“Lessons From A Winter Storm Forecast”
March 13, 2017
I took this photo at the Rainbows End Christian Youth Center in Mount Joy, PA. It is painted on the entire block wall of the gym. Rainbows End seeks to reach out to the youth in our community, especially those who do not have a Christian background. Saturday evening we attended their annual fundraising banquet and heard inspiring stories of how they are reaching out to our community.
(Click on photo to enlarge)
“Lessons From A Winter Storm Forecast“
Listen to our message on your audio player.
“He (Jesus) replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah” (Matthew 16:2-4).
Beginning this evening we are supposed to receive the most snow we’ve had all season. One forecast we read on accuweather.com states that our region, the lower Susquehanna River Valley, will be receiving 18 inches or more!
Ester works today so she will experience the pre-storm shopping surge at local grocery stores. Some shoppers prepare like they won’t be able to get out for weeks although rarely does the most severe storm affect us more than a day or two.
We’ll soon see if the forecast is correct and, assuming we have power and internet, will give a report tomorrow! Weather forecasting has come a long way in our lifetime. Uisng the accuweather.com website I can get a forecast for our area for 90 days. I printed that out this morning and will keep a record concerning just how accurate this forecast is.
The daily verse describes a means of forecasting in the Bible times which is limited to the current and next day’s weather. “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ ”
This is consistent with an ancient mariner’s rhyme,
- Red sky at night, sailors’ delight.
- Red sky at morning, sailors take warning
This remains an accurate rule of thumb for short term weather forecasting. (see here) Essentially it is based on the reddish glow of the morning or evening sky, caused by haze or clouds related to storms in the region. If the morning skies are red, it is because clear skies over the horizon to the east permit the sun to light the undersides of moisture-bearing clouds. The saying assumes that more such clouds are coming in from the west. Conversely, in order to see red clouds in the evening, sunlight must have a clear path from the west, so therefore the prevailing westerly wind must be bringing clear skies.
But Jesus was making a more important point using this as an illustration: “You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”
The religious leaders of that period missed the signs of Christ’s first coming. There were prophecies from various prophets that should have made it clear to them that the Messiah had come and was right before them. Many people today are just as blind or choose to disregard the signs of the times regarding the second coming of Jesus.
This form of discernment is vital to every generation, including our own. We wrote a series of messages concerning this several years ago titled “Understanding The Present Times” (link to first message below).
“A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Christ certainly doesn’t mince words here! This is probably a verse not commonly committed to memory.
Jesus promised a sign that would have power to bring people to faith – His resurrection. He had previously mentioned the sign of the prophet Jonah in Matthew 12:39-41, clearly explaining it as His coming resurrection.
Bible teacher David Guzik shares some of the similarities between Jonah and Jesus:
· Jonah disappeared from all human view in doing this.
· Jonah was sustained the days when he could not be seen.
· Jonah came back after three days, as back from the dead.
· Jonah preached repentance.
May the Lord grant us discerning hearts and minds to interpret the signs of our times!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, even as the religious leaders missed the signs of Christ’s first coming many are missing the signs of Your second coming. Choosing to live for the temporal pleasures of sin will blind us from the signs You give that prepare us for Christ’s soon return. Help us not to be grow weary or lose hope lest we fix our attention on that which passes away and take our eyes away from that which is eternal when Jesus comes for those who are committed to Him. We lift up our eyes to You, for our redemption draweth nigh! Amen.
Don and Carol Musser were at the Rainbow’s End banquet on Saturday. Carol is rejoicing and giving praise to God for helping through her recent cancer ordeal. They are back in State College where they now live and she will not see the cancer doctor for another six months! Don is one of my longest term friends here in Lancaster County since I met him in the course of chaplaincy work at Engle Printing shortly after we moved down this way from New England in 2001.
“Understanding The Present Times” The first in a series of five messages on this topic (Navigate to the next message by using the “next message” link at the top of each post.)
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