Over a year ago, I received my first COVID vaccination. As I thanked the health care workers who were involved with the administration of vaccination, I turned to one of them and said,”See you here next year.” Many of them reluctantly nodded. At the time, our knowledge of the COVID virus and efficacy of the various vaccines were still quite limited. Although clinical trials had been successfully conducted, no one could confidently predict how long the enhanced immune response would last. Would this be like our annual flu vaccine or like the hepatitis B vaccine, requiring a booster several years later? Flash forward to 2022. We now have several new variants of COVID against which the existing vaccines have varying efficacy. Nearly all medical experts are recommending boosters. I was correct but I am certainly not a prophet. I was simply basing my prediction upon previous epidemiological experiences with other viruses. I was reading the signs of the times using my medical background. What about spiritual matters? Am I a discerning and a keen observer of these signs of the times as I am with my own profession?
From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.
1 Chronicles 12:32 (NLT)
In this passage from the Bible, Issachar, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, was singled out for having men who understood the signs of the times, using this knowledge to help guide their fellow Israelites. They were shrewd observers of the current events and were honored by God for their faithfulness. Our Lord Jesus Christ warned His followers to be watchful for similar signs of the times.
Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. Matthew 24:4-8 (NLT)
One only needs to look at the events of the world over these past two years to realize that the signs of the times may indeed correspond to what Jesus prophesied: a world wide pandemic, unprecedented weather patterns and natural disasters, geopolitical flashpoints from Taiwan to Ukraine. What do they mean?
The signs of the times foreshadow when Jesus Christ will return to judge the world. While we do not know the exact time when He will return, we should always live in earnest expectation. For believers in Jesus Christ, it will be a glorious return and we will be taken to Heaven. For those who have not confessed and repented of their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, it will be the sign that their time of judgment is at hand. God is patient with all of us, not wishing for any to perish but for all to have salvation and eternal life through faith and belief in the Name of Jesus Christ. He has given us all the signs if we are willing to observe and believe in them.
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.