Did you notice that 2012 is a leap year? Every four years our imperfect calendar adds a day in order to catch up with God’s perfect creation calendar, the solar year. A leap year is one day longer than our 365-day year, and that added day, February 29, is known as leap day. Over 5,000 years ago, the first calendar makers, the Sumerians, added up to five days each year to reconcile differences between their calendar and the solar year. But in spite of their effort, discrepancies persisted. About 3600 years ago, King Hammurabi added a full month to the Babylonian calendar to make it line up with seasonal changes. About 238 BC, Ptolemy Euergetes, ruler of Egypt, proposed the first leap year, but his advisors rejected the idea. By 46 BC the calendar was so out of line with the seasons that Julius Caesar added 80 days to one year, which became known as “the year of confusion!” He then decreed that leap year be a regular correction to the calendar. His systematic adjustment endures today, but because of a few modifications by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 it is known as the Gregorian calendar.
While we play “catch up” by adding a day every four years to keep our imperfect calendar synchronized with God’s perfect one, God willingly altered His calendar to give His people the extra day Joshua begged for to defeat their enemy, the Amorites. As we live out this year of 366 days, let’s remember that those who cry out to God as Joshua did, are more important to Him than the very order of His universe!
By Larry Ondrejack
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org