stop to animal sacrifice. Jesus did all that, and after that, abomination came to the temple in its destruction. What if the seventieth week of Daniel is fulfilled?
Obviously, then Jesus’ prophecy is fulfilled as well. The king and the leaders of Israel grew dark. The sun, the moon, and the stars did. If we go back to Josef’s dream: when Jesus died, there was darkness, and the connection between Jesus and the Father faded. We could say the sun darkened. Jesus actually turned red from blood. Just like the moon is the reflection of the sun, so Jesus was the reflection of the Father, as he only did what he saw the Father doing. And the disciples, the future stars and leaders of the church, all fled.
If all this is true, the days of sun, moon, and stars darkening are over, and we do not have to wait for them in fear and expectancy. We do not have to wear bifocals any longer, expecting the bad before it can get better. Nor do we have to secretly long for catastrophe to happen. Suddenly, another verse of the bible would be much more probable and suitable:
Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the Lord binds up the brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow. Isa 30:26
A great description of the new covenant, is it not?
Let’s get rid of our bifocals. Let’s expect the good, the godly. Let’s shine brighter. Build your faith, and the faith of others.
Because if you focus on Jesus, who cares what is going on around you? You are going to be an encouragement, an example people cannot ignore. And instead of pushing them away with your constant fear and pessimism, you will draw them to the source of your faith.
What do you think?