What was happening in Israel in the new moon festival and why does it matter now?
As we bring in the new Biblical month, monumental shifts are taking place in the natural and the Spirit. The second month is upon us, but what was happening in scripture at this time and how does it relate to our posture in this moment? What was happening in Israel as the month changed and why does it matter now? The month of Iyar is crucial, but how we enter into it is of equal importance which is why our understanding of Rosh Chodesh needs to be so thorough and concise.
Imagine the time before Yeshua when the 12 tribes of Israel marked the times and seasons. On this night watchers were set atop the mountains, most likely the sons of Issachar, and upon seeing the new moon, the thin sliver of the moon in the sky, they would blow the shofars and light fires signaling the beginning of this new month. Everyone began to hold a consecrated assembly marked by sacrifices, the blowing of trumpets (Numbers 10:10), the suspension of all labor and trade (Nehemiah 10:31) and social or family feasts (1 Samuel 20:5). It is a day set apart for Adonai, but there is also a warning associated with the feast, one that is not to be taken lightly as Adonai Himself warned the people of Israel.
“Do not bring worthless offerings again, [Your] incense is repulsive to Me;[ Your] New Moon and Sabbath [observances], the calling of assemblies— I cannot endure wickedness [your sin, your injustice, your wrongdoing] and [the squalor of] the festive assembly.
I hate [the hypocrisy of] your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts. They have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them.
“So when you spread out your hands [in prayer, pleading for My help], I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you offer many prayers, I will not be listening. Your hands are full of blood! (Isaiah 1:13-15).
While it is a time of celebration, it is one that we must be sure is holy unto God. Rosh Chodesh is an opportunity to repent, be cleansed, and to align our hearts with the heart of the Father. What we have made tradition and mere words, we are now being called to celebrate with the fullness of our hearts as holy sacrifices upon the altar of the Most High. Tonight is particularly special as a solar eclipse is being observed in some parts of the world, and while it is normally the darkest night in the Biblical calendar, it will be for at least a moment the darkest day as well. It reminds us of what happened that fateful day when Yeshua gave his last breath upon the cross when the sun was darkened and the veil was torn (Luke 23:45), but also of His time in Israel after His resurrection. This would be the 2nd week that Yeshua was living once again and showing Himself to the disciples and many others speaking about the kingdom (Acts 1:3). It is also the second week of the counting of the Omer, the preparation time that was given to Yeshua’s disciples to heed the call of Yeshua to wait in Jerusalem for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4), and also the beginning of Israel walking in the desert after the exodus from Egypt. After the death and resurrection of Yeshua the disciples went from devastation to untold joy and a new revelation of the kingdom of God. The Israelites went from being free, to complaining, and then to another level of trust in God for all they needed to live. Likewise, this is a time for us to be in earnest preparation in His presence waiting for instructions from Yeshua, going to another level of understanding the Kingdom of God and trust in Him for all things. We are now in a moment not only to know the time and season, but especially to hear clearly what to do next.
It is no coincidence that the month long Islamic fast of Ramadan is coming to an end at this moment as well, which is a blatant distraction and intended disruption to what is meant by God to be a time of new revelation of the Kingdom of God and the very resurrection of the Son of God, Yeshua.
It is also a reminder to pray fervently for the salvation of our brothers and sisters who have yet to receive Yeshua as Lord and Savior. This is the culmination of a new season, a season in which we are being called to action in seeing God’s kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. We remember that no matter what the world says or does, the creator of this world, the Great I Am has come for the whole world to be saved.
While we are not to let anyone judge us in regards to what we eat or in regard to the observance of a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day as these things are only a foreshadowing of Yeshua (Colossians 2:16-17), it does not mean we disregard the Biblical times and seasons or stop celebrating the feasts. In fact we actually do so with the knowledge, understanding, and freedom knowing that we do so pointing directly to Yeshua our Messiah. Any doubts we may have are being taken away this Rosh Chodesh just as they were when Adonai made the bitter waters of Marrah sweet for the Israelites and gave them food everyday from heaven. Perhaps you are in a moment like Thomas who would not believe Yeshua had been resurrected, but now is the moment Yeshua Himself is coming to you so that all doubt will be forgotten and faith will arise in you as assuredly as the sun over the horizon each day. Not only to you, but to many people throughout the earth is Yeshua showing Himself even today, giving hope to those without it, love to those who feel forgotten and unseen, and life to those who unknowingly are the dead walking the earth. As we begin this month of Iyar, the second Biblical Month, let us blow the shofar (Psalm 81:3) and celebrate the beginning of this new month as we receive the blueprint of God and give thanks to all that Adonai has done, is doing, and about to do. Let faith arise and may this time of revelation and preparation bring us all into a new understanding and action of His kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Adonai bless you and keep you!