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 for the more “important” months. This could not be further from the truth, and it would be a tragedy for us not to grasp what Adonai is saying to us this second month 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 starts at sundown April 25th and ends at sundown on March 30th. 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 YWHW did what He did during this month of Iyar in Scripture to know what He is telling us today.
YHWH RAPHA (God our healer)
The answer begins just after the crossing of the Red Sea and the judgment of Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt at the waters of Marah which means bitter. Famished and thirsty, all of Israel comes to a water source, but cannot drink it because it is bitter, rendering it useless. “Then Moses cried to the Lord [for help], and the Lord showed him a tree, [a branch of] which he threw into the waters, and the waters became sweet” (Exodus 15:25). As soon as the waters were healed, It was here that Adonai gave his first test to Israel saying, “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).” The allusion to Yeshua who is often referred to as “The Branch” in Scripture is revealed as the one who heals for the first time in scripture. A simple solution to a hopeless situation, the Branch that took upon the bitterness of the water so that Israel might drink. The Branch whose body was broken just as the branch was broken off the tree, by whose stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). After hundreds of years in exile, the God of Israel is reintroducing Himself to Israel so they may trust in Him for all things, not just redemption. How many of us as believers stop at redemption and the promise of salvation, never going deeper into a relationship with the One who set us free, never learning to trust Him even for our healing? The King of Majesty is reintroducing Himself to you this Iyar. Will you take the invitation?
YHWH YIR’EI (God our provider)
On the 15th day of the second month, Israel arrived to the wilderness of Sin (Exodus 16:1) where once again the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron as they had done just days before at Marah, this time complaining that there was nothing to eat and saying it would have been better to have died in Egypt where even though they were slaves there was ample food to eat. Once again the Israelites were crying out to the wrong people, and Moses and Aaron told Israel, “for what are we? Your murmurings are not against us, but against Adonai” (Exodus 16:8). Then all of the congregation of Israel turned to look toward the wilderness where the glory of the Most High appeared in a cloud and told them He had heard their murmurings and promised that they would have meat to eat at night and bread in the morning. That night Quails covered the camp, and the next morning Manna fell from heaven as it did for the next 40 years, and Israel was reintroduced to YHWH YIR’EI, the Lord our provider. Our need in this moment may or may not be food, but Emmanuel is saying to you today, what do you need? I will provide it. Have we grown too reliant upon our leaders to provide, or become so self-reliant (prideful) that asking YHWH YIR’EI is now beneath us? Is it better to live as slaves, doing what we loathe in order to have provision, or to do what we are called by YHWH to do, fulfilling our destiny in Him and learning to walk with absolute freedom in the faith of the promise that He will provide? The Great I Am is once again welcoming us not to look to others as our first resort, or even to ourselves, but to look first to Him for provision, allowing Him to lead us and provide for us lest we boast in our own ability or glorify man instead of the King of glory. If you believe this is just a story, we can attest to the fact that Abba truly is our provider, because we took Him on His Word that He will provide, and after walking by faith for three years to more than 30 different nations, not once have we not had food to eat and a roof over our heads. This is nothing compared to the 40 years of the provision in the desert, but it is a small testimony that The God of Israel is alive, and He does not lie. Take Him at His Word, and you will not be disappointed.
The walk of faith for Israel had begun, and every day they collected enough manna for the day, but whoever saved some for the next morning, it became full of worms and rotted (Exodus 16:20). The Father was teaching His children to walk day by day, trusting in Him. It was difficult at first, but as the days, weeks and years went by, what was once an anxious and worrying exercise in faith, became a normal part of life, and it was easy to trust Adonai for provision. The next test came at collecting enough bread for the Sabbath, the day of rest. If you did not collect enough for two days on the sixth day in order to rest on the seventh day, you would not find any manna on the seventh day. What is more difficult, working every day of the week knowing God will provide each day you go to work, or trusting Him when He says He will provide enough for you to rest, just as He rested on the seventh day? We must not be afraid to rest, because we are worried about ends meetings or bills being paid, because when we honor Him, He gives us what we need in ways we can never expect. Once again, we speak not in theory, but from experience, and we know many who are reading this can attest to the same. YHWH YIR’EI is telling us this Iyar, look to Me, not man, ask Me, cry out to Me, and I will give you everything you need.
YHWH ROHI (God 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 (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 many times in a week or a month would you say we doubt, worry, or grumble to ourselves or to others about any number of things? 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 know how Adonai will come to the rescue, but it is a different thing altogether when our lives take the place of people in Scripture. Fear, desperation, anger, and worry are the first instinct just like Israel’s reaction toward Moses. After all, my kids are going to die of thirst, as will I and my livestock if I don’t get water. What would your reaction be? Would you remember the countless times Elohim has miraculously saved you? In this very same month, He made bitter water sweet, brought quail for you to eat at night in the middle of the desert, and rained down manna from heaven every morning. Let’s not even mention the previous months! YHWH ROHI, the Lord our Shepherd, is welcoming us to recall that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and though our situation may change, He does not. YHWH ROHI will never lead us astray, but He will certainly lead us into greater faith. Even though we may be walking in a desert, Adonai wants us to see that He will make rivers flow even from solid rock for us to be satisfied. The YHWH ROHI of Psalm 23 is not a metaphorical or symbolic Shepherd, but the real deal.
YHWH NISSI (God 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 s 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 sister in Christ are fatigued and need assistance? Without one part of the Body, the Ekklesia 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. What was it Yeshua spoke to the disciples about when He showed himself to them after His resurrection? Acts 1:3 tells us Yeshua appeared to them over a period of forty days and talked to them about the things concerning the kingdom of God. Are we manifesting the kingdom of God?
Shor (Taurus) and the Mystery of the Red Heifer
The tribe of this month is Issachar, a tribe we speak of often, as they were the tribe who knew the times and seasons and what was good for Israel (1 Chronicles 12:32). How important it is to know the times and seasons and what to do. Part of that is also knowing the Biblical calendar which also coincides with the constellations of the months and their correlation. In the case of Iyar, the constellation over Israel is Shor, meaning Ox. This is important because once again Yeshua is introduced to us through the Old Testament in a way that is truly beautiful. This time we are taken to the end of Israel’s 40 years in the desert when one last new and a seemingly unusual ordinance was given to Israel, the sacrifice of the Red Heifer (Cow). When the cow was slaughtered by the Tent of Meeting outside the camp, the priest would sprinkle the blood of the Red Heifer 7 times at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting (Number 19:4). The cow was then burnt to ash, and the priest put three elements in the burning carcass namely, Cedar, hyssop, and scarlet cloth. Isaiah 52:15 points us to the sprinkling of the blood in front of the Tabernacle. “So His appearance was marred more than any man, and His form [marred] more than the sons of men, so He will sprinkle many nations [with His blood, providing salvation].” The sinless blood of Yeshua was accepted by the Father. The elements thrown in the burning remains of the Red Heifer is not random. Cedar, representing the cross, Hyssop to spread the blood of the Lamb over the doorposts, and scarlet cloth to represent the bloody garments of Yeshua. The ash of the Red Heifer was then brought outside the camp and was mixed with water to purify anyone who had been defiled or came into contact with a dead body. Yeshua came so that sin, which is atoned for by blood, and death which makes a man unclean is defeated, thereby fulfilling the ordinance of the Red Heifer forever along with all other sacrifices in the Temple.
The disciples knew this well, and as Jews, understood this concept clearly. It will interest the reader to know that during the time of the second temple, there was a bridge that extended from the east side of the Temple across the Jehoshaphat Valley to the Mount of Olives to the place where the Red Heifer was sacrificed and burned outside the Temple so as not to defile it. This is the most likely place that Yeshua would have been crucified by the main road on a hill for all to see. The place Yeshua was crucified was called Golgotha (Matthew 27:33), the place of the skull, and the Mount of Olives was and still is a place where the dead are buried, packed with tombs both new and ancient making it all the more likely that there was a new tomb nearby allowing for a quick burial just as described in John 19:41-42.
Recent archeological discoveries are unveiling the true key locations of the Bible in Jerusalem, and the fulfillment of Isaiah 52 is at hand. The chapter begins speaking to Jerusalem, saying, “Shake yourself from the dust, arise, O captive Jerusalem; Rid yourself of the chains around your neck, O captive Daughter of Zion. It continues with the restoration of the once detested and desolate Jerusalem and ends with Yeshua sprinkling many nations [with His blood, providing salvation], saying “Kings will shut their mouths because of Him; For what they had not been told they will see, and what they had not heard they will understand.” Many nations have received the salvation of Yeshua, and now the nations are returning to Zion from whence the Gospel came. Yeshua is reintroducing the Global Body of Messiah to the power of the Kingdom in preparation for the global Acts 2 Remnant to shake ourselves from the dust as the Israelites did leaving Egypt, and the Disciples after shaking themselves from the sorrow of the death of Messiah. What glee, what joy, what amazement, and what awe they must they have felt when they beheld Him alive! He is alive, and now we have the great honor and privilege to pave the way for His return to the Mount of Olives where He will descend just as He ascended (Acts 1:11).
Adonai is calling us this Biblical month of Iyar just as He called Israel and the disciples, to know Him afresh. He is re-introducing himself to us so that we know and trust Him intimately, to build our faith in Him, so that we can rise with Him on wings like eagles above every situation, instead of the situation rising above us. Every day is a new opportunity to look at the challenge, hardship, or uncertainty before us and speak to it saying I know Who my God is! He is YHWH RAPHA (The Lord who heals me), YHWH YIR’EI (The Lord my provider), YHWH ROHI (The Lord my Shepherd), YHWH NISSI (The Lord my banner)! Yeshua who redeemed me promised me, “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!” (Hebrews 13:5). By His stripes, I am healed (Isaiah 53:5), and who am I to be anxious or worried when Adonai even provides everything to the birds who neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns (Matthew 6:25-26)? I walk confidently even through the valley of the shadow of death, because the rod and staff of YHWH ROHI comfort me, and He sets a table before me in the midst of my enemies. Just as David said before striking the finishing blow to Goliath, YHWH NISSI does not save with the sword or with the spear; for the battle is Adonai’s and He will hand you over to us” (1 Samuel 17:47).
Let us not take this month lightly, but rather continue with greater faith and expectation for what is to come, because the (Ziv) light of Elohim is shining on the nations like never before, and the (Iyar) blossoms of springtime have arrived. Adonai bless you and keep you Kingdom Family.