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What makes the moon so great? It’s honestly just a piece of rock orbiting around the earth. Left to itself, the moon would be seen as nothing. What makes the moon so great is the sun. We can look at the moon at night, see it shine so brightly, and revel in it. It’s beautiful, and it gives us the slight light that we need at night.
Yet without the sun, the moon would be nothing. No shine. No light. Nada.
In Psalm 89:37, the Psalmist refers to the moon as a faithful witness in the sky. This begs the question: a faithful witness to what?
During the day, the sun is our source of light, energy, and life. But at night, we don’t see the sun— directly, that is.
At night, the moon shines forth among the darkness, reminding us that the sun is still there. The moon, after all, can only shine if it’s reflecting the sun’s light. This is how we know the sun exists even though we don’t see it—through the moon.
The moon is the faithful witness of the sun to the dark earth.
A Deeper Meaning
What’s so cool about this is the picture it paints of a spiritual reality. When Jesus came on earth, he told his disciples that they were the light of the world, and the world is in the dark (Matthew 5:14). Jesus also told them that they would be his witnesses (Acts 1:8). Just like the moon is the light to the earth and a witness to the sun, so too the disciples are a light to the world and a witness to the Son. (Like the pun?)
But why does Jesus need witnesses?
Because he was going away. No, he didn’t cease to exist. Nor did he completely disappear. He went to be with the Father and send the Holy Spirit to empower his disciples to be his faithful witness to the fact that he not only exists but also is coming back, in full glory.
We live in a world where it is night. It’s full of darkness. Yet we are not left without a moon—without the knowledge of the sun, without hope of day coming again. In other words, God has given the world a witness, the church, shining through the work of the Holy Spirit amidst the darkness. So the world is not left without hope of the day coming again—of God coming again
And the night will be no more. They will have no need of lamp or sun, for the LORD God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:5
The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Romans 13:12
So just as the moon is a faithful witness of the sun, the church is a faithful witness of God to the dark world. And this is great hope—for God is indeed here and will make it day again!
Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16