Matt.16:2,3 – 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.”
Recently I was preparing to play golf with some friends and we were noticing the beautiful red sunrise in the east. One of my friends said, “red sky in the morning, sailor take warning” and then made reference to this scripture. I began to ask some questions (seeing my friend is a fisherman) and he said that red sunrises speak of a rainy day later and a red sunset usually predicts a coming beautiful day. I have been thinking about what the Lord was saying in this passage all day today. Obviously He was rebuking the religious leaders He was speaking to. He said that could recognize signs in nature and miss the prophetic signs of the coming of the Lord all around them. Here are some comments from Spurgeon on this passage.
“They were able to draw nice distinctions on the variable condition of “the face of the sky: ” why could they not “discern the signs of the times? ” They could have seen, if they had chosen to do so, that all the prophecies were one in declaring that the date of Messiah’s appearing had arrived; and they could also have observed that every event was fulfilling those prophecies; but they were false at heart, and would not see, and yet cried out for a sign. Signs were all around them, and yet they repeated the parrot cry “Show us a sign.” Most justly our Lord was indignant with them, and upbraided them, using the justly severe words, “O ye hypocrites! ”… Lord, do not allow any of us to be blind to the heavenly signs, — thy cross, thy resurrection, thy Word, thy Spirit, and thy work of grace, Teach us carefully to “discern ” these things as being in very deed the abiding “signs of the times.”
Just as there were signs of the first appearance of the Lord (the magi recognized a star proclaiming the Lord’s birth) there are signs all around us proclaiming the end of the age and the Second coming of the Lord. There are spiritual signs; the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. There are signs in the political and economic world; the alignment of the nations against Israel for one. There are also signs in creation; earthquakes and natural disasters have multiplied in the last century. Look at the signs; red sky – sailor take warning.