Yesterday millions witnessed a total eclipse of the sun.
The last one before this was on June 8, 1918, before my father was born. Yesterday I saw a partial eclipse about the size of a pinhole through a shoebox pinhole viewer my wife made. I live in Western PA where it is overcast about two-thirds of the year, so I wasn’t expecting too much, and my expectations were pretty much met. I got to view the pinhole partial eclipse for a few minutes as the clouds parted.
But millions witnessed an incredible and amazing phenomenon. And I couldn’t help but think, “How can people not believe there is a God when they see that thing?” Here are a few reflections on what happened yesterday.
God was shouting at us
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. PS 19:1
How can anyone think this was just a coincidence? The sun is 93 million miles from the earth; the moon is 239 thousand miles from the earth. The earth is spinning around the sun and the moon spinning around the earth, and they just happen to line up so that the orb of the moon perfectly fills the orb of the sun. And that just happened by coincidence?
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. RO 1:19-20
Yesterday millions gazed upon the eternal power and divine nature of God and walked away saying “Wow isn’t nature amazing!” and never thinking “How did that happen?”
God controls the universe
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. IS 40:26
He (Jesus) is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. HEB 1.3
It is God who upholds and directs every single atom in the universe. For believers, we can rest in knowing that God has everything under his control. If he can align the sun, moon and earth, he can align the details of our lives, and cause all things to work together for our good.
God is infinitely glorious
The heavens declare the glory of God…PS 19.1
This total eclipse of the sun was incredible. Glorious. Awesome. That’s why millions wanted to see it. We long for beauty and majesty and glory. Well, folks, if this universe is glorious, multiply that by infinity and you will get what God is. The heavens declare the glory of God. The rings of Saturn declare there is a majestic Creator.
God’s glory is so great the highest angels can’t even look upon him.
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!” Isaiah 6:1-3
There were numerous warnings yesterday about not looking directly at the eclipse. Isaiah got a glimpse of God’s throne room and the seraphim, the highest angels, who have never sinned had to cover their faces in God’s presence. His glory is too incredible for even the highest angels to glimpse.
Someday believers in Jesus will gaze upon his glorious face
No human could ever see God’s face in this lifetime:
But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” EX 33:20
If we were to get even a glimpse of God’s glory in this lifetime, we would perish. 1 TI 6:16 says that God…
…dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see.
But someday, we who believe in Jesus will see him face to face.
No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. RE 22:3-5
We cannot even begin to fathom what this will be like. We will gaze on the infinite beauty of Jesus. And we will burst forth into praise for a thousand years. Or ten thousand years. And then Jesus will say, “Oh, you think that was good. Look at this.” And then he’ll turn his face ¼ of an inch and we’ll fall on our faces and praise him for another 10,000 years. We will gaze on the beauty of the Lord for all eternity. And in the light of his glorious face, all our suffering here will vanish. Everything we went through as believers here will be worth it a million times over, swallowed up by Jesus’ infinite glory.
Praise God for solar eclipses. For the Grand Canyon. For the beauty of a luna moth or the human eye. But all this is meant to point us to the infinite glory of Jesus.