Posts Tagged ‘teshuvah’

The Hebrew Month of Elul began Sunday night at sundown. This begins the 40-day season of Teshuvah, the month of repentance or ‘returning’ back to God. This is the 40 day period when Moses went back up Mt Sinai the 2nd time to seek the forgiveness for the Sin of the Golden Calf.  The 40 days end with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when Moses came down and announced they are forgiven!

This is also the time when Jesus was led of the Spirit into the Wilderness to be tempted by the devil for 40 days. Time to Align with Prophetic Timing.

The Key to this season is PREPARATION for the Fall Feasts! We prayer for years for a wedding, we prepare all month for a special birthday or gathering. Stores start playing Christmas music in July! But is the a special time to prepare on God’s calendar? A time to prepare to meet our Lord!

The word ELUL is only found once in the Bible. Nehemiah 6:15, “So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.”  The 25th of ELUL is also the first day of Creation, when God said, “Let there be light.” This is the last month of the Hebrew civil year. The next month, Tishri, begins the civil year and the year changes to 5779, tied to the time when man was born (Adam).

The Month of Mercy

Historically this is when Moses went up Mt Sinai a second time for 40 days to seek forgiveness for the sin of the Golden Calf. God came down in a cloud and gave Moses the 13 attributes of who He is. (Exodus 34:5-7) Moses came down on Tishri 10, the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur and said “God forgives!”

The word ELUL is an acronym of “I am my beloved and my beloved is mine.” This is the time to come closer to God, begin to start dropping off time wasters and come back to the Bible, hear His voice.

The King is in the Field

This is the month historically when the King is in the Field. We can bring this into our lives spiritually because Jesus Christ is the King of Kings, our Bridegroom. When a person would request presence of a king there was a ritual that you would have to go through to come into the presence of the king on his throne. But in the month of ELUL, the king leaves his throne and goes out into the field to see his people. He comes to our life, our workplace,  our prayer room, our level.

Jesus is always available, He is always near, He is always here because He said, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” (Mt 28:20) But there is a time when His presence comes closer to our corporate gatherings, and also into our prayer times. It seems there is a season when there is a more open heaven.

ELUL 1 begins the 40-day season of TESHUVAH

First of all, what is Teshuvah? Teshuvah is a 40 day season of time for introspection, judging yourself. It begins Elul 1 and ends Yom Kippur. The last 10 days are known as The Days of Awe.

The Hebrew root for Teshuvah is shuv, number  H7725 in the Strong’s Concordance and it means to return, to turn back, to restore, to cause to return. Spiritually speaking it is turning back to God. He never changes and if you feel distant from Him it is because you have distanced yourself by your own desires and choices in life. It is now an open portal to return to the Lord.

Jeremiah 24:7, ‘Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return (shuv) to Me with their whole heart

  1. Psalm 27:6, “And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.”

Praising God is a choice!!!

The first use of sing in this passage is the Hebrew word shiyr (sheer) and it is used to ‘sing to honor someone’.

The first usage of shiyr in the Bible is in Exodus 15 after Yahweh parted the Red Sea and their enemies were drowned. They sang in honor of their Protector and Defender God.

The second use of sing in this passage is the Hebrew word zamar and it is a primitive word that carries the meaning ‘to pluck with fingers’. This use of sing is from praises using instruments. It also means ‘to dance’.

The first instance that zamar is used in the Bible is Judges 5:3 with Deborah and Barak, “”Hear, O kings! Give ear, O princes! I, [even] I, will sing (shiyr) to the LORD; I will sing praise (zamar) to the LORD God of Israel.”

No matter what circumstance you find yourself in today, CHOOSE to sing praises to God in song, instrument and/or dance. He is so worthy of our praise!

I remember 2 weeks ago as 3 inches of water poured in from under all the doors from the 23 inches of rain that evening. I stood there and the song from Bethel began to rise in my heart, “It Is Well”.  “Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on You. Through it all, through it all it is well…………” When we really need it, what we have hidden in our heart will either deliver us or bring us down.

As for Ken and I in our house, we will serve the Lord. It is a choice we made long ago and have never regretted that decision.

 

Psalm 27:7, “Hear, O LORD, [when] I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me

History records Elul 17 to be a day to cry out for mercy.

Traditionally, it was the day that the 10 spies that returned from the Promised Land with an evil report died of a plague.  (Numbers 14:37)

In 1935 Nazi Germany passed the Nuremberg Laws, a set of racist policies directed primarily against Jews. The Nazis blamed the Jews for poverty, unemployment, and the loss of World War I. Jews were banned from any professional jobs and Jewish stores were boycotted. Anyone with even one Jewish grandparent was stripped of German citizenship, with no basic rights. Within 10 years, the Nazi genocidal machine had swept through eastern Europe, leaving 6 million Jews murdered.

Today the Jews are being blamed for many things, history is again repeating itself.

Psalm 83 reads like the daily newspaper: God, don’t keep silent. Don’t keep silent, And don’t be still, God. For, behold, your enemies are stirred up. Those who hate you have lifted up their heads. They conspire with cunning against your people. They plot against your cherished ones. “Come,” they say, “and let’s destroy them as a nation, That the name of Yisra’el may be remembered no more.”For they have conspired together with one mind. They form an alliance against you. (HNV)

The alliance listed are the “Arab Confederacy”.

  • Edom: Southern Jordan and Palestinian refugees
  • Ishmaelites: Saudi Arabia
  • Moab: Central Jordan and Palestinian refugees
  • Hagrites: Egypt
  • Gebal: Northern Lebanon
  • Ammon: Northern Jordan and Palestinian refugees
  • Amalek: The Negev and Sinai Peninsula areas
  • Philistia: The Gaza Strip and Hamas
  • Tyre: Southern Lebanon and Hezbollah
  • Assyria: Syria and Northern Iraq

We are now 2 weeks into the 40 days. That may not mean time much to you, unless you are fasting something or some foods for these 40 days. I have found after 14 days that I don’t miss those things the same as I did in the first few days. I choose to stay with this for the next 16 days and then intensify the fast for the last 10 days, which are the Ten Days of Awe. More about that when we come to it. If you have not chosen to fast, you may ask God if there is a ‘time waster’ He would like you to put down as these next 26 days of Teshuvah continue, ending on Yom Kippur.

Psalm 27:5, “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.”

Rocktsuwr (tsur) rock or cliff, rock of God

The first place we find tsuwr in the Bible is Exodus 17:6, where the Hebrew children were without water and thought they would die of thirst in the Wilderness. Water to satisfy the thirst of the entire nation was found in that rock. That rock actually ‘followed’ them and satisfied the nation’s thirst for 40 years!!! I Corinthians 10:3-4 reveals ‘they drank from a Spirit-sent Rock which followed them, and that Rock was the Messiah.’

The second place we find tsuwr in the Bible is Exodus 33:21-22. Moses was on Mt Sinai for the 2nd set of 40 days seeking atonement for the nation for the Golden Calf incident. Moses wanted to see God’s glory, but Yahweh showed Moses His goodness. He told Moses “And the LORD said, Behold, [there is] a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passes by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:”

Deuteronomy 32:4 praises Yahweh, “[He is] the Rock, his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he.”

A marvelous little book called His Names Are Wonderful by Elizabeth L Vander Meulen and Barbara D Malda shares on page 135 about The Rock, HaTzur. “The expression, ‘like the rock of Gibraltar’ has come to mean something or someone that is impressive, dependable, steady, or immovable. God is our rock-solid place. Firmly plant your feet on The Rock and you will not be moved, no matter what storms of life come crashing your way.”

Psalm 27:5, “For in the time (day) of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.”

Our 3 places of safety in the ‘day’ or ‘time’ of trouble are pavilion, tabernacle and rock. Yesterday we remembered how Yahweh was so faithful in the Wilderness for 40 years, remembering their inhabitation of ‘pavilion’, tents.

TABERNACLE:

  • First we must remember that the Tabernacle is a ‘secret place’, not open to strangers. It was a place of ‘hiding’, a place of safety
  • In the Wilderness, the Tabernacle was a tent that housed the presence of Yahweh, where God might dwell among His people. It is described in Exodus 26 and 36-40. The entire last part of Exodus recalls the building of the dwelling place for God in the Wilderness.
  • Ohel, comes from the root ‘ahal‘, which means ‘shineth‘. The glory of God would be in the Tabernacle, and when the glory cloud moved they moved. When the glory cloud stopped they stopped. The entire nation was camped around the presence of God and there they found their safety.

The safest place is in God’s presence! But we have a life here on this earth we must live out, so we go into His presence in the morning, and then carry His presence with us throughout the day.

Matthew 7:24 tells us, “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock (25) Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.”

The Word tells us that it ‘rains on the just and the unjust’ (Matthew 5:25). In this Hurricane Harvey and TS Harvey we see this happen again and again. Some of the best pastors in our area lost everything in their home, some had incredible damage in their churches. Plus the loss of income for so many will affect the church finances. But one thing I learned, those who trust in the Lord for their help will dig deep into the roots of Truth and come out stronger. The Rock is Jesus, and He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is faithful, the author and finisher of our faith. Amen and Amen.

HISTORY MERELY REPEATS ITSELF!

Psalm 27:5, “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of  his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.”

The Bible gives us answers to every problem before they happen. That is why we need a constant, steady, daily Bible reading plan.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 in the Amplified Bible reads, “The thing that has been—it is what will be again, and that which has been done is that which will be done again; and there is nothing new under the sun.”  The New Living Translations reads, “History merely repeats itself.”

  • Pavilion– Hebrew cok (soke), root word means a hedge, fenced about or shut in.
  • Tabernacle– Hebrew ohel (o-hel)- nomad’s tent, dwelling place, sacred place in the Wilderness
  • Rock– Hebrew tsuwr (tsur), rock, cliff, rock (of God)

The first one I want to look at today is ‘pavilion’. Where do we find the safety of pavilion in the Bible? Cok is the root for cukkah (sukah) , where we get the word Tabernacles, booths.

Leviticus 23:34 instructs, “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month [shall be] the feast of tabernacles [for] seven days unto the LORD.”  The Jewish people continue annually to make booths outside their homes once a year to keep them in remembrance of the 40 years in the Wilderness, when their shoes did not wear out, or their feet swelled. The daily rehearse before their children and their children’s children how God fed them for 40 years in the Wilderness, how God protected them from their enemies.

Jehovah is the same, He never changes. Take today and remember how He protected you in your personal wilderness. Then, thank Him. He is worthy of all praise and glory and honor!!