Yom Teruah (Rosh Hashanah): Feast of Trumpets
It is a new day in the Lord! Yesterday was Yom Teruah or the Feast of Trumpets (literally the Day of Shofar Blowing) which recently has been more commonly call Rosh Hashanah (or Head of the Year) since the new biblical year begins on this day. I kind of prefer sticking to the biblical name but both are appropriate.
I spent some time in prayer and research around this holiday and wanted to share a few scattered pictures, so this will be a combination of Jewish legends, scripture, and some things the Lord is showing me to paint a picture of this new day as pointed out by this very old day set apart by the Lord.
Today is the second day of Rosh Hashanah since it has been celebrated as a two day holiday for a very long time. Apparently, in ancient times, Jews who lived far from the Sanhedrin couldn’t be sure which day would be declared the new moon/new year by the high priest and so just to be safe and not celebrate the wrong day, they made it a two day holiday and that tradition has stuck. Biblically, it was set apart as a single day, but now is the only two day holiday which Jews keep.
Jewish tradition tells us many important events happened on this day according to what I read online. When I checked the scriptures, I could not find dates listed, so you can decide to believe these all happened on this date or not, but rather than argue something that can’t be argued, I was more impressed with the meaning captured in these events as they illuminate what God is doing in this new season.
It is said that on Yom Teruah….
- God created Adam & Eve
- Isaac was born to Abraham & Sarah
- Isaac was bound to be sacrificed on Mount Moriah and then granted reprieve
- Hagar & Ishmael were removed from Abraham’s camp
- Samuel was born
Wow! That’s a lot. Here are a few things I see in these…
The Coming of the Promised Son
God has always intended to have a family on earth who represented Him to all creation. He offered this glorious reality to Adam and Eve. They were the promised sons intended to be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth in obedience to Him. That plan offer was rejected of course.
Abraham was later offered a son of promise and a great family which would be a shadow of this reality. Sons as many as the stars. He tried to go his own way and begot Ishmael, but in many other ways lived an incredible life of faith which led to the miracle birth of Isaac, the promised son, who would himself receive a renewed covenant with God.
We have been talking about God raising up sons in this season which you can read about here.
The Narrowing of the Son’s Life in Discipline
Abraham and Isacc were both showing incredible faith and being refined through discipline by obeying the Father’s command to participate in this sacrifice. Apparently, the text of the Hebrew point to Isaac being well into adulthood when he was to be sacrificed. There’s a good chance he was must stronger than the very old Abraham and yet, he willingly obeyed his father in being set upon the alter to be sacrificed! And Abraham was willingly going to go through with killing his most precious son whom he had waited a century for. It is required to go through difficult challenges in order to have Christ’s life produced in us.
They were each being disciplined through an incredible trial to learn to trust God and grow in faith and obedience. We’ve covered this topic many times and here’s an example.
The Removal of/from the Worldly (Flesh) Life
Abraham loved Ishmael. But Ishmael was a product of him trying to manufacture God’s will out of Abraham’s own power. This is incredibly prevalent in the Church today. And this reality had to be removed from Abraham’s camp in order for the covenant family culture of God to sprout and grow within the covenant people.
If we are to manifest the kingdom of God as we are called to do, we must remove all vestiges of the worldly life from who we are and the way we live. This is not easy, but it is the only way. God will show us how to do this if we are continually willing to make the hard choices He sets before us.
The Coming of a Pure Priesthood and Kings to Reign
Samuel was himself a miracle baby given to a barren woman who promised to commit him to the Lord if God would but give her a child. And he replaced a corrupt priestly family who was using God for their own purposes. He would also be the one God used to anoint the first two kings of Israel, Saul & David.
So in a sense, the birth of Samuel represents the Order of Melchizedek. In this season, God is raising up a people who finally fulfill His plans. A people who are willing to die to their own lives in order to take up Christ’s, which is to be both pure priests who treat God and the things of God as holy AND righteous kings who administer His ways. Only in this way can God’s plan to have a family on earth that represents Him to all of Creation.
A Couple Other Scattered Pictures
On Sunday night, we incorporated some traditional Jewish Rosh Hashanah foods into our family celebration. I baked a couple “Turban Challah’s”, smoked a brisket, and served apples to dip in honey and a pomegranate.
The Turban shaped Challah is through to represent the crown of a king. This is God’s crown. This is also the crown God gives to His sons whom he elevates as kings.
“Then he brought the king’s son out and put the crown on him and gave him the testimony; and they made him king and anointed him, and they clapped their hands and said, “ Long live the king!”” 2 Kings 11:12 NASB
The word challah is apparently the Hebrew word for the cake (first dough) that is to be presented as a “firstfruits” offering.
“17 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 18 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land where I bring you, 19 then it shall be, that when you eat of the [a]food of the land, you shall lift up [b]an offering to the Lord. 20 Of the first of your [c]dough you shall lift up a cake as an [d]offering; as the [e]offering of the threshing floor, so you shall lift it up. 21 From the first of your [f]dough you shall give to the Lord an [g]offering throughout your generations.” Numbers 15:17-20 NASB
We put raisins in the challah and served apples, pomegranates, and honey. These all traditionally point to the sweetness of the promise of a new year with God.
The pomegranate is mentioned in Song of Songs 6:7. Apparently the word “temple” here can also be translated as “your empty ones”. The Lord gave me a picture that the pomegranate is like Jesus. That the seeds represent the “many sons” of God who make up His life. The bitter support structure of the fruit are the needed order and discipline that are required to have a fruit at all.
The apple is mentioned in Song of Songs 8:5 which represents God’s love for us and the rebirth of Sonship.
“[a]Who is this coming up from the wilderness
Leaning on her beloved?”