Rosh Hashanah ended at sundown on Sunday, meaning Yom Kippur is just around the corner. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, completes the high holy days, or the ten ‘Days of Awe’ that begin with Rosh Hashanah. In the Bible, Rosh Hashanah is called Yom Teurah (Num 29:1; lit day of blowing [trumpets]). Nobody really knows how Rosh Hashanah (lit head of the year) came to be the beginning of the civil new year. There is nothing in the Bible concerning this. Some believe that the beginning of the civil new year should be placed on Yom Kippur, at the conclusion of the Days of Awe rather than at the beginning. (Lev 25:9f)
Leviticus 25 provides the details of a once-every-fifty-years event known as the Year of Jubilee. In ancient Israel, once every fifty years on Yom Kippur, all debts were canceled and everyone had their property (land) returned to them. (Lev 25:10) The Jubilee year was marked with the blowing of the shofar on Yom Kippur. (Lev 25:9) Over time, the records for the Jubilee year were lost. Therefore, nobody knows when the fifty-year cycle for the Jubilee year begins, but I find the principle of a monetary reset comforting, especially given the situation with the lockdowns. I take comfort knowing that we serve a God of fairness and justice. The lockdowns have put many a little guy out of business, creating a de facto monopoly for various corporate fat cats and sundry animals who are more equal than others. For example, the governor of California ordered wineries to close for COVID while the winery he owns stayed open. Public information on Yelp shows that 60% of the businesses that closed in the US because of the lockdowns will stay closed permanently. Meanwhile, big corporations have reaped billions in profits. Some received billions in subsidies from taxpayers, yet still proceeded with layoffs. The rest of us received a few thousand dollars in government stipends (meaning it was our own money they gave us). We have been paid off to accept a hostile takeover of America, and that rather cheaply. The principle of the Jubilee year tells me we serve a God who will settle accounts and set things right when He is ready. Given that the next phase of the government stipends is for the Federal Reserve to implement direct deposits into digital wallets, bypassing Congress and commercial banks, ie creating a new economy and preparing the way for the mark of the beast, God may be ready to start setting things right sooner than we think.
Yom Kippur begins at sundown on Sunday. I encourage you to pursue further study concerning the Jewish feast days listed in Leviticus 23. Leviticus 23 is one of those chapters that help unlock the rest of the Bible.
Father, give us understanding as we read thy word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
15 Blow the trumpet [Heb shofar] in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:
Again, the Jubilee year was marked by the blowing of the shofar on Yom Kippur. Some believe that this is when the rapture will take place, ie that the Jubilee-year shofar is the last trump in 1 Corinthians 15:52. I do find it interesting that the trumpet used to mark the Jubilee year is specified to be a shofar (Lev 25:9), while the type of trumpet used on Rosh Hashanah is not specified (Lev 23:2). The details of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, are given in Leviticus 16. The high priest was to bring two goats and cast lots for them. The lots showed which goat was to be sacrificed, and which goat was to be let go into the wilderness, ie the scapegoat. The high priest laid hands on the scapegoat before he was released and the sins of the nation were symbolically transferred to the scapegoat. Jesus has been sacrificed for us and has borne our sins, ie scapegoated. I’ve always felt, however, that there may be more rolled into this odd typology. According to tradition, the scapegoat was carefully monitored until he had wandered far away from the camp and could no longer be seen from high ground. What might this mean? Something to think about.
16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.
See here for notes on verse 16.
17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?
One of the names for the tribulation period is the time of Jacob’s trouble. There is a good reason it is called that. The tribulation period is the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy in Daniel 9. The prophecy specifically pertains to the Jewish people. (Dan 9:24) Therefore, as this terrible time is transpiring, the priests will beg God for mercy, that He may spare his people. In order for this verse to be fulfilled, the temple must be rebuilt, ie the porch and the altar. This will happen, of course, during the time of Jacob’s trouble. (Rev 11:1f)
18 Then will the LORD be jealous for his land [Israel], and pity his people [the Jews].
19 Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen:
20 But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.
Joel’s prophecy was partially fulfilled when the Assyrian army invaded from the north but the Southern Kingdom was delivered. The Magog invasion will come from the north as well. (Ez 38:15) Ezekiel 39:11 says the stink from the carcasses of their defeated enemies will stop the noses of travelers as they pass by.
21 Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.
The great tribulation period will be a time of terrible darkness, but those who put their trust in Messiah will be delivered.
22 Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.
23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
24 And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats [vats] shall overflow with wine and oil.
25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.
26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.
27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.
The final fulfillment of these verses will come with the millennium. At that time, the Jews will receive their Messiah. They shall never be ashamed. The fields, orchards, and flocks will yield abundantly in the land of milk and honey.
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
Peter quoted verses 28-32 when he preached on Pentecost in Acts 2. Technically, we have been living in the last days ever since the beginning of the church age (on Pentecost). These verses will have their ultimate fulfillment during the tribulation period but even today, we are living in dark times. Satan is getting bolder and bolder. Some believe the new world order has been telegraphing that their next play will be to activate operation Dark Winter, another COVID-like crisis. I don’t know about that but what I do know is that the LORD will do great things. We serve a mighty God. The Psalm 2 crowd are doing everything in their power to free themselves from the restraints of God’s sovereign rule, but they have a big surprise coming. The psalmist says God is laughing at them. (Ps 2:4) I find that comforting. God is not worried and we shouldn’t be either. The LORD will do great things. That is something you can count on, but it only applies to you if you believe it. This principle is demonstrated over and over again in Scripture. For example, in 2 Kings 7, they were living in a very dark time. There was a famine. People were starving. Elisha said that God was going to deliver them. Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the LORD, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria. (2 Kings 7:1) One of the king’s servants was skeptical so Elisha told him he would see it with his eyes, but wouldn’t eat any of it. Sure enough, the following day when the food came, the king’s servant went to open the gate for the people to buy food, but they trampled him in the stampede to get to the food. (2 Kings 7:20) Do you believe the Bible? Do you believe Jesus is coming back? Christianity only works if you believe it.
….And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Father, give us patience as we wait on You to send your Son back for us. Give us courage to face any and all trials that lie ahead. Give us wisdom to know how to best represent You and how to respond to the rapidly changing world around us. Increase our faith. Please account us worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before your Son. We ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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