Rosh Hashanah is upon us once again. I have only become aware of the feasts in the past ten years or so, and they have taken on greater meaning in my life. I always thought of the feasts as Jewish Holidays unrelated to our celebrations as Christians. The Lord’s feasts are his set a part times and seasons. These are moments in the year that God wants us to take time to celebrate in certain ways.
I am not a hard advocate of having to celebrate the feasts. Just as I am not a hard advocate of celebrating Christmas or Easter, (these are both man made celebrations based on dates important to Roman religion that were translated into Christian Holidays.)
I do take meaning from the biblical feast days though, and I ask myself “Lord, what do you want me to understand about the season of Rosh Hashanah that is upon us?" This celebration is also known as the Feast of Trumpets.
The trumpet is central to the celebration. With the blast from the Shofar, there is an ushering in of something wonderful, spiritual, and even supernatural that takes place. The horn is ushering in the presence of God. It awakens in the natural, but it also awakens in the spirit. The Lord is announcing a season of visitation, a season of revival.
Rosh Hashanah is also the beginning of a new year. This year is 5779 on the Jewish calendar. I didn’t realize when I was in my 20’s that the Jewish New Year started in September. But even in our culture it is the season that new things begin, like students returning to school... it was the season that I felt the beginning of things. I remember during this time of year when I was a youth pastor, I would get fresh vision for a new season.
The Days of Awe are ahead of us. These are the ten days after Rosh Hashanah and the days that precede The Day of Atonement (the Most Holy Day). With the blast of the horn there comes awakening. During the Days of Awe, the Lord wishes to visit his people to give them fresh revelation and fresh vision for the year ahead. He wants them to investigate their own hearts and deal with blockages, lies, and sins that keep them from deeper relationship. On the Day of Atonement, we are reminded of the sacrifice of the Messiah on the cross in which all of our sins were cleansed by his blood.
Rosh Hashanah is also the day that God created the heavens and the earth. It was the moment of creation – the beginning of all things we know and understand. As we listen to the horn blast we are reminded of how the Holy Spirit hovered above the void and by a word created everything that is seen and understood. During this season God wants to create all things new in your life. He wants to speak and when you hear, then things will begin to shift and change in any void of your own life. This is the promise we have in James 4:8, “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
God can make all grace abound to you. He wants to shift you into a new place. As you listen to him you will hear him. Hearing him changes us completely. One word from the Lord will bring you into a wide-open place of blessing. Listening and obeying when he speaks brings great blessing into one’s life. We have this promise in Jeremiah ”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Take time to hear him in this season and during the Days of Awe. Go somewhere to celebrate the feast. Listen to the blasting of the horn. Many believe there is something supernatural about the sound of the Shofar. I have heard people describe it as the voice of the Lord. When that sound is made over your life something in the spirit begins to shift. God ordains it. If you believe then all things are possible.
Get ready for a new day. Get ready for the messiah to visit you in a way you did not expect. With the Horn the Jews believe comes the ushering of the Messianic Age. Paul believed that with the Horn’s blast, Jesus would return and reign in the earth. He believed that Jesus would have an earthly kingdom, and there would be peace and joy in every heart, as the enemy would be defeated and Christ's rule would begin.
Jesus will surely return, but in the mean time we are also to expect days of refreshing. I believe that even as we celebrate this season, we are to expect a revival to take place in the earth. This is a time to prepare ourselves for it. As we listen and as we pray we should expect to hear him speak. We must deal with our heart condition as he reveals it, and then we must surrender our lives to our king. As we deal with our hearts we are preparing ourselves for the visitation that is directly ahead. So get ready. He is going to make all things new!
I pray for you today and ask God to begin a new work in your life. May he prepare you for the season ahead and open up your heart and bring peace and renewal. May he give you your hearts desire. May refreshing like rain fall upon you, and may the wind of the spirit lift you like an eagle above the mountain tops.