The sun in prophecy

It’s spring. At this time of year here in the south the weather can be just as turbulent as my former home up in New England. In the south, spring means many days of cloudy and rainy weather. I can’t remember the last time we saw the sun, and we have had indoor recess for too many days to count.

I love the sun. When it comes out all bright and warm, it feels so good, doesn’t it! The golden hour at dawn and sunset is beautiful, when the sun’s shadows lengthen and the air seems to turn to liquid gold. The fluffy clouds sailing along against the blue sky seem to frame the yellow orb as it makes its way through the sky from low to high then low again. It’s an orderly celestial march, one we take for granted, even when the sun is hidden behind clouds. We know it will come back.

Except, one day, it won’t.

When we think of God we often think of Jesus, of God’s glory, His majesty or sovereignty. He is Creator, of course, but if we think of Him in this way we often restrict our thoughts to Genesis, when creation was first made.

His creative work wasn’t restricted solely to creating it. He sustains it, (Hebrews 1:3, Colossians 1:17), and He will UNcreate it. (Revelation 6). Then He will make all things new. (Isaiah 65:17, Revelation 21:5).

The sun is featured prominently in end time prophecy. In the first set of judgments, the Seal Judgments, the sun goes black as sackcloth. (Revelation 6:12). In Revelation 8:12 the Trumpet judgments, we read-

Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.

Can you imagine how scary that will be?

When the demons are allowed to leave the pit in Revelation 9:2, there are so many of them that the sun is blotted out by the cloud they make. In Revelation 16:8 the sun grows so hot that men are scorched just by being outside. In Revelation 19:17 an angel stands in the sun to pronounce judgment, and finally in Matthew 24:29 we read that after the end of the Tribulation, the sun, moon, and stars go completely dark.

This phenomenon of the sun going completely dark is mentioned not just in Revelation and Matthew, but Isaiah 13:10, Ezekiel 32:7, Joel 2:31, Joel 3:15, Amos 8:9, and Zechariah 14:6. And the sun is not dark for a moment or two but a period of time, likely days or even a few weeks. Do you see how important the sun is in prophecy?

God made the sun for us as a helper. In Genesis 1:14-16,

Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night.

With no sun or moon or stars, the darkness of the Tribulation people will endure will mirror the total sinfulness on earth. It will truly be a time of darkness, spiritually AND physically. The sun shines at His will and pleasure, and it is benign as a light giver as it was intended to be in Genesis or as hostile as a scorcher in judgment against us in Revelation. Again, at His will and pleasure. He is sovereign over all the universe, and the sun bends to his will.

The sun, our friend since the very first days that has given us light, seasons, and warmth, will behave in increasingly erratic ways until the very end of the end when “there shall be no more sun” at all. (Revelation 22:5). But this time, it will be because the glory of God will shine brightly, and there will be no more need of the sun.

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.

What a day that will be!

sun
EPrata photo