The biblical Feast of Trumpets/Rosh HaShanah is fast approaching. It is customary to greet one another with “Shana tova u’metuka,” “Have a good and sweet year.” “Sweet” is certainly not the word that comes to mind as we look back over the previous year. “Confusion,” “plague,” and “chaos” more accurately describe recent events. Is this where God wants us to be? How do we recover? I believe the Feast we are entering will give us the sustenance we need to overcome our current famine. Yes, I believe we are currently in a severe famine. But, before we go there, let’s familiarize ourselves with the main components of the Feast.
Two main themes carry Rosh HaShana – remembrance and blasts of the shofar (Leviticus 23:24). The Scriptures do not specify exactly what is to be remembered. It could be that it is to remember the exodus from Egypt or the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Perhaps it could be taken in a broader sense – remember your heritage, who you are and where you came from. Remember the journey up until now, not only your personal journey but also your family and national history. What mistakes have been made? Which choices proved to be beneficial? How can we learn and grow as we move forward? In order to be successful we must be very intentional about taking time to remember!
Now let’s take a look at the second theme of Rosh HaShana. Shofar blasts were the God-ordained method for calling God’s people to unity, routing enemies, and for coronating the kings of Israel. It is also a time when we recognize God as the King of the universe. On Rosh HaShana we coronate God as King of our lives. If there is anything we are doing or thinking that is opposed to His ways, we must repent and allow Him to rule in our hearts. Self-identifying as king calls me to only look deep within the confines of myself, following the dictates of my heart. Coronating God as King calls us to fully submit ourselves to the service of our Creator.
Now, what did I mean by “our current famine”? I am referring to Amos 8:11:
“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God, “when I will send a famine on the land— not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.”
Many people claim to be Christians but have no respect for the word of the Lord. Our culture is bent on forgetting the past. There are those who call themselves “progressive Christians.” They emphasize the here and now, putting off history and the Bible as old and almost irrelevant. By refusing to learn from the past and acknowledging those who have gone before them, they set themselves back instead of progressing forward.
Western Christianity promotes crowning ourselves kings and pursuing our own desires. The King of Kings has allowed us to remove Him from the throne of our hearts. God’s kingship gives His words authority. When we choose to dethrone God from our hearts, the authority of His word is no longer taken seriously. The severity of the famine our world is in today could not be much more obvious.
The call for us at this time is clear – repent, remember, and coronate! That is exactly what Rosh HaShana is all about. The Feast is the cure for the famine!
Remembering is an amazing action. When we take time to look back, the hand of God is so clear. Introspection causes our mistakes to move from failures to a step towards success. History provides a myriad of lessons to learn and grow from!
Submitting to God as your Father and King is so freeing. No longer do you have to carry the weight of your future. It is all in God’s hands! God’s plans for you are for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope! When we submit to Him and follow His ways He gives us peace that passes understanding, a vision of salvation for the world, and our personal mission in His kingdom.
This Rosh HaShana, let’s take some time to remember who we are and where we’ve been. Let’s learn from the past and press on, in full surrender to God. Maybe this year we will see His Kingdom come and His will being done on earth as it is in Heaven!
Shana tova u’metuka – have a good and sweet year,