The Month of Av has arrived. This new month begins at sundown on July 13th going through sundown on August 12th in the Gregorian Calendar, lasting a full thirty days. Time keeps ticking along, always moving forward to its fulfillment of all things. The Word of God is constantly prophesying what is to come, both for the nations and each of us individually, the fulfillment of the purpose of creation. So, here we find ourselves in the presence of the Lord for such a time as this, in a time that has never been and never will be again, hearing what the Lord of Hosts is saying, what He has done, is doing and is about to do. Thank you Abba that you always give us wisdom, revelation and understanding, ever present and unfailing in your faithfulness. “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life” (Psalm 143:8).
This biblical month of Av has been a month of endings and new beginnings throughout the history of the Bible, a time of destruction and new birth, the end of one cycle and the start of another. This month is the month to hear the voice of the Father and receive the revelation of our purpose and destiny with a clearness that may have previously eluded you. The meaning of the word Av is the root of Abba which also means father, making this the month of the Father. Traditionally, this month is known as a month of mourning as the 9th of Av is a day in history that has been a day of calamity and destruction for the Jewish people. It is certainly no coincidence that so many tragedies have happened on one day of the year, but we know that as one thing comes to an end, it is also the birth of something new. In this month we see the continuation of what is called the “Three Weeks of Sorrow” starting on the 17th of Tammuz and ending on the 9th of Av. For jews all around the world, it is usually forbidden to marry during this time, and many people even refrain from things like dancing, music and vacation. To understand why, we have to see how auspicious the 9th of Av really has been in history for the Jewish people. It just so happens to be the day that both the first and second temples were destroyed in Jerusalem, and the day that in 135 A.D. the Jews rallied behind a false Messiah and were destroyed at the battle of Betar by Hadrian. It was on the 9th of Av that the Roman officer, Rufus, plowed under the ground of the area of the temple and all the houses of Jerusalem, and that in 1290 the Jews were expelled from England, as well as in 1492 from Spain. On this day, the judgement of God is clear, but we are hopeful for what is to come. Zechariah 8:18 tells us that this time of mourning will become time of celebration in the future, marking a time of joy, peace and cheerful feasts. Zechariah speaks of a time when mourning will no longer be necessary when Yeshua shall rule from Jerusalem and the nations will come up to the mountain of the Lord (Isaiah 2:3). So let us remember why the devastating judgement came to Jerusalem in the past, that we might not make the same mistakes that led to such tragedy. Let us look to the current times of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the great promises and blessings of the Father poured out over our lives, letting the God of Israel guide us in paths of righteousness down the narrow path, and through the small gate that leads to life (Matthew 7:13-14).
TRIBE OF AV: SIMEON
Simeon was the second son of Jacob and Leah. “She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, He gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon” (Genesis 29:33). The root of the name Simeon in Hebrew means “to hear” and the full meaning of the name meaning a man of hearing or man who hears. When Leah gave birth to Jacob’s first son Reuben, she said that it was because God had seen, and in the case of Simeon, it is because He heard that she was not loved. We move from the month of seeing to the month of hearing. We must remember that when we hear clearly what Adonai is saying, we must also act on what He is saying. Ezekiel was very clear to the citizens of Jerusalem when delivering the message of warning from Elohim, but they did not react to said warning, continuing as usual. “Time and again the LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to His people through His messengers, because He had compassion on them and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despising His words and scoffing at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD against His people was stirred up beyond remedy. (2 Chronicles 36:15). We see the terrible consequences of ignoring the voice of God in so many instances in the Word of God, but we also see the abounding mercy of the Father when His creation listens intently to His rebuke or correction. There is a much different outcome than the book of Ezekiel in the case of Nineveh where upon hearing the message of warning that God had given Jonah for the city. “The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth” (Jonah 3:3-5). We see a stark contrast in the reaction of the Lord to the people of Nineveh versus Jerusalem. “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened” (Jonah 3:10). The Almighty had mercy on Nineveh when He saw that they turned from their evil ways, but Jerusalem was not so attentive. The two attitudes we see on display with these two examples are humility and pride. While the former is the root of Love, the latter is the root of sin and evil. Just as we as individuals have to deal with the root of our issues (Pride) to be rid of them forever, the same goes with any group of people from friendships to nations. Because Nineveh had a king that feared the God of Israel, Nineveh was saved, but in the case of the judgement of Jerusalem, the leadership mocked the same God that led them from Egypt to the promised land. If the heart is not humble, the rest of the body becomes corrupted, and if the leadership is not humble before the King of Kings, the populace suffers the same fate as its leaders.
In Simeon’s life, he paid a price for disobedience, a price that was passed down through the generations all the way to the promised land hundreds of years later. When Jacob brought his twelve sons together before his death, he prophesied over each of them. “Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come’” (Genesis 49:1). Simeon and Levi are paired together in the prophetic word given to them as it was tied to an infamous event in the past. Just as Reuben’s actions lost him and his lineage the inheritance as the first born, the actions of disobedience in the case of Simeon and Levi also cost them dearly. “Simeon and Levi are brothers, their swords are weapons of violence. Let me not enter their council, let me not join their assembly, for they have killed men in their anger and hamstrung oxen as they pleased. Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel”(Genesis 49:5). Jacob is referring to the decision of Simeon and Levi to kill all of the Shechemite men after their Prince had raped their sister Dinah, then marrying her. They did this without informing Jacob, and could have cost the promised inheritance of God to Abraham, Issac, and Jacob had the tribes of the land united to destroy Israel after this act of treachery (Genesis 34). Some may say this act was just, but the Word of God is clear when it says, “The Lord will take up their case and will plunder those who rob them. Do not make friends with an angry man, and do not associate with a hot-tempered man, or you may learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare” (Proverbs 22:23-25). The final part of Jacob’s prophecy came true when Israel entered the promised land. Simeon was the smallest of all the tribes of Israel (Numbers 26:14), was omitted from the blessing of Moses (Deuteronomy 33:8), and both the tribe of Simeon and Levi had land inside of the territories of the other tribes (Joshua 19:1-9). They were indeed divided and scattered. Once again we see that God’s judgement is thorough, but avoidable when we listen to the warnings of Abba, repent and correct ourselves.
LETTER OF AV: TET
The letter Tet is the ninth letter in the Hebrew Alphabet. It is a letter with a dual meaning of both life and destruction. It is the least used letter in the Bible, and is first used in Genesis 1:4 that says, “And God saw the light that it was “GOOD”: And God divided the light from the darkness.” The word “GOOD” is the first word we see it used in. The image of the letter Tet pictures both a man in rebellion to the will of God or a man that is surrendered to Him. What does it look like to be in rebellion to the will of the Eternal? There is no better example of the root of sin, pride, leading to judgement than that of satan. “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. All the nations who knew you are appalled at you, you have come to a horrible end and will be no more.’” In the end of days Word of Life says this about the proud and arrogant, “The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled, and human pride brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day” (Isaiah 2:11). The surrendered man on the other hand exhibits the nine fruits of the Spirit, “ love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23), and takes the cross of Christ as his yoke daily (Luke 9:23). It is time to take up the banner of Christ and drop the banner of me, lest we fall to pride. “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2).
Every Hebrew letter is also a numerical value. In the case of Tet, the number is 9, seeing as it is the 9th number in the Hebrew alphabet. According to the Bible, the number 9 is very significant. It is signifies the end of one cycle and the beginning of the next. There are many examples of this throughout the Word of God. When Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross, He dies at the ninth hour (Mark 15:34). Also, Jesus appears a total of nine times to His apostles and disciplines after His resurrection. There are 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-7) and 9 fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). There were 9 generations from Adam to Noah (ninth from Adam) and Noah to Abraham (ninth from Noah), and Abram was 99 years old when he received the covenant from God, and his new name Abraham. These examples from the Bible give us a clear picture end and beginning, one cycle to the next. In our natural lives we also see how the actual process of giving birth takes 9 months, another cycle of development and fulfillment. This month is also the 5th month of the Hebrew calendar, 5 being the number of grace and mercy. At the beginning of this month of Av, we must make the decision to either start this new season with the grace and mercy of the Lord, or by judgement. Either way, Yeshua is doing a new thing in us this month for such time as this.
CONSTELLATION OF AV: LEO OR LION
The Lion is the constellation of the month of Av. In the Living Word, the lion is an animal that represents royalty, judgement, and blessing. “Do not weep! Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed to open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:5). The Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Yeshua, opens the scroll with the seven seals bringing judgement upon the earth. Only after the judgement of the end times will Yeshua Ha’Mashiach reign over the earth (Revelation 11:15). Not just in the book of Revelation, but all throughout the Word there are examples of lions being an animal to bring judgement, ending in either life in a display of God’s grace, or death, in a display of His wrath. These are just some of the instances of men in the bible who were saved from the mouths of lions: Judges 14:5-6, Daniel 6:22, 1 Samuel 17:34-37, 2 Timothy 4:17, Psalm 91:13. Men like Sampson, Daniel and David show us the power of the Spirit of God who protects us in our greatest hour of need. All of these men, when they were in obedience to the call of Elohim over their lives, killed lions with their bear hands and were saved from being eaten by a den of hungry lions. The story of Sampson killing the lion on the road (Judges 14:5-6) is a perfect example of how in His mercy, The Lord of Hosts transforms that which was meant for our destruction into a blessing. “Some time later, when he went back to marry her, he turned aside to look at the lion’s carcass, and in it he saw a swarm of bees and some honey. He scooped out the honey with his hands and ate as he went along. When he rejoined his parents, he gave them some, and they too ate it” (Judges 14:8-9). Jesus has taken us who deserve death, and given us life everlasting (John 5:25), the greatest miracle of salvation and forgiveness, the ultimate mercy and act of love. Let us eat of the honey that is produced out of the victory of He who conquered the grave.
On the other hand there are plenty of cases where the lion did finish the job he was sent for. In these verses: 1 Kings 13:24-28, 1 Kings 20:36, Daniel 6:24, Jeremiah 2:30, Revelation 5:5, and 1 Peter 5:8, there are clear examples of the lion fulfilling the judgement. One of the most prominent examples is the demise of Daniel’s accusers who’s scheming led to his night in the lions den. We must not only act on what we have heard from the Spirit of God, but also be persistent in fulfilling that thing to its conclusion. In the case of prophet sent by the Lord to prophesy to the altar at Bethel where a great miracle was done (1 Kings 13:1-8). After doing this for the Lord, the prophet refused to eat with King Jeroboam because the instructions from the Spirit of God were, “‘Do not eat bread or drink water there. Do not return the same way you came.’ ” (1 Kings 13:9). On the way home the prophet was tricked by another prophet who told him that an angel of the lord came to him and said that he must come and eat and drink at his house back at Bethel. The man trusted the old prophet, and paid with his life, killed by a lion as he left the man’s house (1 Kings 13:10-26). There are many lessons to be learned from this event, but most importantly not to stray from the path that we have been called to, even when people we trust are telling us otherwise. When the Holy Spirit speaks, we are answerable to Him and Him alone.
STONE OF AV: GREEN EMERALD
The stone of Av is the Green Emerald. It is in the second row of the high priests ephod, (Exodus 39:11), and is the fourth layer in the wall of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:19). The color green is made by two colors. The combination of blue and yellow, two of the three primary colors, make green. In the Word, blue is constantly mentioned as a representation of authority and royalty (Exodus 26:1, Matthew 9:20-21), whereas yellow represents fire and gold refined in the fire, this fire being the trials of life and enduring persecution (1 Peter 1:7). When we combine the authority and royalty of Yeshua with the persecution that He went through for us, we get the reward of eternal life. King Jesus endured the cross for us, that we may have life everlasting, so let us go joyfully and boldly into all the earth proclaiming the good news that Christ is risen! Listen closely, hear the voice of the Almighty speaking to you a word of comfort, hope, and victory in this time of new beginning.
This month of hearing from the Father, is the month where we get to exercise the greatest gift of God, choice. We cannot be forced to love, it is a decision that we are free to make. Had the God of Israel forced us to love Him, it wouldn’t be love, but because we have been given a choice, we are not drafted against our will, but rather volunteers in the Army of The Lord of Lords. Having made this choice, we must now decide whether or not we will be in rebellion to the will of God, remaining slaves to pride and fear, or to humble ourselves before the Potter, so that He can continue to mold us into the person that has been written in the books of heaven. “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way” (Psalm 25:8-9). Now is the time to rise to the occasion, because the race of the past is done and the race of the new beginning has begun. When we run the race of the world with the yoke of oppression upon our backs, the finish line will never come into sight in the never ending starless night. So let us accept the invitation of the Light, in whom there is no darkness that says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). The time of refreshing has come, like new socks on bare feet, cold water on a hot day, the smell of coffee in the morning, a broken heart made whole, and the sins of the past forgiven and forgotten, this is your time to put your ear to the heart of the Father that His plan be revealed to you. May your ears be opened, your hear be humbled, and your feet be steadfast on the path that Yeshua has made straight just for you. Amen.