Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Yom Teruah - Watch and Be Ready!

Yom Teruah new moon over Jerusalem
Photo by Nehemia Gordon

Last night the new moon was sighted in Jerusalem, which means it’s Yom Teruah! Chag Sameach!  If you have no idea what this means, let me explain…

My family has been celebrating the Biblical feasts for several years now, and each year we learn a little bit more, and it is a new and insightful experience for us.  This year we decided to try to celebrate these holidays when the Bible says, and determine when they are by the moon cycles. Genesis 1:14 says, “And 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.”(ESV)  The word translated “seasons” here is “mo’ed”, which more accurately means “appointed times for assembly” (Strongs 4150) This is the same word used in Leviticus 23:4, “These are the appointed Feasts of the Lord, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them.” And also in Psalm 104:19, “He made the moon to mark the seasons, the sun knows its time for setting.” So, the appointed times, the Feasts of the Lord, were created from the very beginning, and the moon helps us determine when they are!  

Yom Teruah, also known as Rosh Hashanah, is called the Day of Trumpets or the Day of the Awakening Blast.  It begins “in the seventh month, on the first day of the month”, and is “a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation.” (Lev. 23:24)  Because it is the only Holy Day that falls on the first day of the month, no one knows exactly when it will be, because the new moon must be sighted for the new day and month to begin.  A common Jewish idiom for this day is “the day and hour which no man knows”.  As a believer in Yeshua (Jesus), this language is very familiar to me!  In Matthew 24:36, Yeshua spoke of his return on “the day and hour no one knows”!!!  Will Yeshua return on the Day of Trumpets, the day and hour no one knows? I think so! 

In 1 Thessalonians chapter 5, Paul writes about the “times and seasons”, and how the believers are fully aware how the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night to the people who are in darkness.  But as believers, we are children of light, and it should come as no surprise to us!  Will Yeshua return today, or maybe on this day next year, or the year after?  Matthew 24 tells us to watch and be ready! This year, watching for the moon has reinforced that concept for me. 

We’re having a Yom Teruah celebration at our house today, and one of the songs we will sing (Days of Elijah) keeps going through my head:  “Behold, he comes, riding on the clouds, shining like the sun, at the trumpet call.  So lift your voice, it’s the year of Jubilee, and out of Zion’s hill salvation comes.” So perfectly fitting for this day!

Chag Sameach! Happy Holiday! Watch and be ready to hear that trumpet blast!