Líshanah tovah

(For a good year)

 

            September 30, 2000 is the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. It marks the Jewish New Year, but is so much more than that. The holiday is given by God and is recorded in the book of Leviticus 23:24,25:

            (Lev 23:24 KJV)  Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.(Lev 23:25 KJV)  Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

 

            I believe that God has something great for all of us in His word. This Old Testament feast day, which is called the feast of trumpets marks the beginning of what is known as the ďten days of awe.Ē Which lead up to the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur.  Today we will be taking a closer look at Rosh Hashanah and itís implication in these New Testament times.

            Too often we look at the Old Testament as being superceded by the New Testament. Let us not forget that Jesus informed us that He did not come into the world to destroy the law but rather too fulfill it. He also informed us that heaven and earth will pass away before one jot or tittle (the smallest of letters, like dotting an i or crossing a t) of the Law will in no wise pass from the Law until all is fulfilled. So as you hear talk of these ďHigh HolidaysĒ of our Jewish friends you can thank God through Christ Jesus for being made partakers of the great feast which is the wedding supper of the lamb.

            Did you hear about the atheist that gave up his atheism because they didnít have any holidaysÖ.. J Iíve been waiting for an opportunity to use that one.

The fact is we do have a lot of holidays. It blesses Godís heart when He can see His people enjoying themselves. So, even though this High Holiday season is typically ďJewishĒ let us remember that we have been adapted into the family of Abraham:

            (Rom 2:28 KJV)  For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:(Rom 2:29 KJV)  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

        So with that knowledge secured letís dig into Godís word and discover some of the wonders that He has prepared for us in the feast of trumpets.

            The passage of scripture that we read from Leviticus does not at first reveal to us the depths of this Sabbath day of celebration. What is revealed it the time of the year that it is to take place and the sounding of the trumpet commemorating it.

The instructions continue in the command to do no work on this day but rather to offer a burnt sacrifice up to the lord. Sounds like a bar-b-que kind of day to me.

            I want to thank Judy Landau for e-mailing me some valuable information on this subject as well as many other Jewish customs. Judy is a Messianic Jew, which is to say she is a Jewish Christian. There is a tremendous move of God within the Jewish community as more and more Jewish people are discovering the truth that Jesus is the Messiah, the savior and Lord. Just as this feast was announced by the sounding of the trumpet, people are being drawn to Jesus by a mighty blowing of the winds of revival.

            My question to you right now is this: Are you ready for the coming of the Lord? It will not be long and that trumpet will sound: (1 Cor 15:52 KJV)  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

            I believe that this feast as well as the other feasts set up by God in the Old Testament were foreshadows of reality to come, which is fulfilled in Jesus. Scofield writes that this ďFeast of Trumpets is a prophetic type of the regathering of Israel.Ē

            What God has revealed to me through this is that we are now being called to look unto Him for our salvation. The last feast day was months ago with the Feast of Pentecost. We have spent far too much time away from God. We have taken on the cares of this world and in many cases we have become over whelmed by them. Our priorities have gotten all messed up and now it is time to stop, listen and give praise to God for what He is about to do.

            You know this is one Holiday that we are not to celebrate an event in the past but rather we are to look forward with anticipation for our redemption. I sometimes get tired of giving my testimony of how God delivered me out of a life of drugs and alcohol and riotous living. I know that if it were not for God I would be either dead or in an insane asylum somewhere. The reason that I get tired of telling my testimony is because that is so far behind me now. I do not want to dwell on where I have been> I want to concentrate on the great things ahead. I know that the Spirit of the Lord guides my steps and He will lead me beside the still waters and refresh my soul. I know there are good days ahead. I know it is Godís will for my life to prosper and be in good health. I know that God keeps His word and He desires that you be filled with the fullness of Him. God wants you to hear the sound of the trumpet. Look to Him for there is a new day a coming.

            One of the Jewish customs that I found most interesting and perhaps will help us put this Feast of Trumpets into a daily application is the custom called Tashlikh. Donít ask my how itís pronounced but it means ďcasting off.Ē Traditionally on Rash Hashanah one would walk to a nearby flowing water, like a creek or river, and empty their pockets into the river. This is symbolic of the casting off of our sins.

            This afternoon I pulled my van over beside a small pond with a large oak tree, which provided ample shade from the afternoon sun. I stood under the tree and met there with God. You know I felt so unworthy. Such a sinner in the presence of a holy and righteous God. But do you know what. I do not go to God because I am good. And He does not call you to Him because you are good. He is not sounding the trumpet because we have done such a great job with our lives. The trumpet is sounding, God is call you to Him because you are His. He loves you and is standing with open arms not only waiting but also sounding the trumpet calling you to Him. Letís not wait another minute. Letís cast off any of the sins that have been preoccupying us. Just stop doing what ever it is that has been interfering with your conscious contact with God. Take a moment right now just to re evaluate your priorities.

            You know before God got ahold of this message this week I was going to entitle it: ďItís Just A Job!Ē some times we misplace our priorities. We start working someplace to provide for our families. The initial purpose was to facilitate the growth and prosperity of the family. Well, as time goes on we get less appreciated at home then at work because we are so tired from work that we have little if anything left for our families. They begin to care less about your job because they would rather spend time with you but you are trying so hard to provide for them that you never get to spend any real good time with them. The next thing you know your children are grown up and you and your spouse donít talk and you have no other friends except the ones you work with and for. I remember someone talking once about interviewing people upon their deathbeds. The question was asked: If you could do anything different what would it be? As you can imagine the answer had little to do with work or careers or money or position most people only wished they had spent more time with their families. Not that I am saying we should not take our jobs seriously. The Bible clearly tells us that we need to do all things as unto the Lord. That means do your job and do it well so that not only will you be financially rewarded but God will get the glory as people learn of your love for Him.

            What I am talking about is your priorities. You love your family; you work at your job to be a blessing to them. Do not let that blessing be turned into a curse by loosing your priority.

            What does that have to do with Rash Hashanah? Everything! Itís a new day. Itís a new beginning. Some of us have a lot of areas in our lives that need improving. I know that God is able. I know that only God can do that which needs to be done in our lives. So letís reach out to Him. Lets look to Him expecting. The Day of Atonement is coming soon. It is time to get ready. It is time to take an active part in the job that God has prepared for us. It is time that we sounded the trumpet. Bring glory to God through Christ Jesus our Lord in all that we say and Do.  Amen