We are approaching our next Firstfruits on August 30th as we enter the 6th month of the Hebrew Covenant Calendar.
In the Old Testament, when Moses went back up the mountain to get the second set of Tablets of Covenant, he left on the first day of ELUL. While Moses was away for 40 days, the children of Israel humbled themselves and were hopeful God would give them a second chance. Waiting in great anticipation for Moses to return, God used that time to allow the Israelites to gather together and examine their hearts so they were ready to honor God’s marriage proposal.
I asked a friend of mine, Tammy Carroll, to paint a picture of the month of Elul to put in the Firstfruits Calendar Journal. Here is what she wrote:
“Sometimes we go through valleys in our lives that seem long and hard but when we listen and walk with God, we can experience His promises and responses to us! I actually dreamt about this place and knew I needed to paint it. The 3 streaks signify the Trinity, the fullness of God’s presence. If you look at it carefully, you can see a figure of a bride entering the garden signifying the covenant He has with us as His beloved. Let His promises burst out for us!”
I love the fact that Tammy captured the essence of this month: God wants to respond to us intimately and make Himself known to us in the secret places of our heart, even when we have seemingly “screwed up.” It is His desire to come and walk alongside of us, and make Himself known so we aware He’s with us.
Many times when I am reflecting about this month, I think of time when Jesus was walking with the two men on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection. The two men were reasoning about all the things that had just happened when the women had arrived at the Jesus’ tomb and found it open, empty, and angels declaring He was alive.
Throughout their 7 mile journey, the men’s eyes were “restrained,” as to who Jesus was as they just thought they were talking to a stranger. When they arrived at their destination, the men invited Jesus to stay with them, so Jesus changed His plans to continue on and stayed with them.
When they all three sat down at the table to eat, Jesus took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave some to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened that Jesus was with them!
“Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. THEN their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and HE vanished from their sight” (Luke 24:30,31).
Why I like this scriptures depicting this month is because Jesus was with them throughout the 7 miles, but they didn’t even know it. They were frustrated, sad, and doubting everything about their own future, let alone trying to understand the present day events while sharing with Jesus all that was in their hearts. He was there all along, walking with them in the flesh, and they had no clue!
But then, Jesus sat down and had a meal with them. The breaking of bread was the greatest witness of the SIGN they were told to remember of His greatest sacrificial love: “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). Sometimes, we just need an ELUL moment to remember that Christ has not forsaken us in our journey.
The Hebrew letters that make the word “Elul,” aleph, lamed, vav and lamed, are an acronym for the phrase “I am my beloved and my beloved is mine” which is from the Song of Songs.
It is the month of Elul that teaches us the necessity of being willing to turn around and be vulnerable to see God face to face. Like a loving Father, He will never turned away from us. But sometimes we cannot see Him through the fiery trials we are going through. When we sit and “eat” with Him, we literally turn ourselves toward Him. And this month, God wants us to see Him right where we are at in our journey.
This month is tied to the tribe of Gad, who’s name means “troop.” Gad reminds us of the importance of gathering together with those who God has chosen to use to sharpen our “swords” so we can gain intel, strategy, and support for the season ahead. Who are you called to lock arms with? Now is the time to unite so you are positioned with God’s people to conquer.