The Signs of the TimesGeorge Biddell Airy is remembered by some for his groundbreaking work in optics, and his amazing 45 years as England's "astronomer royal." In...
"When it is evening, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.' And in the morning, 'There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?" Matthew 16:2-3 NASB
George Biddell Airy is remembered by some for his groundbreaking work in optics, and his amazing 45 years as England’s “astronomer royal.” In recognition of his accomplishments, craters on the moon and Mars were named in his honor. Yet Airy, born in England on this day in 1801, was a persistent skeptic. Many also called him “arrogant.”
Ironically, one of the more noteworthy moments in his life was his role in the discovery of the planet Neptune. When English astronomer John C. Adams presented Airy with proof that this planet existed, he remained skeptical.
Author Tom Standage noted that “the very existence of Adams’s prediction was a direct affront to Airy’s stated opinions.” He even seemed “disinterested,” and was not diligent to follow through on Adams’ work. As a result, someone else was given credit for the discovery.
Even brilliant scientists like George Airy can fail to “discern the signs of the times.” But so can those with religious knowledge, like the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus’ time. All their learning and intelligence did not help them discern the times.
Today, people everywhere want to understand “the times.” What really is going on? What will happen in the future? But you have an advantage: God has given you His Word and His Spirit. And He has invited you to seek Him, and ask Him anything.
Don’t be complacent or arrogant, but fill your mind with God’s Word. Spend time with Him in prayer, and humble yourself before Him. Ask Him for wisdom, to help you discern the signs of the times.
PrayerFather, open my eyes to see what You are doing in the world today. Help me to discern the signs of the times. Help me to be faithful to serve You with my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Extended ReadingMatthew 16