Today, August 21, 2017, America will be privy to one of the most fascinating observable acts of the natural world: a total solar eclipse. While scientists and hobby astronomers alike are excited to witness these events, others are concerned with the spiritual significance of the eclipse—some are even warning about the end of the world and God’s impending judgment.
Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, published a blog post concerning the eclipse in which said she wanted to “be faithful to warn others of the danger coming against the land” that she believes the eclipse foretells.
True to his “make sure people get a chance to repent of their sins and accept Jesus as Lord” priority, Graham’s son, Franklin, issued a statement on his Facebook page that is encouraging people to take the eclipse as an opportunity to do just that.
While Lotz’s blog post is a little more pointed than Franklin Graham’s position, they both agree it’s hard to know if the eclipse is a sign from God or not. In an article published on Charisma News, Lotz said:
“Regardless of whether or not the conjecture regarding America’s eclipse is accurate, we know our nation and our world is in turmoil. Without doubt, this is the time for God’s people to get right with God. To repent of our own sin. To share the gospel with our neighbors. And to pray that in the midst of His coming wrath, God would remember mercy (Hab. 3:2).”
Both siblings agree, however, that world events point toward the end times.
While their father, Billy Graham, doesn’t make public statements anymore due to his declining health, things he’s said in the past about eclipses give us a hint as to where he might stand on today’s eclipse. An article on BillyGraham.org relates a sermon Billy Graham gave on the night of a total lunar eclipse. The article relates, “Rather than pointing to the eclipse as a specific sign from the Lord, he used the moon and stars to illustrate the incomprehensible vastness and power of God.”
Whether the eclipse represents God’s impending judgement—a belief Lotz tells us Jewish rabbis have historically held—or it is more a show of God’s incredible celestial handiwork, one thing is certain: A God who could set the universe in order in such a way for the moon to cross in front of the sun and block it out temporarily from an earthly point of view is nothing short of awe-inspiring.