Elul, the sixth month of the Hebrew Calendar has finally arrived. This month of Elul last from August 11th and ends on September 09th. Just as in the other months of the year, the month of Elul has a very special and unique meaning. If we are to be like the Sons of Issachar, who knew the times and the seasons (1 Chronicles 12:32), then we must have insight as they did in order to make the right decisions at the appointed times. The first day of Elul marks the start of the season of Teshuvah, which in Hebrew means “to return or repent,” and continues for 40 days, ending with Yom Kippur. Thirty days into Teshuvah, on the first day of Tishrei, comes Rosh HaShanah, also known as Yom Teruah or the The Feast of Trumpets. This begins a final ten-day period beginning on Rosh HaShanah and ending on Yom Kippur. These are known as the High Holy Days and as the Yamim Nora’im, the days of awe. These forty days commemorated, also symbolize the 40 days that Moses went back up to Mount Sinai, interceding for all of Israel for 40 days and 40 nights without food or water, and God forgave them because of His love for Moises. To better understand this month it is great to know the context of the months passed and the months to come, the 6th month of Elul follows Israel worshipping the golden calf (Idolatry) in 4th month of Tammuz, and the 12 spies evil report in the 5th month of Av. The future Trumpets and Atonement follow in the 7th month of Tishrei, when judgment comes. This month is a month of great mercy, to turn back from rebellion, a month to fight for our inheritance, and to nurture the God given visions, dreams, calling and purpose for your life. It is not simply a month of preparation, but a month of battle in the Spirit where our resolve concerning the promises of the Lord are tested.
TRIBE OF ELUL: GAD
This tribe is a warlike tribe that was mostly pastoral, meaning they raised large numbers of livestock as their main trade. The tribes of Gad and Reuben even petitioned Moses to have their inheritance on the east side of the Jordan in exchange for the promise that they would cross the Jordan with the rest of Israel armed for battle and not return until the rest of Israel had received their inheritance as well. (Numbers 32:16-22). They saw that according to their role, this land was best suited for them, and in the end were willing to fight with the rest of Israel to conquer the promised land, already having occupied their inheritance. Even though we may have received the vision, calling or destiny for our lives, we must then fight for it, instead of waiting for it to fall into our laps. Jacob says of Gad in Deuteronomy 33:21, “Concerning Gad he said: “Blessed is he who enlarges the domain of Gad! He lies down like a lion and tears off an arm or a head. He chose the best land for himself, because a ruler’s portion was reserved for him there. He came with the leaders of the people; he administered the justice of the LORD and His ordinances for Israel.” So, even though Gad, out of all of the twelve tribes chose the best land, he was still willing to fight for the rest of the other’s land because it was God’s will and command. Not only were the Gadgets ready to fight for the righteous cause and follow through with their promises, they were also no ordinary warriors. We see this in the times of King David where, “Some Gadites defected to David at his stronghold in the desert. They were mighty warriors, trained for battle, experts with shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions and who were as swift as gazelles on the mountains” (1 Chronicles 12:8). Not only were they willing to fight for their inheritance, but we see that on top of that they were both ferocious and masters of warfare. If we are going to fight for what has been promised to us by God, let us not put up a pitiful fight, but instead fight like lions for that which we have been given as an inheritance.
THE LETTER OF ELUL: YUD
The letter of this month is Yud. It is the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet, basically a small dot. What is often miscounted regarding the letter Yud, is that although it is the smallest of the letters, it is also used to form all of the other letters, and is how each letter ends and begins. It is omnipresent in the case of the Hebrew alphabet, through all and in all. The number affiliated with the letter Yud is ten, which is a very significant number in the Word of God. Ten in the Bible represents something that has been completed or has run its full course. It also represents the creator and creation. As the creation of the Father, it is good for us not to try and be the potter, lest instead of the cycle of creation, we become one of destruction. For example, there were ten generations from Adam to Noah, and ten generations from Noah to Abraham. There were ten plagues that God brought upon the Egyptian people, and ten miracles that He performed for His people to save them from those plagues. Abba challenged the Jewish people with ten tests in the desert, and Adonai gave us the Ten Commandments. We can see from these few examples, that ten can either mean tribulation or blessing with very little room in between. We must make decisions each day to trust that the Promise of the Great I am will come to pass. As this month begins, let us all be on the blessing side of the fulfillment of God’s plan and purposes, and be a blessing to others as we continue firmly forward through the pruning process we are all undergoing.
CONSTELLATION OF ELUL: VIRGO (THE VIRGIN)
The constellation virgo is a special sign that speaks once more of the promise of God coming to pass, that we can indeed count on His word coming to fruition in perfection, and often times with an added gift. It does not mean we won’t have to wait for it, or continue persevering in faith, as sometimes this is His way, but to always trust that the King of Kings cannot lie. Two beautiful parallels in the bible regarding virgin women are that of Rebekah, the wife of Isaac and those of Mary mother of Jesus and Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist. Rebekah is the first woman in the bible of whom it is written that she is a virgin. “The girl was very beautiful, a virgin and unmarried; and she went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up” (Genesis 24:16). Rebekah was initially the fulfillment of Abraham’s promise to God that Isaac would not be married to anyone living in the land of Canaan, but Rebekah’s promise comes later. “Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant” (Genesis 24:21). We may think that this was an instant answer to Isaac’s prayer, and perhaps it was as we don’t know when he prayed, but we see that from the time they married to the time of her giving birth was twenty years. “And Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah……. And Isaac was sixty years old when the twins were born” (Genesis 25:20, 26). Rebekah patiently waited for her promise, and in return got double of what she had been expecting. Rebecca gave birth to twins, Jacob and Esau, of which Jacob became Israel, the fulfillment of the covenant God made with Abraham. Two women similar to Rebekah in the bible are Mary mother of Jesus and Elizabeth mother of John the Baptist. Rebecca was an old woman, and had been waiting for many long years to have a child, and through her waiting, she gave birth to John the Baptist. Elizabeth was also the relative of Mary who would give birth as a virgin to Jesus. Mary, When asking the angel Gabriel how this was possible, he replied, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail” (Luke 1:35-36). Even the most impossible is possible when Adonai speaks as no word from Him will ever fail.
In the Bible, the Virgin also speaks of Israel. “Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road that you take. Return, Virgin Israel, return to your towns. How long will you wander, unfaithful Daughter Israel? The Lord will create a new thing on earth. The woman will return to the man” (Jeremiah 31:21-22). These verses speak not only about the return of Israel from exile in Babylon, but also of the present day. Aliyah back to Israel from all corners of the globe is taking place at a rapid pace. What’s more, in the very last portion of Jeremiah 31:22, we see it written that “The woman will return to the man”, which also means the bride (the Body of Christ) returns to the groom (Yeshua). In all of these examples we see the fulfillment of the Word of God in both the individual, Israel, and the body of Christ. If you have been doubting a promise of God over your life, remember that , “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). If the promise has not come to pass, be sure that complacency has not postponed the promise, but if complacency is not the issue, don’t worry, and instead take the advice of the Prince of Peace that says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).
STONE OF ELUL: JASPER
Jasper has a special place in the Word of God. Though the stone is translated widely as Jasper, it is not for certain that this is the correct stone, however this does not take away from luster of the stone as it is explained in the Word. In the New Jerusalem, The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire.” (Revelation 21:18-19) But when we think of jasper today we generally think of a dull stone, whereas in the Bible, the Apostle John describes it as such, “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal” (Revelation 21:10-11). Jasper is the stone of what is to come, the answer that the New Jerusalem is awaiting its time to take its place as the throne of the King of Kings, in a new heaven and a new earth where God shall dwell with His people. That time is surely coming as His Word is true, but let’s plant our feet firmly in the present, grounded in Christ and His promises for all of us that would drink of His blood and eat of His body, so that we can pave the way for His return.
In this month of Elul, let us take stock of the actions of Moses, who during this time of year would have been atop mount Sinai before Adonai, interceding for his people day and night for 40 days. He knew that His people had great potential, and based on God’s initial covenant with them, he prayed on their behalf. This is a month to intercede for our nations and the nations that the Great I am has laid on your heart, knowing that Elohim has a perfect plan and purpose for that nation. This month is the month to be like the tribe of Gad who upon seeing their inheritance, took it without hesitation, willing to fight for it to the end. Take the promise of the Lord lest the enemy snatch it from your hands out of idleness or lack of defense. Be like the letter Yud, though being small individually, also make up the whole, and just as you may be but one person, you are part of the body of Christ, a mighty army with the Lion of Judah at its head. Like Rebekah, Mary, and Elizabeth know that God makes the impossible possible if you are willing to trust that He is who He says He is. Like the Virgin Israel, “Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road that you take” (Jeremiah 31:21), and hold the hand of the Holy Spirit as He guides you into your purpose and destiny. Be like the stone of Jasper, clear as crystal, with nothing to hide, as the Father knows the hidden things of our hearts. If we are to receive the promise of Yeshua, we must be willing to take Him at His Word, and drop our opinions in face of the Truth. It is time to be bold and brave, to step out in faith, and receive the Promise of the Most High God for ourselves, families, friends, towns, cities and nations. Jesus is coming Soon!.