Rosh Hashanah, commonly referred to as the “Jewish New Year,” falls somewhere between early-September and early-October in the Gregorian calendar, and on the first and second day of the month of Tishrei in the Hebraic calendar. It begins on the eve prior to Tishrei 1 and continues to sunset the second day of Tishrei. It is a time for the beginning of a new season—not so much for the changing of warm to cool or lightweight clothing to layers, but for the changing of God’s seasons.
So, what time are we in?
In Hebraic tradition numbers have meaning. Not to tell us the future like someone with a crystal ball, but so we might better understand what God is telling us—His timing. Both in the Word and in Time itself.
This Rosh Hashanah, we enter the Hebraic calendar year of 5780. As some have spoken, it is “the year of the mouth,” but further, it is also a time of completion (10) and great promotion (8)—10 multiplied by 8 equaling 80.
It is a time where we can choose to inherit this season of God. A season of promotion, completion, and even great authority in our mouths. But likewise, with greater responsibility to speak only what God has given us, to do His will, and act as His shepherds on earth—not following flesh but leading with God’s light.
Alternatively, it is a time where we can choose to walk in our own timing—the timing of flesh and the world—where we can speak what we desire, do what we desire, but without the authority, completion, and promotion that the obedient lifestyle allows. Without the deeper relationship that comes with dying to our flesh daily.
“For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”—Romans 8:13
It says in Ecclesiastes 3:1 that, “to everything there is a season.” In this past season we have walked through narrow places, perhaps faced lack and a seemingly continual battle for every inch of breakthrough. Yet, 5780, if we choose to cross over, is a season of divine inheritance—inheriting the authority, promotion, and completion that comes with following our Father… being “King’s kids.”
It is a season where the battle shifts.
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”—Ecclesiastes 3:1
No matter our choice, we are crossing into a season where we choose if we want to follow the higher road with God—accepting the difficulties and responsibilities, as well as the blessings—or continue as we have. We have to choose if we will accept our inheritance or scurry back into the narrow place; because “not choosing” is simply choosing to remain. The time of indecision regarding our walk with God is over, the time for taking up our inheritance has begun.
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”—Matthew 6:24
It is not a time for half measures—for following God when it is convenient. 5780 is a time of running after God as we embrace the authority, promotion, and completion of this new season. It is a time for courage. Yes, none of us are perfect, and we require God’s grace and strength daily… but it is time to step into our inheritance with the abandon of a child, and the authority of a king and priest.
Abraham’s Two Sons:
One portion of the Word often read during Rosh Hashanah involves Abraham sending Ishmael—who would become father to much of the Middle East—and his mother, Hagar, away.
To briefly place us in this time and the events leading up to it, picture this…
Sarah has been unable to bear Abraham a son, and so, as was not uncommon then, she sends her bondwoman in to Abraham so that there might be a son to inherit. Thus, to Abraham was born Ishmael. Now, time goes by and God promises that Sarah herself shall bear a child and she laughs, because she is beyond the age of bearing children in the natural. Yet, at God’s perfect time, Sarah bears Abraham a son—Isaac—who would become a father to the Jewish people.
At the time of Isaac’s weaning, Sarah decides she does not desire for the son of her flesh to share a full inheritance and position with Ishmael, the son of her bondswoman. She seeks out Abraham and tells him. This grieves Abraham, for Ishmael is still his son, yet, God reassures him that Ishmael will not be without an inheritance or promise.
“…Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed.”—Genesis 21:12-13
“…as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.”—Genesis 17:20
“…God heard the voice of the lad. Then the angel of God called to Hagar… ‘What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.’”—Genesis 21:17-18
Here, we come to the climax of events. Ishmael and Hagar are to be sent away, yet there are some things which must happen first:
- Sarah must release Hagar, her bondswoman, from service.
- If Abraham followed Babylonian laws, as he was known to, he would have to divorce Hagar—for having a child together would have been a type of Babylonian marriage.
- Abraham would have to give Ishmael some level of inheritance due to the inability of any father following Babylonian law to fully disown a son. This is possibly indicated by Hagar being able to purchase, or afford the keeping of, an Egyptian wife for Ishmael.
Both Ishmael and Isaac received a level of inheritance from their earthly and heavenly Father at that time, but their positions shifted. Ishmael, in many ways, ceased from being the firstborn in terms of respect and inheritance when Isaac was born. Yet, removing Ishmael from his father’s house confirmed it.
It was a time of completion, where God’s plan to create a people for Himself from Abraham was set in stone. Isaac would father Jacob who would father the twelve tribes of Israel—God’s covenant people. However, Ishmael would still be given an inheritance AND promise. He would also father a great people, yet only Isaac would receive the covenant of being God’s chosen people and the seed of Abraham… for God said that Isaac would be called Abraham’s seed (see Genesis 21:12).
“In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”—Genesis 22:18
We are at a place where we can choose to receive the blessing of Isaac or Ishmael. Now, both were loved and blessed of God and man, yet, their lives and paths were very different—despite God not being done with Ishmael yet.
We can choose to accept the inheritance of a beloved son, along with the responsibility and blessing of residing in our Father’s house OR we can choose to leave our Father’s house and go our own way. God will provide to an extent either way, but the level of authority and blessing will be akin to a piece of sand verses a mountain…
Ishmael may not have been given the choice to remain in his father’s house, but we have!
We are entering the year 5780. In it, we are given the opportunity to speak with authority, receive promotion and completion. Yet, it is still a choice. We can stay where we are; we do not have to learn or prepare…
Staying may be comfortable for our flesh—familiar and “safe”—but it lacks a higher relationship with God. It is equivalent to accepting a partial inheritance instead of the whole, filled to overflowing with abundance, inheritance that comes from being a “King’s kid.”
“…if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.”—Matthew 21:21
“For with God nothing will be impossible.”—Luke 1:37
Let us step into our inheritance, accepting our kinship to the King of kings—including the responsibility and blessings. Let us live with our eyes on Jesus instead of the storms. And let us speak the blessing of life. Life forevermore.
“…for there the Lord commanded the blessing—life forevermore.”—Psalm 133:3