Scripture: Jesus said, “A wicked
and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to
it except the sign of the prophet.Jonah.” Mt. 16:4, NKJV (See
also Mt. 12:39, Mk. 8:11-13)
I observed a number
of wooly bear caterpillars while working in my garden on a beautiful day
in mid September. Wooly bears are fuzzy caterpillars. They're a couple of
inches long, black, with a brown band around the middle. I thought of the
folktale that if the brown band is wide, then the winter will be mild and
if the brown band is narrow, then get ready for deep snow and cold well into
April. A black wooly bear means a harsh winter. All of the ones I observed
were a solid color, some black, some brown. By the way, the wooly bear
will become a tiger moth, no matter how cold the winter.
I also thought of Jesus’ comments on weather
signs given in Matthew 16, which parallels our saying that “Red sky at
night, a sailor’s delight; red sky in morning, sailors take warning.”
Some weather signs are reliable, some not, but here
are a few that you might enjoy, or even employ:
* When a summer rainstorm is due, bees will linger close to their hive.
(I have personally observed this.)
* In good weather, birds fly higher. Whereas,
before a storm, flocks of migratory birds, swallows and, even, bats fly close
to the ground. In fact, many species of birds will gather and roost before
bad weather sets in, no matter what time of day.
* If migrating geese fly due north or south, the
following day will be fair. But if they "tack" from east to west, the next
day will bring bad weather. *
* Rain and wind are coming when sheep and horses
gather together in tight huddles.
Cows and deer stand facing east if fair weather's continuing, but bad
weather is on the way if they stand facing west.
* Spiders are most active when fair weather is on
the way, as are ants.
* Before a rainstorm, fresh and salt-water fish bite more often.
So, unfortunately, do flies -- and they may bite more deeply than usual.
* Crickets will give you the approximate temperature -- just count
the number of chirps in 14 seconds, and add 40 to get the approximate temperature
in degrees Farenheit.
The Pharisees and Saducees wanted to test Jesus, demanding
that he show them a sign from heaven, possibly some apoclyptic vision, as
confirmation of his work. The many acts of healing and other miracles should
have been sign enough. They were like someone standing in the rain, while
questioning the accuracy of the forcast for rain!
Jesus refered to the sign of Jonah, who spent “three days and nights in the belly of the great fish”
(Mt. 12:40) and “so will the Son of Man be three days
and three nights in the heart of the earth,”in fulfilment of the Old
Testament Prophecy. But the sign of Jonah also reminds us of the message of
Jonah. Jonah preached a message of repentance to the city of Nineveh. Jesus
came to preach the same message that Jonah preached, a message of repentance,
a reminder that we need to turn from sin and turn to God!
The people of Nineveh repented, and were spared.
Both the weather and our earthly lifestyle are
temporary; they will pass. Eternity, however, is forever - read
and heed the signs!
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