God's Appointed Times Part 3 - 09-20-22 1

 Greetings Pray-ers,

Rosh Hashanah or Feast of Trumpets is found in Leviticus 23:23-25 ...have a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. There is a rich history associated with this feast, both biblical and historical.  Rosh Hashanah is one day (24 hours) that according to Jewish tradition enters people into a time of prayer or the Days of Awe. 

The Days of Awe is the name given to the days between Feast of Trumpets and Day of Atonement. It is also known as Days of Repentance or Days of Return. “Jewish tradition holds that, during this ten-day period, divine judgment is rendered to determine whether a person will continue to live or die in the coming year. It is believed [during this time] that God reviews the books of judgment…….and [gives out] final judgment.” [The Feasts of the Lord by Kevin Howard and Marvin Rosenthal]. Still using this same resource 3 books are opened at this time:  Book of Life for the wicked; Book of Life for the righteous; and Book of Life for the in-between. The Lord examines man’s activities and writes their names in one of the three books. Those who are wicked, judgment is final and irrevocable. Those who are righteous, mercy is granted for another year, and prosperity in the Lord. “For the remainder (the in-between) their fate is deferred and hangs in the balance until Yom Kippur.  If they sincerely repent during the Days of Awe, tradition holds that God will grant them life until the following Yom Kippur.”  What strikes me as I read this is that man doesn’t know how the Lord sees their lives. The not knowing drives man into deep repentance. 

As believers in Jesus, we know (trust & believe) that through HIS sacrifice and death on the cross, our sins are forgiven AND through HIS resurrection sin & death are defeated. Praise the Lord!! God’s word tells us that we are made righteous through faith in Him. If you are unsure of this, read the following passages: Isaiah 61:8-10; Romans 5:1-5; I Corinthians 1:26-31; and Matthew 25:31-46. We do not have to be concerned about where our names are written. And yet, do we find ourselves (or hear others) relying upon the “grace card” when we are knowingly walking in disobedience?

Feast of Trumpets is a call to repentance. During this time shofars (or ram’s horns) are blown. Just the other day I learned something I found quite interesting. The Hebrew words for Feast of Trumpets is – Zihron Teruah which basically means a memorial of the blowing of the trumpets. What memorial? What memorial would Moses, writer of the 1st five books of the Bible, be referring to? Could it be the Exodus when the people were standing before Mount Sinai? In Exodus 19:11, 16-19 shares the following event:

…the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder.

Was this sacred assembly (found in Leviticus 23) to be a reminder to the people of how they stood in the presence of the Lord Almighty? I don’t know, but it certainly is interesting to think about.

Let us now look at how through the New Testament texts Jesus could be a reflection of this feast. I’ve already shared how He fulfilled the spring feasts: Passover – He was the Passover lamb; Unleavened Bread – He was without sin; First Fruits – He was the first to be raised from the dead; and Pentecost: first the gift of God’s Word; then the gift of His Holy Spirit. If Jesus fulfilled these feasts, could we at least consider that Jesus will fulfill these three fall feasts?   We need to remember that only the Lord knows the date of Jesus’ return. Mark 13:32-33 has Jesus himself stating, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert!” 

Now let us look at what the New Testament says:

“….They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect…….”  Matthew 24:30b-31a

The Apostle Paul’s writes: “According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” I Thessalonians 4:15-16

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpetFor the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” I Corinthians 15:51-52

As I reread this for editing purposes, I find myself pondering on a couple of questions:

1.      Could Rosh Hashanah be when we can reflect on those moments (or seasons) of intimate closeness with the Lord?

2.      Could this be a time for personal, corporate, or even national repentance? 

3.      Could Jesus return during the Feast of Trumpets?

I know I’ve given you a lot to think on. Just by reading these scriptures you may have your own questions to lay before the Lord. Search the scriptures for yourselves and see where the Lord leads you. This year Rosh Hashanah is on Monday, September 25. I do find all this fascinating and the more I learn, the more I wonder if our Lord, Jesus Christ will indeed return at the Feast of Trumpets. Whether it is next week, 10 or 100 years from now, only the Lord knows.

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