Why this Weekend’s Solar Eclipse Gives Hope
On your mark, get set, go! It’s time for the October 14, 2023 annular solar eclipse that will make its way across North, Central and South America, touching down in at least 10 countries. Every person living in the United States will be able to view a partial eclipse (except those in Northwest Alaska) while others in select states will experience the full view of this celestial phenomenon. The eclipse’s path will race across the U.S. states of Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. From there it will make its way through Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia and Brazil. (For specific cities and places within these states/countries that lie in the direct path of the eclipse, click here.)
What’s so special about an annular solar eclipse?
Though not as dramatic as a total solar eclipse, where the moon completely covers the sun, an annular solar eclipse still offers a spectacular sight known as the “ring of fire” where viewers can witness approximately 90-91% of the sun’s disk being darkened. The website Great American Eclipse explains, “an annular solar eclipse promises a spectacular vision featuring a striking sight of the sun as a ring.” The travel website Adventure Coast adds, “Anyone inside the direct path of the 2023 annular solar eclipse will see the sun appear as a bright ring-shaped halo around the edges of the moon for a full four minutes before it continues southeast. Daylight will be noticeably dimmer.” According to NASA, an annular solar eclipse happens “when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, but when it is at or near its farthest point from Earth. Because the Moon is farther away from Earth, it appears smaller than the Sun and does not completely cover the Sun. As a result, the Moon appears as a dark disk on top of a larger, bright disk, creating what looks like a ring around the Moon.”
Why does this eclipse matter?
While eclipses are certainly exciting, awe-inspiring events, there can also be a spiritual element to their arrival. In Rabbinic Judaism, celestial events are considered signs from God. Genesis 1:14 declares, And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years.” In the case of solar eclipses, the belief is that when the light is stricken, this means the people need to look inside themselves, or at their nation, to see if there are any “darkened” areas which signal a need for repentance.
In Christianity, there are verses such as Isaiah 13:10, Joel 2:10, Joel 2:31, Joel 3:15, Ezekiel 32:7, Mark 13:24, Matthew 24:29, Revelation 6:12 and Revelation 8:12 which refer to eclipses as being signs of prophetic events. Thus, many Christians see eclipses as important signs that they should intercede with prayer for their nation and world.
The October 14, 2023 annular solar eclipse occurs on the day that President Dwight Eisenhower was born: October 14, 1890. Yes, that’s right– he was born exactly 133 years before the October 14, 2023 annular eclipse. And here is why that could be something to truly pray about. Eisenhower is well-known for his role as Supreme Commander of the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. But there’s something else he did that’s perhaps one of the most important actions ever taken by a U.S. leader. Eisenhower witnessed the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps firsthand and what he saw compelled him to have all the evidence thoroughly documented through photo, film and media coverage. Concerned that one day the Holocaust would be denied, he made it his personal mission to make sure the world knew the truth and it could never be covered up.
Intercessors, we have heard the horror stories about what’s happening in Israel right now, as terror groups declared open war on Israeli citizens through kidnapping and cold-blooded murder. Just as Eisenhower sought to protect the Jewish people after World War 2, we must also intercede with prayers of protection. We must also bear witness to the atrocities that have occurred and take action as we see fit.
On July 30, 1956, two years after pushing to have the phrase “under God” inserted into the pledge of allegiance, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a law that officially declared ‘In God We Trust’ to be the nation’s official motto. The law also mandated that this phrase be printed on all American paper currency.
As these eclipses touch our land, we must always remember the phrase In God We Trust. God created the heavens and the earth and thus, whether it’s the radiant light of the sun, or the darkness that occurs during an eclipse, he is in complete control of it. In fact, Psalm 19:1 reminds us that the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
During the Crucifixion, the sun was darkened as Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46. This moment was a turning point for mankind–Jesus took sin and darkness upon himself, giving his life as a ransom for many. The last American city that the October 14, 2023 annular eclipse will touch is Corpus Christi, which means Body of Christ. As the Body, let us pray that our Savior would wipe away the darkness from every unsaved heart and reignite a “ring of fire” within every Christian’s soul.
Lord Jesus, you have created the heavens and the earth, which point to your glory and splendor. As this solar eclipse arrives on October 14, 2023, we pray that our nation would give you the honor and praise you deserve. We pray for repentance, mercy and restoration for our land, as well as in the land of Israel. You have blessed both nations greatly and we thank you for your mighty wings of protection.
What are your thoughts about this solar eclipse? What is the Holy Spirit saying to you and how are you praying?
Angela Rodriguez is an author, blogger and homeschooling Mom who studies the historical and biblical connections between Israel and the United States. You can visit her blogs at 67owls.com and 100trumpets.com. She is also the author of Psalm 91: Under the Wings of Jesus, and her first children’s book, Hallelujah’s Great Ride, was just released in September 2023. Photo/Canva Pro: Decster1 from pixabay.
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