Archive for the ‘Teshuvah 40 Day Devotional’ Category

God speaks louder during the Days of Awe.

Hebrews 4:7a reads, “TODAY, If you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”

This is quoted from Psalm 95, a psalm dedicated to the Tribe of Issachar. The Tribe of Issachar was gifted with the understanding of the timing of God. We are warned in Issachar’s psalm that the Hebrew children hardened their hearts and did not hear God speaking to them.

These verses should be speaking loudly to us TODAY. Get quiet before your Maker, and hear what He is speaking to you. He has words of love, warnings and corrections- but they will all come from a heart of love for GOD IS LOVE.

From www.Aish.com. I could not improve on this. The Fast of Gadalia is today, September 19, 2012.

The day after Rosh Hashanah marks the Fast of Gedalia, one of the “minor fast days” in the Jewish calendar year. The fast begins in the early morning at dawn, and ends in the evening at dusk.

What is the meaning of this fast, and why does it occur during the intermediate days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur?

THE STORY OF GEDALIA- After the destruction of the First Temple 2,500 years ago, the majority of the Jewish people were exiled to Babylon. The conqueror, Nebuchadnezzar, eventually eased some of his harsh restrictions and allowed some Jews to remain in the Land of Israel. He even appointed a righteous Jew named Gedalia to administer the territory. Gradually, more Jews who’d escaped from the horrors of the war into neighboring countries began to return to their homes in Israel.

Gedalia was realistic about the limitations of Jewish sovereignty. He understood that for their own self-preservation, the Jews in Israel needed to fully cooperate with the nation who had conquered their land.

But this political subservience was intolerable to some Jews. A man named Yishmael ben Netaniah, spurred on by jealousy and foreign influence, arose and ignored the King of Babylon. On the third of Tishrei, Yishmael treacherously killed Gedalia as well as many other Jews and Babylonians.

ANSWER ON YOM KIPPUR– In the aftermath of Gedalia’s murder, the Jews feared reprisal from the King of Babylon. They thought to flee to Egypt to save themselves. But since Egypt was a morally corrupt society, the Jews were in a quandary ― weighing the physical threat against the spiritual danger. So they turned to the prophet Jeremiah, who was secluded in mourning, to ask for advice.

For an entire week, Jeremiah pleaded with God for an answer. Finally, on Yom Kippur, he was answered. Jeremiah called the Jews and told them to stay in Israel and everything would be fine. God was planning to make the Babylonians act mercifully toward the Jews, and before long, all the exiled Jews would be permitted to return to their own soil. But, Jeremiah told them, if the Jews decided to go to Egypt, the sword from which they were running would kill them there.

Unfortunately, the prophet’s words did not penetrate, and the people refused to believe. All the Jews remaining in Israel packed their bags and went down to Egypt. They even kidnapped Jeremiah and took him with them! Now the destruction was complete; the Land of Israel was completely barren.

You can guess what happened next. A few years later, Babylon conquered Egypt and tens of thousands of Jewish exiles were completely wiped out. The lone survivor of this massacre was Jeremiah. His prophecy had become painfully true.

The initial event ― the murder of Gedalia ― has been likened to the destruction of the Holy Temple, because it cost Jewish lives and brought the end of Jewish settlement in Israel for many years. The prophets therefore declared that the anniversary of this tragedy should be a day of fasting. This day is the third of Tishrei, the day immediately after Rosh Hashanah.

LESSONS FOR THE FAST OF GEDALIA

Lesson #1 ― The Jewish people had sunk to one of their lowest levels in history. The Temple was destroyed, the majority of Jews were exiled, and things looked hopeless. But God changed their desperate situation and had the righteous Gedalia appointed. Yet Gedalia was murdered by a Jew and all hope was wiped out.

It was at this point that Jeremiah prayed to God for some insight and assurance. This was during the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This story is memorialized to teach us an important message for these days: No matter how far away you are, you can return and God will forgive you.

Lesson #2 ― The Jews who went to ask Jeremiah for advice were subconsciously sure that God would give the answer they wanted to hear. So when God answered differently, they rebelled. Yet these were not evil people. What happened?

Though these Jews were in one sense dependent on the will of the Babylonians, they were unwilling to be dependent on the will of God. The lesson is that attaching oneself to God means following Him at all times, not just when it happens to coincide with what you want. A good rule in life, when faced with a tricky moral dilemma, is to ask yourself: “What would God say? What does He want me to do?”

Lesson #3 ― When one Jew murders another, it is a deep, terrible tragedy, which can have enormous historical repercussions. There is no excuse for such violence. Do we have philosophical and political differences? We must work them out with calm and tolerance. It is the only acceptable way.

MY TASHLICH EXPERIENCE YESTERDAY

Tashlich ceremony is done on the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah. Tashlich means ‘to cast off’. ‘cast away’ and is a ritual doen as a physical reminder of the human efforts to cast away one’s sins.

Micah 7:19 reads, “God will take us back in love; God will cover up our iniquities, You [God] will hurl all our sins into the depths of the sea.”

Nehemiah 8:1, “All the Jews gathered as one in the street that is front of the gate of water.” This was believed to be on Rosh Hashanah and the Tashlich ceremony was being observed.

The ceremony is performed beside a body of flowing water, or if there is not flowing water a large bowl of water is used or a mikvah. First you reflect on your short comings or unpaid vows to God the past year and then confess each sin as they have come to your mind and ask forgiveness from God. Next, empty pockets of any lint or crumbs as a symbol of God taking your sins away and throw it into the water.

Prayer, “Who is like You, God, who removes iniquity and overlooks transgression of the remainder of His inheritance. He does not remain angry forever because He desires kindness. He will return and He will be merciful to us, and He will conquer our iniquities, and He will cast off our sins into the depths of the seas. Give truth to Jacob, kindness to Abraham, like that you sore to our ancestors from long ago.”

I did this yesterday on the Texas City Dike beside the ship channel of the Gulf of Mexico. I took communion following my Tashlich observance. The reason this observance is so helpful to me is because I am very introspective, hard on my self and I end up beating myself up and feel I condemn myself. As I observe this ceremony I take communion, receiving the full assurance of my salvation, purchased in full by Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary.

When I got home it was pouring rain at the front of my home, no other place, just over the front door. And there was a huge rainbow over our home!!!! How awesome is that??? What a great God we serve.

Rosh Hashanah (Head of the Year) begins tonight at sundown. As the sun goes down, the month. day and year will change. The year will become 5773, marking the years since the creation of man (Adam)

The Feast of Trumpets (also called Rosh Hashanah or Yom Teruah) begins by the blowing of trumpets (shofars or rams horns). There are 100 blasts of the shofar:

  • Tekiah blast“- awakening sound, one long blast (3 second)
  • Shevarim, “broken”- three shorter ones- weeping, lamenting, broken heart
  • Teruah, “alarm”, nine quick blasts in short succession (totaling 3 seconds)
  • These series are blown 11 times for a total of 99 blasts
  • After that, the final blast is knows as Tekiah Hagodolah, “great blast” or “THE LAST TRUMP”! (minimum of 10 seconds)

Rosh Hashanah begins 10 Days of Awe that will end on Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement that begins at nightfall, September 25, which begins Tishri 10 on the Hebraic calendar. Yom Kippur ends the 40 days of Teshuvah (repentance, turning back to God). For 40 days they have been reading aloud Psalm 27, as they make a Chuppah (canopy or covenant covering) over themselves and their loved one. They have also been making restitution to those who they have harmed, giving to the poor and doing acts of kindness. (things we should do daily, but neglect)

At the time of the blowing of the trumpets on Rosh Hashanah, it is believed by the observing Jewish people that these blasts are heard in heaven and 3 books are opened. Malachi 3:16, “Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name. (17) “They shall be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels.* And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him. (18) Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked, Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him.” (Also see Revelation 20:12)

  1. Book of the Righteous sealed with the seal of God who would immediately be written for good life the next year (Revelation 3:5)
  2. Book of the Unrighteous, who would be judged during the year; the totally unrighteous whose names are blotted out.(Ps 69:28)
  3. Book of the Intermediate, those who are not completely righteous or wicked. They would have until the Day of Atonement to make restitution and get right with God or they would not be in the Book of Life. (Joel 3:14)

L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu Literal Hebrew to English Translation: “May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for a good year.” This traditional Rosh HaShanah greeting wishes others a good year and is often shorted to “Shanah Tovah” (Good Year).

Years ago, the Rabbis realized that Ha’Satan (The Accuser) actually has the numberical value of the Hebrew letters of 364. They believed that there was one day that Ha’satan did not have access to them, The Day of Atonement which is the day when the blood was put on the Mercy Seat on the Holy of Holies for the sins of the nation.

As a believer, I am spending the Days of Awe praying for our nation, the nation of Israel and for the Jewish people to find Jesus as their Messiah.

Ezekiel 22:30, “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”

How many is our LORD going to find this year? Are you one of those who stand in the gap?

We sing in Church services called These Are The Days of Elijah. It is sung with joy and anticipation. But reviewing the words, and living in them right now have opened my eyes. We like the end, but do we really understand the narrow place we will have to go through to get there? To get through the narrow place we need to strip ourselves of baggage and cares we are carrying and only be concerned about what God is concerned about.

Read the words to the song below:

These are the days of Elijah,
Declaring the word of the Lord:
And these are the days of Your servant Moses,
Righteousness being restored.
And though these are days of great trial,
Of famine and darkness and sword,
Still, we are the voice in the desert crying
‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord!’

Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it’s the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion’s hill salvation comes.

These are the days of Ezekiel,
The dry bones becoming as flesh;
And these are the days of Your servant David,
Rebuilding a temple of praise.
These are the days of the harvest,
The fields are as white in Your world,
And we are the labourers in Your vineyard,
Declaring the word of the Lord!

There’s no God like Jehovah.
There’s no God like Jehovah!

What we say reveal our heart.

What we say and how we say it is who we are. Angry, hurtful words define an angry, hurtful person. Kind, compassionate words define a kind, considerate person (Chofetz Chaim, page xxi) But more than anything, words are the sole medium through which the Jew fulfills the purpose for which he was created – to communicate Hashem’s greatness and presence in this world. (page xxii)

Today is understood to be the first  day of Creation that God said “Light Be!”.  This brought the creating Spirit  presence back into the earth. We also are created to create with our words.

This 40 days of Turning Back to God (Teshuvah), the most important thing we can do is judge everything we say according to the royal law of love. I Cor 13:4-7, everything.  But don’t walk around not saying anything, speak praises unto God where ever you are, bringing light into this dark world.

September 11, 2001 is a date we recognize as 9/11- the day that the War of Terror came to America as we watched hijacked planes go into the World Trade Twin Towers in New York City.

9/11/01 on the Hebrew calendar was Elul 23, 5761 on the Hebrew calendar.

This is taken from AISH.com: On September 11, 2001, Islamist terrorists hijacked four U.S. domestic airplanes, crashing two into the World Trade Center in Manhattan, one into the Pentagon, and the fourth into a rural field in Pennsylvania. Some 3,000 people died in the attacks, the most lethal ever on American soil. It was not long before Hezbollah’s al-Manar television concocted a conspiracy theory that Israeli and Jewish employees did not show up for work at the WTC on 9/11, supposedly based on a tip from the Israeli General Security apparatus, the Shabak. In fact, the attacks claimed an estimated at 400-500 Jewish victims, including five Israelis. However, it has been speculated that indeed many Jews may have been late for work that day, since the attack occurred a few days prior to Rosh Hashana, when Jews extend their morning prayers with the “Slichot” service

Psalm 27:10 (NLT) “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close.”

When I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior July 4, 1982, this is the first scripture that He gave me and I have loved it ever since. Those who have been rejected understand the hurt and shame that is associated.

Our Father God, our Lord Jesus Christ and our Helper, Holy Spirit will never leave us or forsake us! This thing I have in full assurance. He loves us, no matter what, unconditionally.

Charles Frederick Weigle was born November 20, 1871 in LaFayette, Indiana, into the family of a God-fearing, German-Lutheran baker and his wife. One of twelve children, five boys and seven girls, young Charles was accustomed to hearing his father pray and every morning after breakfast, Bible reading was observed at the family worship time.

When Charles was twelve, the Methodist Church of LaFayette, where his parents attended, was having a series of revival meetings. A great number of his friends and playmates came under conviction and were going forward during the progress of the meeting. This made an quite an impression on young Charles. Even though he resisted longer than most of the others, one night a strong, overpowering realization that he was lost came over him and Charles was converted.

Charles Weigle’s most famous song, No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus, was the product of one of the darkest periods of his life. He spent most of his life as an itinerant evangelist and gospel songwriter. One day after returning home from an evangelistic crusade, he found a note left by his wife of many years. The note simply said she had had enough of an evangelist’s life and was leaving him.

He later said that he became so despondent during the next several years that there were times when he contemplated suicide. He even wondered if anyone really cared for him, but after a time, his faith was again restored and he became active for the Lord again. Soon he felt compelled to write a song that would be a summary of his past tragic experience.

From a heart that had been broken came these words that God gave to comfort him. (I have included the first verse and chorus)

CHORUS
No one ever cared for me like Jesus;
There’s no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me.
O how much He cared for me!
I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus
Since I found in Him a friend so strong and true;
I would tell you how He changed my life completely,
He did something that no other friend could do.

CHORUS
No one ever cared for me like Jesus;
There’s no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me.
O how much He cared for me!

400 Rams Horns to Awaken IDF Repentance

 

 

 

400 Rams Horns to Awaken IDF Repentance
by Maayana Miskin  (www.israelnationalnews.com)

The IDF Rabbinate is purchasing 400  new shofars for use during the Hebrew months of Elul and Tishrei. The shofar,
made of a ram’s horn, is blown to help arouse Jews to repentance before Rosh  Hashanah, the Day of Judgment, and Yom Kippur, the Day of  Atonement.

Prior to the purchase, the Rabbinate gathered all of  its current shofars to see how many were still fit for use, and any damaged
horns were replaced.

Psalm 27:7, Hear, O LORD, [when] I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. (8) [When You said], “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.”

These verses remind me of the prophet Habakkuk, who was crying out to God in the times much like we are living in right now. The first verses of Habakkuk, word are used to cry out to God “Why”….see trouble…. plundering…. violence….. strife….. contention arises….. law is powerless… justice never goes forth…. wicked surround the righteous,…perverse judgment proceeds.

Habakkuk’s problem is where he was seeking, where his eyes were looking.  The things in Judah were going from bad to worse and he was discouraged and losing hope because he was looking at the things on the earth.

God’s answer was found in 2:4b, “But the just shall live by his faith.” Once Habakkuk corrected his vision, and looked to God he ended the chapter with singing and dancing.

Habakkuk was part of the Levitical choir, “with my stringed instruments” (3:19).  Verses 17-19 are sung as a hymn, proclaiming that no matter what it looks like in the natural we will rejoice and praise God! We choose to trust, we choose to live by faith.”

Don Moen sings these verses beautifully http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijh_f7sTdGE