July Prayer Domain Newsletter:
High Holy Days
|July 20, 2021|
Something that resonated during the last zoom prayer time was the importance of sharing what the Lord IS doing in Tucson. The God stories that we rarely hear about, or we find out about them in our own spheres of activities and influence. From this small meeting of 3 pray-ers came the idea to create a Facebook Group so there can be a centralized place where people from across this city can share good news stories of God at work in Tucson and be encouraged by what they read. To view the Facebook Group, click HERE.
As we get closer to the 10 Days of Prayer in September and discuss the High Holy Days found in scripture, I want to express my prayer that what I write will honor & glorify the Lord, and that it will honor our Jewish and Christian brethren who will be reading this. I am still learning and I hope you are enjoying and are being blessed by learning with me.
Two weeks ago, I wrote that the time of Days of Awe 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.” [The Feasts of the Lord by Howard & Rosenthal] Still using this same resource, according to Jewish tradition there are 3 books that 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.
Let’s consider what scripture tells us and how it supports this.
King David wrote in Psalm 69:28: “May they blotted out of the book of life and not listed with the righteous.”
A dialogue between Moses and the Lord (after the golden calf incident) Exodus 32:32-33: [Moses says] “But now, please forgive their sin – but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.” The Lord replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book.”
In Paul’s closing exhortation to the Philippians he is requesting help for the women, for Clement, Phil 4:3, “…..and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.”
The book of life is also mentioned several times in Revelation.
As believers in Jesus/Yeshua, we know (we 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? You know the verse - 2 Corinthians 12: 9 “…..My grace is sufficient for you….” To the discerning eye it will appear I’ve taken this verse out of context. You are correct and my point has been made. Praise the Lord that he loves us enough to continue to show us our need to come before him in true repentance.
Next week: Rosh Hashanah. I hope you will consider attending the prayer fellowship on Tuesday, July 27th, 5:00 – 7pm on the 17th floor of 5151 E. Broadway.
Blessings & Shalom