As I looked over the first calendar I got for the new year 2018 (as commonly recognized), one thing struck me as never before. It was the discovery that there are two full moons occurring this first month of the year! The first was last January 2, and the second will be on January 31. Oddly, February this year thus has no full moon!
Not only is January a month with two full moons this year. March will also feature two full moons — on the 2nd and the 31st as well!
Some things happen on a more or less regular basis in this life, and we hardly notice them. Until they hit us, as my recent discovery hit me, between the eyes!
This double phenomenon of two full moons in a month sent me searching the Internet about similar occurrences through the past centuries and in future years. [See, for example: https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/moon/blue-moon.html and www.moongiant.com/Blue_Moon_Calendar.php.]
Some record July 2 and 31, 2015 as the last occurrence of two full moons in one month. To be honest, I did not notice it at all when it came! Did you?
Thus I came to know that the occurrence of two full moons within the same month — some refer to the third full moon in a season of four months when there are two months with two full moons — is called a “blue moon.” By this definition, the third full moon (which will occur on March 2 this year) will be a “blue moon.”
A “blue moon” thus occurs only once in a great while and has given rise to the expression “once in a blue moon” for something or someone that seldom or only rarely appears.
As a kid I had sung the old song “Blue Moon” (by Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart, composed in 1934) [“Blue moon, you saw me standing alone/Without a dream in my heart/Without a love of my own…”]. My elder sisters and I would also play the duet version of the song at the piano; I’d usually play the bass accompaniment.
But all this time I hadn’t bothered to check what this business of “blue moons” really was all about. All I knew about “blue moon” was that it looked sad! Until I got my first calendar for this year 2018. Now I also know what the expression “once in a blue moon” really means. I also know that the moon is really yellow or golden in color, but at rare times it appears “blue” because of some impurity (like volcanic smoke) that brings about this different color.
A calendar anomaly
Perhaps a lot of people are somewhat like me when it comes to not noticing “anomalies” in the calendar most people have used. Many take these anomalies for granted, without really delving into how things got the way they did, and why. I did the same thing in the case of “blue moons.”
I had learned earlier that today’s widely used calendar is vastly different from the calendar that God has ordained to be used in reckoning years, months and days. [See: “Happy New Year!“] With this knowledge I now understand more clearly why “blue moons” occur in our commonly used calendar.
The word “month” is derived from “moon,” and most languages, I suppose, associate “moon” with month. In Tagalog and most other Philippine languages, for example, a month is called buwan or bulan — the same word for the heavenly body “moon.”
The anomaly of two full moons in a month happens because the common calendar does not follow the God-ordained purpose of the moon!
Genesis 1:14-18 shows that God set up “lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night,” to be “for signs and seasons, and for days and years.” The “lesser light” (the moon) was to “rule the night,” while the “greater light” (the sun) to “rule the day.”
A God of order
1 Corinthians 14:33 reveals that God is not the “author of confusion.” He is, rather, a God of peace and of order. He had ordained the “phases” of the moon, as everybody knows and acknowledges: new moon, first quarter, full moon, last quarter, and back to another new moon.
God has tasked the Jews with His “oracles” (Romans 3:1-2). Those oracles include the preservation of the Old Testament in its original languages, as well as the preservation of God’s calendar. [See: www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_calendar.]
In the Hebrew (or sacred) calendar, months always begin with the “new moon” — that faint crescent of the moon appearing in the night sky before the moon waxes into the next phases (first quarter and full moon). Then the moon wanes into the last quarter and finally back to a dark moon, until a faint crescent appears to signal the start of another month. In God’s economy, a “new moon” always means a “new month!” Could anything be simpler than that?
How much easier and simpler it is to follow the God-ordained monthly calendar based on the natural phases of the moon than man-devised months that don’t follow those phases. Indeed there is simplicity in Christ and His ways (2 Corinthians 11:3)!
Months in the sacred calendar average about 30 days. Thus, halfway through every month — on the 15th day — is always a full moon!
Those who have observed the Feasts of God (listed in Leviticus 23 and Numbers 29) realize that the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles — which fall on the 15th day of the first and seventh month, respectively, in God’s calendar — are always a full moon! [See: God’s Feasts in the Book of Acts: Mere Time Markers — or to Be Observed?]
Thus, in God’s calendar there can never be an anomaly like two full moons in a month! And never, too (by that definition), a “blue moon!”
Author of confusion
Since God is not the author of confusion, who else but Satan — God’s enemy — is its author?! [See: Where Did the Devil Come From?] Satan is behind all the lies and deceptions about God’s purpose and way (Revelation 12:9). And Satan’s main human “agent” has been a spiritual “Babylon.” [See: “Your Eyes Will Be Opened!” and Drunk With Strange Wine.]
“Babylon” comes from Babel, which means “confusion.” And confusion arises when mankind rejects God’s plain testimony and instructions, as did our first parents (Adam and Eve). As author of confusion Satan has made the rejection of God’s ways attractive and promising liberty to mankind. That is why most people are “confused” when the true word and way of God are presented to them. [See: Switching Negative and Positive, Spiritual Dyslexia, A Law-abiding Universe — But Man! and Is There Ever Any Good in Man?]
Not only has mankind been confused about the true God-ordained way to reckon days, months and years. In just about all other aspects of life, mankind has been confused — in fact, blinded! — by Satan (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). As a result of listening to the wrong “voice” — that of Satan — most people have gone astray from the right, Godly path. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one, to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6).
The Good Shepherd calls
In the midst of all the confusion in the world, God has called, in this present age, a few men and women from out of Satan’s “house” and “way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25). [The word “church,” as God’s people are called collectively, is translated from the Greek ekklesia, which means “called out ones.”]
Jesus calls Himself the “Good Shepherd” and calls that church His “sheep” or His “little flock” (John 10:14; Luke 12:32). He has risen from the dead and is ever alive. [See: Two Goats Together.] Jesus knows who His sheep are, His sheep know Him, He calls them to Himself, they hear His voice and follow only Him (John 10:14, 2-5). [See: “I Never Knew You!” and Are We All God’s Children?]
Jesus also said: “…I have come into the world that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37).
While Jesus is now in heaven, seated at the right hand of God His [and our] Father (Acts 2:33-39; Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22; John 20:17), He is still actively working here below to “bear witness to the truth,” through His chosen servants today!
The Holy Spirit inspires and moves God’s servants to preach and teach the truths of God (2 Peter 1:21). It is that same Spirit that will enable God’s chosen people [His “elect”; see: Predestination and The Value of the “Firstborn“] to understand what God’s servants are teaching (John 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:9-15).
May you who visit this website hear the Good Shepherd’s voice through the articles contained here. And may you follow that voice, and that voice alone! [See: Leanings, Beware of False Prophets and Fake News.]
As you do, you will not lose your way into God’s glorious kingdom!
Pedro R. Meléndez, Jr.