Well it came and then it was gone. Eclipse 2017 is history.
I must admit I wasn’t as into it as much as some. But I’m old enough to have seen a few eclipses in the past.
Here in North Idaho we had a 90 % coverage of the sun. Strange how things seemed to quiet as the light subsided.
But, as the eclipse passed, a thought came to mind relating this event to our relationship with God.
This thought was generated by the fact that there were so many warnings about people not staring into the sun lest they damage their retinas.
It made me think about the fact that God is completely holy, and thus is unable to look on sin. It also made me think what a powerful thing it is to gaze upon the holiness of God.
In one instance described in the Bible, the prophet Isaiah caught a glimpse of God’s glory.
Here’s how it was described in Isaiah 6:
It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
The whole earth is filled with his glory!”
Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.
Now we might think that such of vision would have made Isaiah say, “Wow!” But instead he said something more akin to “Whoa!”
Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”
When Isaiah saw God’s glory and holiness, it caused him to recognize his sinfulness.
Essentially, Isaiah thought he was toast!
Just like staring into the sun can damage a person’s eyes, staring into the holiness of God can blow out anyone’s feelings of self-sufficiency and superiority. We can go from feeling smug to feeling small in a flash.
And yet, because of Jesus, we don’t have do go around skulking around due to our sinful state.
In fact, through Christ our relationship with God changes. The Bible tells us that we can approach God with confidence because of Christ.
One of my favorite passages of the Bible is found in Romans 5. Here, Paul writes about the benefits that come from being in relationship with God through Jesus:
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. ~ Romans 5:1-2 (NLT)
Knowing Christ brings peace.
Knowing Christ brings privilege.
And knowing Christ brings joy.
Today, millions of people stated into the sun. But hopefully none of them experienced any damage to their precious eyes. Why? Because they were likely wearing special sunglasses that allowed them to start into the eclipse without fear of harm.
In a way, that’s what Jesus does for us. He is the only reason we can ever approach God without fear.