Red Sky at Night


I took today’s picture last week in Northern Wisconsin. We had to stop the car – the sky was exploding with so much beauty as the sun went down.

How about you? When you’re looking at a beautiful sunset or sunrise with your kids, do you quote the rhyme?

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.

Red sky at morning, sailor’s warning.

Did you know that proverb actually is in the New Testament? Well, not the rhyming rendition, but Matthew’s own take on it.

And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test Him they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven.  He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. (Matthew 10:1-3)

See, Matthew (inspired by God) was writing about Christ’s conversation with the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Both groups considered themselves wise in their knowledge and both groups opposed the claims of Christ. They greatly disagreed with each other, but they did agree on their view of this One who claimed He was the Son of God.

Now they came to Christ and demanded a sign from heaven. (As if all the miracles they had observed weren’t signs.)  And Christ answers that they already knew how to interpret signs in the sky.  Red sky at night means fair weather. Red sky in the morning means storms. Yet, they couldn’t interpret “the signs of the times.”

Unfortunately, people today still react as the Pharisees and Sadducees. All around us are evidences of God – in the delicate petals of a flower, in the uniqueness of the animals we see at the zoo, in the kindness of a person who reflects God’s love, in the changed life of someone who has recently trusted in that love … .  The list continues but still people say, “I see no evidence of God. He needs to show Himself to me.” People still are blinded to the truth.

Although we see fantastic sunrises and sunsets all during the year, sometimes at this time of year they seem even more vivid. (Maybe it’s just that the days are shorter and we’re outside more at the time the sun is rising or setting.)

But next time you see a sunrise or sunset – quote the rhyme to your kids … and then show them that Christ quoted this same proverb to the Sadducees and Pharisees … and talk a little about the attitude of these “religious” groups of people and how people today still question God’s authority.

Another way to have fun and to teach at the same time.



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