The moon is one of the “great lights” that God made on the fourth day of creation (Genesis 1:14–18). These great lights were to help mankind mark the passing of time and the rotation of the earth. Ancient cultures based their seasons, and even celebrations, upon the moon’s phases. We’ve heard much lately about “blood moons” as a sign that Jesus’ return is imminent, but does a full moon have any biblical significance?
Full moons are mentioned in a few places in Scripture, but not in ways that mark any particular significance. New moons marked the beginning of months in the lunar-based Hebrew calendar and also signified when the Israelites were to bring sacrifices to the Lord (Numbers 10:10; 28:11). Psalm 81:3 alludes to feasts of celebration held “when the moon is full.” The prophet Joel foretold that the sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD” (Joel 2:31; cf. Revelation 6:12). Isaiah 30:26 speaks of an unnaturally bright moon that will play a part when the Day of the Lord comes.
Human beings have a tendency to worship anything that seems greater than we are, and moon-worship (or moon goddess-worship) has been a historical problem. God warned us about this in Deuteronomy 4:19: “When you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them.” Some cultures have attributed divine qualities to the sun and moon and built altars to them and worshiped them. But the moon is a creation of God, just as the earth is, and not worthy of worship or praise. When we turn our focus from the Creator to the creation, we are guilty of idolatry (Romans 1:25).
An important spiritual truth we can learn from the full moon is that, as bright and beautiful as a full moon appears, it has no brilliance of its own. It relies entirely upon the sun for its light. Without the sun, the moon is merely a hunk of dark rock. Likewise, we human beings have no light of our own. We were created in the image of God to reflect His brilliance and glory (Genesis 1:27). When we are turned to face the majesty of Almighty God, when we surrender to Him and seek Him with all our hearts, we reflect His glory (Matthew 5:14). We were created to be reflectors of His light in this world (John 1:4–5). When we shine in the glory of God, we are not to be worshiped, as the moon is not to be worshiped. We are to point people to Jesus by committing ourselves to reflect His light (John 8:12).