In concluding my mini-series of blogs on the High Holy Days, I wanted to share some more thoughts that came to me over the past weeks of celebrating these biblical feasts.
As I wrote in my last blog entry, we need to remember where we came from, remember that it was God who delivered us through His grace from darkness to light, as we became His children and He, our provider for everything. Remember and reflect upon His wonderful creation, and last but not least, remember that this home is just our temporary home on our way to everlasting life with our Father.
God has given us these appointed times in order to remember Him, to recall all that He has done and also as a foretaste of what is going to happen. The Lord wants to be the center of our lives and wants us to stand firm in Him. The season of the High Holy Days was a wonderful season of self-reflection, repentance, and getting my focus in the right direction. However, it can easily become – like many other things in our lives – a distraction from God and His plan for our lives.
What do I mean by this? Well, during this past season, there were two events that drew a lot of attention from many believers around the world. The first one was the end of the Shemitah year (Sabbath year) and the second, the 4th blood moon, which took place on the first night of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles). While I will not get into the details of these two well-discussed topics, I would like to share with you a concern that I have about what took place around them, which is a cycle that I often see amongst well-meaning believers.
Once in every while, a new “trend” comes along, which gets us excited and in essence instead of getting us closer to God, the trend becomes the focus of our attention and by doing so, it replaces God from being the center of our attention. While it is very important for us to be sober and alert to the signs that the LORD gives, we must remember why He is giving them. We are to be like the five wise virgins who kept extra oil for their lamps for the time of the bridegroom’s arrival (see Matthew 25).
The year of Shemitah is a wonderful reminder of who God is, the fact that He is our Provider and that we are all equal in His sight. In reality, many were looking forward to judgment during this time and for another financial crash to take place (which may indeed still happen). The problem with this is that we allow the fear of losing money to divert us away from trusting the One who provides it all in the first place.
The blood moon is a sign to the people of Israel, a sign from God that we are to return to Him and put Him in the center of our lives. Many were waiting for the wrath of God to come with the blood moon. I was even at one Congregation in which one person came and asked me with a smile, “So when will Israel start the next war?”, as if there is joy in war. You see my brothers and sisters, if the blood moon is indeed a sign for Israel, a call for returning to God and even a sign that judgment is coming, I would hope that we all would spend more time preparing for it, i.e. making sure that our hearts are right before God, preparing others for it, and see it as an opportunity to share about the LORD, as well as seeking Him in prayer and fasting.
The challenge with these cycles is that they come and go, and if they don’t fit what we wanted or believed them to be, it can easily reflect upon our relationship with God and the way others may view Him. The other challenge is that instead of standing firm in our daily walk with God regardless to what Holiday we may celebrate or what event is happening, we are allowing these things to become the center of our lives and are being affected by different winds which move us from side to side, instead of fixing our eyes on the Rock.
My brothers and sisters, I am not writing to convict nor judge anyone; I sincerely desire to share a concern that came to me during this wonderful season of self-reflection. I pray that we will see the signs that God shows us daily of His existence, be prepared, and prepare others for His return on a daily basis, all the while trusting in Him and standing firm in Him every day.
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