“It shall be established forever like the moon, and the witness in the sky is faithful.” Psalm 89:37 NASB
Like the moon – Read this one at night, outside, with the moon overhead. God promises David something that speaks directly to us, but you won’t see the sign of the guarantee in the light of day. You will have to step into the dark to see God’s seal. “Like the moon” (keyareah), God’s promise is seen against a backdrop of impenetrable darkness. God promises that “it” will be established forever (olam ve-ed).
What is this that will be established forever? Look back a few verses. It is God’s covenant with David and Israel. God reminds David that He has sworn by His holiness never to break this covenant. Even if the descendents of David violate the commandments and do not walk in God’s instructions, God will not abandon them. He will bring punishment but He “will not break off My lovingkindness” (hesed). How do we know this? Look at the moon!
David’s song of praise reminds us of Yeshua’s comment about the Torah. “Not until heaven and earth pass away” is pretty much the equivalent of “established forever like the moon.” These statements reminds us of the beginning, when God placed the sun and the moon in the heavens as “signs” (Genesis 1:14). Signs for what? Signs for His covenant promise, according to the word of the Lord in David’s psalm. Moon watching is a righteous act because it is a reminder of the promise of God. It reflects the covenant. In fact, it isn’t very surprising to discover that the “new” covenant uses the same word as the “new” moon, hadash, a word that reminds us that it is the same moon we have seen before, revealed once again in the night sky just as the “new” covenant is something we have seen before, now written on the heart instead of on stone.
When will God renege on His promise? When the moon falls from the sky. When will the festivals no longer matter? When the moon disappears for good. When will the Torah cease to function? When there is nothing but emptiness in the heavens above us. There is a time when the covenant will no longer apply. That time is when there is no longer a moon for a sign.
Perhaps it’s worth reviewing Paul’s statement about esteeming days, eating certain foods and observing festivals. Perhaps Paul, who is Sha’ul the Jewish rabbi, isn’t so quick to overturn a sign in the sky put there by God. Perhaps his words need to be understood in a different way. Perhaps being “moon-struck” isn’t such a bad thing after all.
Topical Index: moon, yareah, olam ve-ed, forever, Psalm 89:37