Get ready to celebrate the next Firstfruits as we begin the ninth month of the Hebrew calendar on November 26th. This coming month is known as “Kislev” and is usually the darkness month of the year because the days are shortest toward the end of the month during the Winter Solstice. However, this is the month that usually celebrates the “Festival of Lights,” most commonly known today as Hanukkah, which reminds us of God’s light, love, and faithfulness.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”(John 8:12).
It is not a coincidence that this month is associated with the tribe of Benjamin, who’s name means, “son of light,” and the only son of Jacob born in the Promised Land. Benjamin’s birth reveals both sorrow and joy: Sorrow that his mother died while giving birth; Joy because this tribes prophetic destiny was to become “light-bearers” for the King of kings.
I asked several people to pick a Hebrew month and draw or paint a picture representing its meaning for this year’s Hebrew Covenant Calendar Journal. Our youngest participant was a 6 year old named Zachariah, who drew the following picture after his mother told him what the month was all about.
Through this picture, Zach captured the character trait of Benjamin as a wolf, but notice the rays of light radiating out from this wolf, surrounded by a rainbow and the “right hand” shown in the picture on the bottom right. These symbols all represent God’s heart for this month: “MY PROMISE FOREVER: I SHALL BEAR FORTH SONS OF LIGHT!”
Moses prophesied over the tribe of Benjamin these words:
“Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he devours the prey, in the evening he divides the plunder” (Gen. 49:27)
The prophetic words Jacob spoke over Benjamin show two sides of him: A ravenous wolf and one who distributes provision. Both of these are diametrically opposed which show us that in Benjamin’s youth (character not developed), he only thinks about what can satisfy his own cravings and desires and will stop nothing to obtain them. But as Benjamin matures, this selfish side dies through trials and tests, and a servant emerges to be “God’s right hand.”
Saul of Tarsish, later known as Paul the disciple of Christ, exemplifies this dual identity. Saul was a Benjamite, who was killing Christians and feeling pretty proud of his achievements until He encountered Christ.
“I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I (Saul/Paul) also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin” (Rom. 11:1).
Saul’s conversion begins suddenly when a light from heaven shone all around him:
“Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem
3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”
Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts 9:1-5).
Saul was blind for 3 days, until the Lord’s light of truth caused the scales to come off his eyes and his sight was then returned. Saul’s name means “Inquired of God.” But through this conversion, his name was changed to Paul, meaning “little.” I believe this change reflected the “mature” side prophesied of Benjamin as we see Paul humbled (little) before the Lord after his conversion.
Being recognized as a “son of light” comes through a process of learning to trust God completely, which produces security, peace, and restfulness in our soul.
“TRUST in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path” (Prov. 3:5,6).
This month, get excited like a child, anticipating that there is something good God is orchestrating that will be a gift to those who put their trust in the Lord.
During Kislev, I am reminded of the younger generation who take the torch for Jesus today. How can we come alongside of them and help them fulfill their destiny to establish the kingdom of heaven here on earth? Are WE revealing the light of Jesus to this younger generation, to the world in darkness?
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
Be on the lookout this month for the voices of the younger generation making an impact in this nation.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matt. 5:14).
And take a moment and consider: Am I a reflection of His light with my words, my heart, and my service?
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them” (John 12:36).