The challenge of the Blood Moon

A lot of interest has arisen in the ‘blood moon prophecies’ attributed to Mark Biltz and John Hagee, both preachers who come from the USA. Mark Biltz has claimed that Monday 28th September’s event – the fourth in a sequence of ‘blood moons’ – would signal the end of an era.

Blood Moon over the Jaffa GateThe Blood Moon seen above the Jaffa Gate, Jerusalem.
(photo: Sherwood Burton)

Some have interpreted this as meaning that it would signal the return of Jesus Christ and the imminence of the Battle of Armageddon. But others are sceptical about these prophecies, as both men are authors of books that are receiving much publicity.

The interest is such that the blood moon witnessed in the early hours of Monday morning is said to have cast a shadow over this year’s Christian Embassy Sukkot Celebration in Jerusalem. That celebration is a held in parallel with the Jewish celebrations which recall the time when the Israelites lived in tents, or booths, in the wilderness.

Long ago the Israelites were commanded to ‘rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days’ once they had gathered in the produce of the land (Leviticus 23:39-40). Therefore, any shadow cast over the celebrations goes against the intention to rejoice before the Lord.

Meanwhile, actual events in Israel have cast a shadow over the Jewish celebrations of Sukkot. Rocket fire from Gaza into Israel was reported as taking place overnight on Tuesday. And then on Thursday evening an Israeli couple were shot dead in a terror attack in the area known as the West Bank.

Most troubling about this is the Hamas organisation’s blessing of these murders. Israel`s enemies seem to be intent upon denying them the opportunity to rejoice.

And so the challenge comes to those interested in prophecies: do these prophecies occupy so much time that they distract attention from making an appropriate response to what is happening on the ground?