The Eclipse,Gāḏôl, And The Masters

The Eclipse,Gāḏôl, And The Masters April 10, 2024

This week the entire nation has been mesmerized with the total solar eclipse that won’t occur again in the United States for another 20 years. It seemed people were freaking out everywhere and making big plans to try to witness the event that occurs regularly around the world.


Solar Eclipse
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Schools canceled classes or let out early to allow children to go witness this great spectacle. Many people were unaware of the effects of a total solar eclipse. But, I think we can all learn some things from the eclipse.

  • Darkness
  • Temperature change
  • Changes in the wind

Millions of people realized how great the phenomenon is. They were unaware of the scientific importance of what was happening in our solar system. A number of people had an emotional connection due to the cosmic event.

We shouldn’t be surprised because the Bible is clear God created the great lights in the beginning (Genesis 1:16-17.) We serve a God of greatness.


Americans and God’s people are drunk with the idea of greatness. We believe America is the greatest country on the earth and unfortunately, a lot of Americans try to take credit for America’s blessings.

God bless America
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We sing songs about how great America is and how God has blessed us. Ironically the Christian faith doesn’t view greatness as an earthly achievement. Our Bible acknowledges God and His kingdom and attributes as great (Romans 12:2, 1 Corinthians 13:13, Colossians 2:8.)

The Apostle Paul and our Jewish forefathers understood greatness belongs to God alone (Numbers 14:19, Deuteronomy 10:17, Job 37:5, Psalm 8:6, Zephaniah 3:17.) But somewhere along the way, God’s people forgot about God’s greatness.


Judaism began with God’s promise to Abraham and making him into a great nation. Abraham was a nobody whom God did great things through; God’s people need to remember God’s ways.

The Hebrew word used in the Old Testament for  greatness gāḏôl and it can also mean, “Great, elder, high, loud, mighty, more, noble or proud thing.” I find it interesting about how similar the word for greatness is to the word for pride.

Israel, like many of God’s people today didn’t understand God’s concept of greatness. Many focus on the mighty or high aspects, instead of the noble or elder concepts. We look at the size instead of the quality to judge greatness by our standards.

The Promise Land God gave to Abraham and his descendants is a relatively small  tract of land that is surrounded by much larger nations with more means and power. Israel forgot how God used humble people to do great things for the kingdom of God, for God to get the glory for His great works.

They forgot that God looks at the heart of the man and not the sie of him. Below are some of the great patriarchs of the Jewish faith whom God used to do great things.

  1. Abraham
  2. Joseph
  3. Moses
  4. David
  5. Isaiah
  6. Daniel

Even the promised Messiah was to be of the lineage of the humble King David (2 Samuel 7:12-16, Matthew 1:1-17.) However, God’s people were so obsessed with earthly greatness that they missed their long-awaited Messiah.

When Jesus taught about greatness, He often reminded His followers about basic Jewish teachings (Matthew 18:1-5, Mark 9:33-37, Luke 9:46-48.) Jesus draws a staunch contrast between earthly greatness and heavenly greatness.

The Old Testament
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The Apostle Paul had a change of heart about greatness after he encountered Jesus on the Damascus road (Philippians 3:4-8, 1 Timothy 1:12-13.) The Pharisee-turned-Apostle’s teachings contradicted those of the Jewish Pharisees who wanted to be the masters of the Jewish faith.

The Masters

Everyone wants to be the greatest at what they do. We like the attention we get for our work. However, The Apostle Paul made it clear we are all saved by grace so that none of us may boast (Ephesians 2:8-10.)

The Masters
Image by Pixabay

This week not far from where I live, the Masters Golf tournament is taking place. It is a world-renowned tournament played by the greatest golfers in the world. However, to the locals is a nightmare.



The golf course is located in the center of the city and every year the influx of tourists overwhelms locals who then retreat to out-of-town vacations.

All of the schools in the area schedule the spring breaks around the Masters. The event has a dark side also; the city buses homeless people to other cities just to keep the city streets clear.

There is an all-night party atmosphere that clouds the city. During college, I lived across the street from the Augusta National, partygoers and patrons roam the streets at all hours of the night.

When Tiger Woods won his first Masters in 1997, I was in rehabilitation two blocks up the road from the Malay. The Masters may be the greatest golf tournament, but they aren’t that great.

  • Greed
  • Worldly
  • power-hungry

Power and greatness are synonymous with each other. There is a reason for the cliché, absolute power corrupts. Power and greatness can puff us up, but they aren’t necessarily godly.

Billy Graham once said, “True Greatness is not measured by the headlines a person commands or the wealth he or she accumulates. The inner character of a person-the undergirding moral and spiritual values and commitment-are the true measure of lasting greatness.” That is Gadol!

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