Parsha Sh’lach L’cha, Numbers 13-15, is centered on our first glimpse of the Promised Land after leaving Egypt. We read the exciting report that the scouts brought back, the good and the bad.
But I want to focus on just one verse – not even a whole verse, just one sentence. It’s a statement that is easily overlooked in the highs and lows of the story. It’s easy to miss the significance of it, because in most of our cultures today, it doesn’t carry the same meaning. However, in this case, it was life-changing and destiny defining. If we can capture the significance of this concept in our own lives, it can be the same for us. (more…)
So what’s an Omer? Why would Yehovah want us to count it? Is it still relevant today? Those were my questions, and these links discuss the answers I found in my search.
If you’ve never counted the omer, I encourage you to begin the journey and see how Yehovah answers these questions for you. If you’re counting the omer and looking for fresh insight, I pray He will use this teaching to enlighten your path. I hope you will leave a comment about what he’s taught you as well.
- Why Count the Omer? Part 1: The First 40 Days
- Why Count the Omer? Part 2: Nine Days of Prayer
- Why Count the Omer? Part 3: God’s Spirit Poured Out
The Lord’s Holy Days, Feast Days, Jewish Feasts, Appointed Times, Mo’edim — whatever term you use, don’t miss these days! If you are seeking more intimacy in your walk with Yeshua, learning about, experiencing and keeping these feasts (including the Sabbath) will bring you not only into deeper intimacy with him, but Yehovah will shower you with new understanding, unexpected blessings, strengthened faith and fresh excitement daily. I highly recommend it!
Included here is a list of my blog posts about the Spring Feasts. (more…)
If your Sabbath gathering has been cancelled due to COVID-19, take heart – you can still keep the Sabbath! Once you’ve kept the Sabbath for any length of time, it is truly painful when you can’t. Somehow your physical and spiritual clock knows when the Sabbath is and longs for it when you cannot observe it in your normal custom. Don’t let the disruption of a cancelled gathering take away your Sabbath peace and joy. Continue to guard that time and begin your own traditions and routines in your home that bring that same spirit and refreshment to your island of sacred time with the Lord. (more…)
Purim is a microcosm of our own lifelong quests: to walk in Yehovah’s ways despite the pressures around us, to trust that his purposes are being manifest in the events of our nation and world, and to have the courage to submit to his sovereignty and will at every turn. In short, it’s about living a life of faith.
As you read the story and the following posts, you will see yourself and your circumstances, as well as Yehovah’s sovereignty and guidance in your own life.
I had been reading the five books of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy) every year for five years and observing the Sabbath, Feasts and Festivals for five years. But as many times as I’ve read the Bible and practiced the Feasts, Yehovah never fails to show me new insights every time. This year has been no exception.
I had signed up to speak on the portion of scripture called “Phineas,” Numbers 25-30. Not knowing what I would speak about, I figured there was plenty to choose from. Numbers 28-29 are commonly referred to for teachings on observing Yehovah’s appointed times or Holy Days.
As I came to those chapters, I read quickly through the list: The daily offerings, the Sabbath, the New Moon, Passover, Unleavened Bread, Pentecost… Wait, the New Moon? When did they start that? Is that one of Yehovah’s appointed times? Why have I never observed this day? I decided I had to look into this. (more…)
The eighth month on the Hebrew calendar centers around the theme of renewed life – where righteousness and sin are separated from each other. From our Torah readings, to Noah, to the New Heaven and Earth, and even the name of the month itself, we see this pattern of renewed life over and over this month. (more…)
What’s the only feast that falls on a new moon? Feast of Trumpets! The Feast of Trumpets always begins on Tishrei 1, the beginning of the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar. It’s always marked by a new moon.
Genesis 1:14 tells us:
“Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;”
On the Hebrew calendar, Elul is the sixth month of the year. On the 10th day of last month – the month of Av – we began the Season of Comfort. The season of comfort continues seven weeks, until the first day of next month, which is Tishrei 1, the same day as the Feast of Trumpets. So we have seven weeks in the Season of Comfort, Av 10 to Tishrei 1.
Elul 1 also marks 40 days until the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), which is always on Tishrei 10.
The Month of Av is the fifth month of the year on the Hebrew calendar. We are still in the season of Judgment & Exile as the month of Av begins. But during Av, the seasons change. Similar to the Gregorian month of March, we have the expression “In like a Lion, out like a Lamb,” so the month of Av can be broken into two phases.
There are six references to Tammuz (or the fourth month) in the Bible: (more…)
The month of Sivan is the third month of the year on the Hebrew calendar. The rabbis have called this season the “Season of Revelation,” primarily referring to the revelation of the Torah on Mt. Sinai, which most believe was the day of Shavuot/Pentecost. Shavuot always falls during the month of Sivan. As Messianic believers we also know the revelation of the Holy Spirit was poured out 1,500 years later on the same day. (more…)
Iyar is the second month on the Hebrew calendar. During the first month, we’ve experienced Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Firstfruits, and are now going through the Omer Count.
Although it’s growing, there’s still a relatively small group of people observing the feasts and keeping Sabbath compared to the mainstream. We’ve chosen a narrow path. The Feast of Unleavened Bread that has just completed is a time of distinguishing between leaven and unleavened bread, symbolizing our goal of separating sin from righteousness. The number of people eating this way for a week is pretty small. It’s likely that those currently counting the omer for 49 days is even smaller. We’re going against the grain. It’s what I’d call “the narrow path.” (more…)
The Spring Feasts begin with Passover during the Hebrew month of Nisan. On the Hebrew calendar, the Feasts always begin during the month of Nisan. But “Nisan” is a Babylonian name adopted well after the original command to observe Passover. In looking at the Hebrew name of the month, I found it was actually much more – more than a name or even a month. It’s a season, a designation, a process – the understanding of which brought all new revelation about the significance of the Spring Feasts. (more…)
There’s more time added on to the Hebrew year, and there’s more that Yehovah wants to teach us about this season. A 13th month on the Hebrew calendar only happens in leap years, so the 13th month is called Adar II. While the 13th month is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, the month of Adar or the 12th month, is mentioned eight times in scripture. Here’s how a leap year works and what these eight scriptures reveal about this season. (more…)
Adar is the last month on the Hebrew calendar. Adar marks the end of the year and the following month is the first month of the year, Nisan. To understand the month of Adar, we must first understand the month of Nisan. (more…)
The Hebrew year has 12 months (13 in a leap year). A Hebrew month starts when the first sliver of the new moon can be seen on the horizon just after sunset. The month of Shevat usually begins in January on the Gregorian calendar. It is the 11th month of the year. So we’re just about through the whole year at this point.
I want to set the context for this month by looking at the new year coming up on the Hebrew calendar, so we can see where we’re headed. (more…)
The month of Tevet is the tenth month on the Hebrew calendar and usually starts in December on the Gregorian calendar.
Similar to weather-related seasons, the Jewish Rabbis have created spiritual seasons that we cycle through during the 12 months on the Hebrew calendar. The Rabbis consider Tevet part of the “Season of Victory.” This season includes the last half of the month of Kislev, all of Tevet, plus the next two months – a total of 3.5 months (4.5 months during a leap year). (more…)
Hanukkah – It’s not one of Yehovah’s appointed holy days, not the Jewish Christmas, not even the biggest celebration on the Hebrew calendar. Sometimes referred to as the “Festival of Lights” or the “Feast of Dedication,” it is mentioned in the Bible as being observed in Yeshua’s day (John 10:22). It’s the celebration of a victory for the Jews recorded in the book of 1 Maccabees written in the latter part of the 2nd century BC. Some people would ask, “Why should Christians celebrate Hanukkah; why not just celebrate Christmas?”
An easy question, with a complex answer. Much has been written and taught on the origins of Christmas, so I won’t reiterate that here. What is included here are several things I’ve learned about Yehovah by observing Hanukkah. While it is optional, it certainly can be a wonderful focal point for meditation and revelation.
Hanukkah? Chanukah? And Why Does the Date Keep Changing?
Hanukkah…A Time of Re-Dedication
As Hanukkah’s Candles, We Light up the Darkness
As Hanukkah’s Candles, You are the Light of the World
Hanukkah Home Celebration Kit
In the Northern Hemisphere, the ninth and tenth months are the darkest of the year – the nights are longer than any other time. In the Southern Hemisphere, they are the lightest season of the year – the days are longer than any other time.
But the winter solstice always falls this time of year. The winter solstice is the day the light and dark begin to reverse. In the Northern hemisphere the days start getting longer; in the Southern hemisphere the nights start getting longer.
It’s a contrast of extremes – It gets darker and darker until, on one day, it stops, and begins to get lighter and lighter. On our Gregorian calendar that day is always December 21. (more…)
The weekly portion of Sh’lach L’cha, Numbers 13-15 is the account of the 12 men going into the Promised Land to reconnoiter it and come back to report to the people what it’s like. This is the point at which Yehovah decides that the Israelites are going to spend 40 years in the desert.
40 years! How old were you 40 years ago? It was the 1970s – What were you doing in 1970s? 40 years ago I was 11 years old. A lot has happened since then. What about ten years later in the 80s? I got my first career job. What were you doing in the 1990s and the turn of the century? Think about everything that’s gone on in just the last ten years.
40 years is almost half of our lifetime. It’s a long time. It seems like a harsh punishment. (more…)
Counting the Omer – most are familiar with the culmination of the count, which is Pentecost, also called the Festival of Weeks. “Weeks” is taken from the Hebrew word “shavuot” and refers to the seven weeks that precede Pentecost. Leviticus 23:15 tells us to count the weeks between the Feast of First Fruits and Pentecost:
“From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks.”
Michael Phelps started training at the age of 7, but his coach knew habits—not skills alone—would be the driver of his success. So, Phelps’s coach built a series of activities before every race designed to give him a sense of building victory. On the day of the race, he gets out of bed, eats certain things, does specific stretches and exercises, he thinks about certain things. By the time the race arrives, Phelps is already more than halfway through his unconscious habits and the pattern he lives by on a daily basis. That way, the race itself—and winning the race—is just another step in Phelps’s laundry list of things to do. He’s made winning a habit.
Wow – the mind is an amazing thing! But how do we transfer that to other parts of our lives? (more…)
Have you ever been in a situation in which you wondered what Yehovah was up to? You knew you were in a specific place for a reason, but not sure what it was. Or maybe you’ve felt you were meant for something more than you’re currently doing and have asked Yehovah to open new doors. You’ve prayed and waited on the Lord for your next assignment. But once you realize what it is he’s asking of you, it seems daunting, more or different than you had in mind. You might feel overwhelmed at the prospect, maybe reluctant or anxious.
Take heart, you’re in good company. Joseph, Moses, Noah, Gideon, even Yeshua – they’ve all been where you are.