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The Signs of the Times (1): Forecast

editor - 10 June 2018

“…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…?” (Matthew 16:2-3 NIV)

One of the most popular parts of the news must undoubtedly be the weather forecast. What will the weather be like tomorrow? More rain? Storm? Low temperatures? Or maybe more pleasant weather and some sunshine?

These days clever people can even make forecasts for multiple days in advance, thanks to weather balloons, weather satellites and computer models. They maybe will not know all of the details, but still: usually the big picture of the upcoming weather is pretty accurate. Although sometimes it’s way off. Then we laugh and roll our eyes!

Jesus uses this example of the weather forecast. He says: you are pretty good at predicting the kind of weather that is heading towards you – maybe not in all of the details, but you pretty much understand in general what kind of weather is coming towards you. But you cannot also in this way understand the ‘signs of the times’? One can almost hear the disappointment in Jesus’ voice. Apparently He does expect this from us. That we are able to understand the signs of the times. Not in every detail of course, but in general the bigger picture for sure.

He expects us to be able to read the newspaper and follow the news bulletins in the media next to our Bible, so that we understand from a prophetic perspective the ‘weather’ in our days. And understand from the prophecies of the Bible what kind of ‘weather’ is coming towards us. The general prophetic picture of ‘things to come’, John 16:13 NKJV. Maybe not every single detail, but still. In order that we are able to understand the times we live in, what time it is on the clock of history. And there’s no doubt about it: there’s stormy weather coming towards us.

But forewarned is forearmed. When fear of the future gets a hold of us, because of all the things we see coming to this world, let us not forget this: Jesus knows about it. And He already spoke about it, almost 2000 years ago. In the Bible. Chrystal clear. Plain as day.

And the prophets of Israel spoke about it too. In the Old Testament.

It’s comforting to realize this. These sometimes frightening things apparently must happen. Stormy weather is coming to our planet earth. But He knows all about it. And it does not get out of His hands.

Who knows what the future will hold? Nobody knows. Only He Who holds the future knows. The Creator of heaven and earth. And He revealed it to the prophets of Israel. In the Bible. So that we may understand that these sometimes terrible and frightening things will not get out of His hands.  Out of the hands of Him who is, and was and is to come. Out of the hands of Him who is our Father. Whatever will happen: He holds our personal lives in His hands. And Jesus Christ is coming who will make all things forever new.

This is great comfort for all of us, living in the end times. This is true in the midst of the increasing darkness of the end times. These ‘signs of the times’ are all signs pointing to the end of this age, and pointing to the coming of a wonderful new era for planet earth. The Kingdom of peace and righteousness. He promised. And He will fulfil all that He promised. He cannot lie, Numbers 23:19.

So let’s be strong and courageous, until Jesus comes to make all things forever new!

The Signs of the Times
Many people are afraid of the future. Will the turmoil in the world lead to World War III? Or is there still hope? What do the ancient prophecies of the Bible teach us? Are we at the beginning of the end of this world? Or are we approaching a new beginning? Could Israel be a sign of hope? In this new series Rev. Willem Glashouwer looks at 52 of the many signs of the times that are mentioned in the Bible.The English edition of ‘The Signs of the Times’ will be published by Christians for Israel International in the coming months.

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