When Evening Comes and the Sky is Red

There are many modern day sayings and idioms that come from the Bible, yet we don’t know it. Does this saying sound familiar to you?

“A red sky at night is the sailor’s delight; a red sky in morning is the sailor’s warning.”

We know this to be a basic way of predicting the next day’s weather, for if when evening comes, and the sky is red, the next day’s weather will be good. However, if you wake in the morning and the sky is red, there will likely be rain. I had actually thought that this saying was originated by sailors, but in actuality, the origin of these words are a paraphrase in rhyme of Jesus’ words in the New Testament.

Jesus said: “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.'” – Matthew 16:2-3a NIV

So clearly, the concept of the “red sky at night” saying was well know in Biblical times. As a matter of fact, another common English version of this rhyme is “A red sky at night is the shepherd’s delight; a red sky in morning is the shepherd’s warning.” So as usual, Jesus was using language and examples of things common place in His day and time. And as usual, He was doing it not just to make clever conversation, but to make a point. His point was that the prophesies of the coming Messiah were fulfilled in Him, and he was standing right there in front of the religious leaders of the time, and they would not see it. Here He goes on:

“You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” – Matthew 16:3b-4 NIV

The leaders of the time should have known the Word of God, they should have known their history, they should have know the signs for the advent of the Messiah, and they should have recognized Jesus Christ. So tell me, how is that any different than today? We should know the Word of God. We should know our history and the history of God’s people. We should know the signs for the coming Kingdom of God and the second coming of Christ. We should recognize Him as our Savior and the Savior of the world.

 When evening comes, you say, it will be fair weather, for the sky is red. When you look at the sky tonight, also look at the world around you and ask yourself if you can see the signs of the times. As the Bible says, “the time is short“.


When Evening Comes and the Sky is Red — 2 Comments

  1. There was a song from the 80’s by a band called The Fixx which did a song called Red Skies at Night. I always think about when I hear the phrase red sky at night sailor’s delight. You can see the video on Youtube.

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