Iyar / Ziv 5781
A Month of Preparation and Anticipating Revelation
We have entered into the second Biblical month, perhaps the most action-packed month in Scripture that is often brushed aside as being no more than a filler month with no major Biblical Feast. It is far more than a filler however, and it would be a tragedy for us not to grasp what Adonai is saying to us this Iyar as He invites us to go deeper still. This second month is first called Ziv in 1 Kings 6:1 meaning light or glow, and after the Babylonian exile became known as the month of Iyar, meaning to blossom, and this year starts at sundown on April 13th and ends at sundown on May 11th. So what is the prophetic significance of this Biblical month according to Scripture, and why does it matter to us today? Let’s delve into the secrets and mysteries of Iyar and put our ears to the heart of the Father to listen intently to what He is saying through His living Word, according to His timeline instead of the world’s
Iyar comes just after the month of Redemption when YHWH took the Israelites out of Egypt during Pesach, the exact same days that nearly 3,500 years later Yeshua was crucified, died and resurrected on Passover in Jerusalem. It comes before the month of Revelation when Elohim gave the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai, and on the same day nearly 3,500 years later when the Holy Spirit was given to the Body of Messiah on Shavuot (Pentecost). So what lies between redemption and revelation? Could it be that the Almighty is re-introducing Himself to us today like He did after more than 400 years of exile in Egypt, or re-introducing us to Yeshua like He did after His resurrection when He showed Himself to His disciples and hundreds of others? If so, to what end? To find out we will look at the ways and the reasons YHWH did what He did during this month of Iyar in Scripture to know what He is telling us today.
YHWH RAPHA (The Lord Who Heals You)
During this month at the Waters of Marah, the Israelites had no more water and Moses cried out to Adonai inquiring what to do. He answered telling Him to throw a particular branch into the water, and it was healed. It was at that time that Adonai set before them a decree as a standard to test their faithfulness to him. He said, “If you will diligently listen and pay attention to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and listen to His commandments, and keep all His precepts and statutes, then I will not put on you any of the diseases which I have put on the Egyptians; for I am YHWH Rapha (The Lord who heals you).” (Exodus 15:22-26). The decree and the standard was set, and the testing had begun.
YHWH YIR’EI (The Lord Our Provider)
The next test came in the wilderness of Sin about halfway to Mount Sinai when the Israelites ran out of food, and began to complain, and this is when Adonai told Moses He would rain down manna from heaven for them each day, and test them to see who would keep His day of rest by collecting enough manna on Friday for two days as He instructed. Keep in mind, the Ten Commandments had not been given yet, meaning Adonai was doing this at least in part to prepare them for the revelation of Shabbat when it would revealed the next month on Mount Sinai to Moses, but as for now they were just being obedient. This is a testing month, but also a month of anticipating revelation. Just like Friday before sundown is known as the day of preparation before the beginning of Shabbat, think of Iyar as a month of preparation where the Holy Spirit is singling things out in us that we need to take care of, and as we obey, the “what for” becomes very apparent in the month to come as we enter into the understanding of what it truly means to rest in Him and trust in Him both as healer and provider.
YHWH ROHI (The Lord Our Shepherd)
From the wilderness of Sin, Israel moved on to a place called Rephadim where wouldn’t you know it, the Israelites once more grumbled to Moses, but this time because there was no water at all, not even bitter water to be made sweet (Exodus 17:1-7). Moses, fearing they were about to stone him, cried out to Adonai once more, and was this time commanded to take the staff that parted the Red Sea, go to Mount Horeb with the elders of Israel, and strike the rock with the staff. Low and behold, water poured forth and they were not thirsty. As a reader, it is easy to get frustrated with Israel, but when we turn the lens back on our own lives, how would we react if our children and livestock were all going to die of thirst? Would you blame your leader, or would you turn to Adonai for help? Just like the Israelites, we often forget that when we grumble to ourselves or to others, it is misplaced, and we should instead bring our petitions to Him first.
It’s easy to pass judgment on people when we already know the outcome of the story and already know how Adonai will come to the rescue, but it is a different thing altogether when we take the place of people in Scripture. Fear, desperation, anger, and worry are the first instinct just like Israel’s reaction toward Moses. What would your reaction be? Would you remember the countless times Elohim has miraculously saved you in the previous months, or cling to the old habits of fear and worry? Adonai is breaking us of old paradigms that rely on ourselves and others for what we need, and is telling us this month trust Me and remember that ALL things come from Me.
YHWH NISSI (The Lord Our Banner)
If you thought nothing more could happen to Israel in one month you were wrong. The Israelites don’t even have time to be happy about the water from the rock because they are then attacked by the Amalekites while still camped at Rephadim (Exodus 17:8). Israel goes to fight Amalek led by Joshua, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the hilltop to see the battle. When Moses held up his hands Israel would win, but when he put them down due to fatigue they would lose, and when Aaron and Hur saw this, “they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. Then Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side and one on the other side; so it was that his hands were steady until the sunset” (Exodus 17:12). Israel wins the battle, “And Moses built an altar and named it YHWH NISSI, The Lord is my banner” (Exodus 17:15). Let’s be real, it makes no earthly sense that Moses raising his hands would turn the tide of battle, but often times Adonai instructs us to do things that might seem crazy or useless in the eyes of the world, but is actually the thing that brings about the victory
So what was YHWH NISSI teaching Israel, and what is He teaching us this month of Iyar? He is teaching us that our skills and abilities, no matter how strong or weak is not what leads to victory. Our victory comes from YHWH NISSI who fights on our behalf, but also shows us the importance of the support of the brethren, like Aaron and Hur raising Moses’ hands, a chord of three ends that cannot be broken easily (Ecclesiastes 4:12). How many of our own brothers and sisters in Yeshua are fatigued and need assistance? Without one part of the Body, the remnant cannot function properly. We are being called this month to remember our brothers and sisters, to make sure they are getting the support they need, so that the battle will not be lost because of a lack of much-needed support. Instead, we shall see the victory as we stand as one Kingdom family, aware that without one another, we cannot stand as the great army we are called to be, paving the way for the return of the King of glory, YHWH NISSI.
God Is Crazy (In Love)
In all of these instances Adonai purposely leads the Israelites into an impossible situation, basically the opposite of what any good leader would do. Poisoned water, no food, no water again, and then straight into the enemy’s hands. Not a good track record when you look at it that way, but when you compare it to how He brought Israel purposely to the shores of the Red Sea and put it in the heart of the Pharaoh to attack them, we start to get the point. He was trying to show them they can trust Him for everything no matter how impossible or contradictory it might seem to our world paradigms. He was teaching them how to think heavenly instead of earthly. Each time Adonai brings Israel to the point of disaster it is so He can condition them to have great expectation of a miracle as they listened intently to and acted upon His every instruction no matter how crazy it might have sounded. Having read what happens next when they enter the Promised Land, it is very clear why Adonai had to prepare them in such a way, because if they couldn’t even trust Him for the basics like food and water and defence, how could they possibly face the far greater threats to come? Just like Israel, you have been set apart and chosen by Him for a special purpose and calling, and that means He needs to prepare you to fulfil that calling first by trusting in Him for the essentials so that when the time comes to cross the Jordan you will not hesitate or turn back in the face of naysayers and fear mongers. Your heavenly identity has been cemented.
From Heartbreak to Completion
As Yeshua laid in the tomb, hopelessness consumed the disciples, but upon His resurrection and visitations to them, joy was overwhelming. Sound familiar to every above situation? Hopelessness to joy, heartbreak to completion, but Yeshua was just preparing them for what was to come, namely the receiving of the Holy Spirit and bringing the Gospel of Peace to the ends of the earth. If you think crossing into the Promised Land was daunting, imagine the monumental task now given to the Apostles and Disciples? It was during this month that Yeshua armed them with the full revelation of Him through Scripture after having shown them He is indeed the resurrected Messiah in flesh and blood. They had no reason to doubt Him anymore, much like the Israelites after all of the miracles of Iyar. Now we have the gift of the Holy Spirit, so what makes now different than before? Now we are a global body being called to prepare, united through the Holy Spirit with Yeshua as the head, seated at the right hand of the Father. Major shakings and major breakthroughs are coming, but are we prepared? Individually and as the body of Messiah, we are being called this Iyar to move as if this will be the last Iyar until Yeshua returns.
Let us prepare with great expectation of new revelation knowing the breakthrough is at hand and whatever difficult or impossible circumstance or situation we are in now, Adonai is saying give it to Me, and I will let you know the rest. Let’s take on the challenges of our brothers and sisters together this Iyar, so that when breakthrough comes, we may rejoice together instead of continuing divided and alone when that is not The Way. The fallen kingdom of darkness will not win the day, has not won the day, and we as the Body of Messiah, though there has been division of late, rally around the resurrected King for the assignment to come with rigid resolve and great faith for the Gospel of Peace to go from Jerusalem, to Judea and Samaria, to the ends of the earth, and back, and finally for the latter glory of YHWH to cover the nations as the water covers the seas. Shoulder to shoulder, shields up and eyes front. Let the march and cadence of the army of Adonai be heard around the globe welcoming the greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit there has ever been.