AV TO ELUL: MATTHEW 5 TO 6
The month of Av, while it was considered a month of mourning in the past, and by most of us in Israel today, we, as believers, understand that such a time has passed, and we are now in a time of rejoicing. The basis of that truth, however, lies in perhaps one of the most foundational portions of Scripture ever written and spoken by Yeshua. Matthew 5 is all about the Sermon on the Mount and the 9 Beatitudes, and it just so happens to perfectly coincide with the fifth month, Av. It is the roadmap of every believer, the cornerstone of how to live life in Yeshua through the Holy Spirit with the eyes of the Father. Yet, 99% of us are illiterate of this foundation, as we have been taught otherwise or not at all.
So, as we enter into the 6th month, Elul, it is worth going back, word for word, in Scripture to Matthew 5 in the AMP (Amplified) version of the Bible to carefully review the principles, the very roots of what it means to be and live out what it means to be a true believer in Yeshua. Be diligent and do so because now we have entered the sixth month, Elul, and it will be difficult for those who are still babes drinking milk to go further. Elul is for those prepared to enter Matthew chapter 6 and begin to nurture the seed that has been planted in you: Yeshua, the Father, and the Holy Spirit, to grow to maturity despite the world’s influence, and become a tree of life producing fruit with deep roots even in the midst of the desert.
MATTHEW 6: ROOTS OF THE FRUIT
While Matthew 5 gives the roots of the life of a believer, Matthew 6 gives us the water and fertile soil to begin producing the real fruit. How to give to the poor and needy without others knowing and without it being known or recognized, how to pray, and how to fast, which are non-negotiable in the life of a believer, are learned. In this month, we learn in chapter 6, “Where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will also be” (Matt. 6:21). So, where is your treasure, and how do you fast and pray? As we celebrate Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) on the very last day of Elul, we are faced with an otherworldly task that requires the Matthew 6 touch, one that can only be achieved with the love of the Father through Yeshua, guided by the Holy Spirit. As we enter into the Biblical calendar and prepare for the time of repentance (Yom Kippur) on September 15-16, we are being commanded to go a step further than Teshuva (turning away from our sins and back to the Lord).
Matthew 6:14-15 gives the condition for our forgiveness. “For if you forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others [nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses.” Do not forget this month of Elul or any other month, for that matter, because it is the key to true forgiveness from the Father for our sins and freedom from the poison and burden of hatred and revenge against others. For our past sins, we have done terrible things, but with true repentance, all things are forgiven by God Almighty. To continue being burdened by those sins while you have repented and to punish yourself is not from God, but a cage designed by the enemy to keep you from fulfilling your destiny in Adonai. You are a tree of life, a light to the world, and the salt of the earth, and the fallen kingdom of darkness wants to fool you into thinking otherwise.
LUKE 6: ONE STEP FURTHER
That’s step one: to forgive others first and accept and receive the forgiveness of God through the blood of Yeshua. But that is not enough in the eyes of God, which is backed up by the very words of Yeshua. The next step is to bless and love your enemies and those who curse you.
This sounds Ludacris to those not born again from above but essential to every person that has been saved by grace, sinners completely undeserving of salvation but saved nonetheless through Yeshua. We remember, this month, those who curse us and consider us their enemies and turn the cheek joyfully, knowing we were once in their shoes. Not only do we ask for forgiveness of our sins and live accordingly in that freedom of forgiveness, but we also freely and joyfully extend that blessing which was given by grace to our enemies and those who curse us.
The goal is not to be right, but the goal is eternal life and salvation through Yeshua for every individual, nation, and ultimately for Israel. Matthew 6:27-38 is the blueprint for Elul, another step ahead of mere repentance, which is crucial in the everyday and babies’ milk for every believer. We must graduate from chapter 6 to complete the rest and start eating solid food. Elul is the month to do so, so let’s gulp it.
THE CURE FOR ANXIETY
The key to no worries and anxiety lies in Matthew 6:33-34, “But first and most importantly, seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”. And the reason this is true is explained thoroughly, simply, and profoundly in Matthew 6:25-32. You can throw away all of your coping mechanisms for the everyday stresses and swap them for this, and it will blow your mind, the money you save, and the years erased on your face. The sixth month of Elul is the time to believe 100% in the promises of God and let His shalom be your chill pill and forever peace.
FACES LIKE LIONS
The tribe of Elul is Gad. If you don’t know much about the tribe of Gad, it will quickly become your favorite. “Courageous men from the Gadites came over to David in the stronghold in the wilderness, men trained for war, who could handle shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and who were swift as gazelles on the mountains” (1 Chronicles 12:8). These are the kind of soldiers you want on your side but not the ones you want to oppose. Is this the army the fallen kingdom of darkness sees when it looks at the Body of Messiah? There was a reason that Gad was so prepared for war, a very simple reason that we as the global remnant are beginning to take more seriously with each passing day.
When Jacob prophesied over Gad, he said, “As for Gad—a raiding troop shall raid him, but he shall raid at their heels and assault them [victoriously]” (Genesis 49:19). He was prophesying about when Gad would inherit its portion of the promised land, and Gad and his descendants did not forget. They knew Jacob had spoken from God, so they did what any God-fearing people would do: they prepared for those who would inevitably attack them when they inherited their land. They were such fierce warriors that 1 Chronicles 12:14 says the sons (descendants) of Gad who joined David in the stronghold “were captains of the army; he who was least was equal to a hundred, and the greatest was equal to a thousand.”
So the question for the global remnant is this: Gad knew what to expect when the enemy came and how to react, but do we? When the enemy attacks, do we know what to do, or even know that the enemy is attacking? Are we aware of the battle we are in and our role and purpose in it? How can we see the kingdom of Adonai made manifest on earth as it is in heaven if we are not aware of our full identity in Yeshua and why we are here? The Acts church is a good reference of what should be happening in the midst of the sons and daughters of the Most High, and it is time, just like the Gadites, that the Body of Messiah releases the roar of the Lion of Judah who is in us, we in Him. The last day of this month is Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets, a reminder of Yeshua’s inevitable return. It is tradition on each day of Elul to blow the shofar, a reminder for every believer in Yeshua
Traditionally in Israel, we blow the shofar every day of Elul as we begin the 40 days until Yom Teruah (The Feast of Trumpets). As we blow the trumpet daily during this month of Elul, it is a wakeup call for us all, saying, “make way for the King!” We are being called to do teshuvah (repent) and shine the light inward so that we can be the light shining in the darkness of the world, causing the sinful things done in secret to be uprooted and brought to the light. It is time to focus on rebuilding Adonai’s house both personally and corporately during these turbulent times, focusing on Elohim first and foremost, knowing that He provides all we need when our priority is our relationship with Him. Great shaking is happening and coming, but who is our Provider, our Hope, and Strong Tower? We look to Yeshua, not to the circumstances or situation, and seek first the Kingdom and righteousness. As we rebuild the right house, we also look to the perimeter, repairing any breach in our walls with sword and hammer in hand like Nehemiah did rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem during this month.
We remember that we are warriors of the Lion of Judah, prepared to face down and defeat the fallen kingdom of darkness at a moment’s notice, with faces like lions, causing hopelessness and fear to spread through the enemy’s ranks. We are the Bride of Yeshua, and like Mary, the Mother of Yeshua, our answer to the call of YHWH over our lives is, “Behold, I am the servant of Adonai; may it be done to me according to Your word.” Let the skies erupt with shofar blasts around the world and back to Jerusalem as we watch the enemies of YHWH try to run, knowing their time is up with nowhere to hide. Arise, victorious bride, prepare and be ready, the King is coming soon!