MOON ON EARTH
Women are often compared to the moon because of its excellent qualities, and the Scripture is in keeping with the thought. God created the moon to rule the night (Gen. 1:16). So also women occupy a place in this world where often darkness rules the family. The darkness in Isaac's life was gone when Rebecca came into his life. "Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent; and he took Rebecca and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother's death" (Gen. 24:67). But very often we forget that we are made to rule the night and start complaining about the night. Every home has its nights. If only we realise that we have the potential to lighten it, how good and pleasant will that moon-lit-night be! But we murmur about the darkness, cover ourselves with moody clouds and plunge our world in total darkness.
How often we dream to stay in a world that is always as gay as the day! But what good is a moon in daylight? Its light is gone, beauty lost and it serves no purpose. It is a sad trend in the modern world that women are trying to encroach on the daylight of man's government and thus they have left their place of darkness unlit. The resultant fancy dresses, social involvement, etc., have left many a family shattered, husband ignored and children uncared for. Divorce, delinquency, immorality, health hazards and mental breakdown are rampant. What a potential the woman has, to save this world from doom! If the beauty of a woman must shine before the world, she must accept her God-ordained place and enlighten her corner. If we desire and demand a higher position, against God's command, then it is defeat for His people. The moon obeyed God's Word and stood in the valley till the people had revenge on their enemies (Josh. 10:12-13). If God determines a valley for you, you better stay there to defeat the Evil One. Though your work in the shadow goes unappreciated, God comes with His reward. O woman, wake up! Come out of your cloud! Sing along with the Psalmist, "If I say, surely the darkness shall fall on me, even the night shall be light about me" (Psa. 139:11).
If you are to shine, the first thing you must realise is that you have no light of your own (Job 25:5). Even as the moon draws its sheen from the sun, you must wait on the Lord God, the Sun of Righteousness, daily for a liberal supply of energy and then His beauty will radiate from you to lift up the faces of those who sit in darkness in and around your home. "They looked to Him and were radiant" (Num. 6:25). He is "the true Light which gives light to every man who comes into the world" (Jn. 1:9).
It is a woman's natural temperament to sit and shed tears, whenever she has the blues. She wants to be petted and patted and comforted. Do you look to others for comfort and understanding whenever you feel gloomy? Away with such a thought! Let the dawn find you on your knees making a joyful sound, absorbing "the light of His countenance" (Psa 89:15). When the curse of barrenness weighed on Rachel's heart, she jumped on her husband and screamed, "Give me children or else I die," thus provoking him and darkening those pages of the Bible. But if only she had taken the shortcut to the Father of Lights, what a bright record hers would have been!
The Bible has something bright to say about Hannah who faced the same problem, but tackled it in a different way. She poured out her tears at God's feet. "So the woman went her way and ate and her face was no longer sad" (1 Sam. 1:18). What a lesson for women who whimper and shed tears and go about making a lot of fuss not eating their food! Let the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, "Lord, grant I may seek to understand than to be understood," be ours too.
It is said in the Bible that there shall be abundance of peace until the moon is no more" (Psa. 72:7). But sadly, the reverse is true of us today and a shameful proverb says, "A hundred men can dwell in peace, but two women cannot." Can it be said of you that so long as you are there, there will be abundance of peace? Or, is it remarked by the members of your family that there will be peace only in your absence? Because of this failure of many women, their husbands recoil at the thought of home and prefer to while away the time elsewhere. If your husband does not enjoy his stay at home, better search yourself.
That calm moon which He created ages ago still retains its calm even in the deepest night. Get up at midnight and consider a full moon and meditate how you should be when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death. No trace of turbulence, no scorching heat, no calamity, but quietly sailing, its calm, cool and soothing rays comforting the weariest heart. How often, in a momentary trial we forget our identity and behave turbulently throwing scorching words, upsetting the household. Be it husband, children, servant or others, as the moon silently bears the retorts and sneers of the lightning, thunder and storm, let us learn the golden rule of silence, not forsaking at the same time our peacemaker's duty in whatever walk of life we are placed in. David blessed Abigail, saying, "Blessed is your advice and blessed are you because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed" (1 Sam. 25:33). Abigail, a singled-out example who maintained home by seeking peace for it and God rewarded her. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God" (Matt. 5:9). Reminiscing the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, let us cry to God,
Lord, make me channel of Thy peace,
That where there is hatred I may bring Thy love,
That where there is wrong I may bring the spirit of forgiveness,
That where there is discord I may bring harmony,
That where there are shadows I may bring Thy light.
God has created us to be a blessing not only to our family, but also to our country (Deut. 33:13,14). Yes, the land will be blessed by the "precious things put forth by the moon." Let us for a moment consider if we have at all been of any blessing to our nation. India is a land of opportunities. Before we turn around 360 degrees we can meet 360 lost souls. What an opportunity for us to put forth our good deeds! "That the moon shall not withdraw itself," is a blessing of the Lord to the land (Isa. 60:20). Surely Dorcas, in stretching forth her hands, was a blessing to those around her (Acts 9:36). Jesus said, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven" (Matt. 5:16).
Though the Bible says the Lord made the moon to rule by night (Psa. 136:9), it also makes mention of "the rulers of the darkness" of this world! We are to wrestle against these rulers if there is to be victory in our reign. These rulers have enslaved the masses, and millions of our sisters are possessed by their evil influence. What then is our duty? Just as the moon is singled out in the deep dark, we must be examples in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity (1 Tim. 4:12). Our life must so shine that it stirs up others to think of God. David saw the glory of God in the moon's mien (Psa. 8:3). He says that he "considers" the moon. May we realise that the ungodly elements teeming around us "consider" us. We are a walking Bible and others turn the pages of our life for the answer to their questions, solution to their problems, salvation to their souls, healing to their bodies, power for life and what all the Bible has to offer. Let the pages of the Bible be so alive in us that we may put forth precious blessings of the Bible to all who "consider" us (Deut. 33:14). Let us read and re-read, learn and study, absorb and radiate the life of Christ that all those who see us may see Christ living in us. When the people of Israel were passing through the dark ages, Deborah rose up as a full moon and by her shimmer drew them to her and solved their problems that all those who considered her envisioned the wisdom of God in her (Judg. 4:1-4). The moon is "a faithful witness in the sky" (Psa. 89:37). So must we be on the earth.
God appointed the moon for seasons (Psa. 104:19). Women are chosen by God for times of crisis like as Esther was lifted up to the royal throne as a shooting star to a nation in peril. "Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom (of God) for such a time as this?" (Esth 4:14). If we do not rise up to the occasion, God will judge us. Nothing short of the total sacrificial cry of "If-I-perish-I-perish" can save our country (4:16). Make supplication to the king with fasting (4:8,16). Cry to the Lord claiming the souls of your people (7:3). Speak yet again, fall prostrate at His feet and beseech Him with tears (8:3). How can we endure to see the evil that shall come on our people? Or how can we endure to see the destruction of our Indian sisters? (8:6).
Light Of The World
The Bible admonished people to remember their Creator before the moon is darkened. If you are darkened, who can remember the Creator? (Eccl. 12:1,2). Terrible days shall come when we shall lose our freedom of religion and be forced to shut out our light. Jesus spoke of those days, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days… the moon will not give its light" (Matt. 24:29). Therefore, when you still have the life, the light, and the liberty-go… give… grow. For, when the true Light, Jesus Christ, left this earth, He left you here in His place saying, "You are the light of the world" (Matt. 5:13). Hide not your light under a cloud (Matt. 5:15). You are risen with Christ and placed in the heavenlies as the moon that the world may see your light. "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you (Isa. 60:1). He will give you "for a light to the Gentiles," that you may be His salvation to the end of the earth (Isa. 49:6). Break the ice and go a fishing. "He who wins souls is wise" (Pro. 11:30) and "Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament" (Dan. 12:3).
See what picture the Lord has about you-"She who looks forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun and awesome as an army with banners" (SS 6:10). Suppose your earthly beloved has imagined you like this before coming to meet you, will you be the less careful when you present yourself at His coming? Will you not put forth your best efforts to prove yourself up to His standard? Oh, let us hand the picture which our Heavenly Beloved has painted of us in front of us always to lift ourselves up to His standard so that He will not be disappointed at the grand marriage feast! In fragrance as the morning, in the beauty of holiness as the moon, and when the rulers of the darkness of this world come in like a flood to split our household, to engulf the souls around us, to shatter our ministry, terrible as an army with the banner of God's Spirit!
"Return, return, O Shulamite; return, that we may look upon you!" (SS 6:13).