We are now entering the “rest” season in the Hebrew Covenant Calendar as we celebrate the month of Tevet beginning December 26th. Tevet means “good circumcision” and is a time God wants to “cut to the heart” and judge matters that are important to Him.
In the Old Testament, the sign that set apart an individual as one who was sealed with in the Abrahamic Covenant was circumcision:
“And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised, and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you” (Gen. 17:9-11).
God also declared that those who did not circumcise as He commanded were “cut off” from the Abrahamic Covenant:
“And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be CUT OFF from his people; he has broken My covenant” (Gen. 17:14).
Being “cut off” meant much like being “disowned,” and cut off from the family inheritance and identity. God took this seriously, and so did the Israelites.
This sign was kept all throughout the Israelites history. Even the Apostle Paul himself shares he and his family had followed this law:
“…circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee” (Phil. 3:5).
Circumcision would prove to be a SIGN in the New Testament too, however, it would be an internal (spiritual) sign rather than an external (flesh) sign:
“In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:11-15).
When Abraham was chosen to be the one God would use to set up the Abrahamic Covenant, it was by faith alone that opened up his relationship with God, and God chose him….he did not choose God.
After God chose Abraham, circumcision was then established as a sign. This would be a foreshadowing of when Christ came, and we who believe in Christ by faith, accept Him in our hearts as our Savior. We are then “set apart” as His; “sons of God.”
It is the transformation of our hearts from being lord of our own lives to submitting our life to the Lord of lords that transpires, which is the process of “circumcision.”
When we accept Christ, we are then set apart as His, and with that covenant comes the inheritance of eternal life with Him and the identity as a “Son of God.”
While we remain on earth, the Lord brings us through a sanctification process that requires a heart examination, a “circumcision;” a cutting of the heart through His Word and His truth. For those who are willing, we must allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the issues of our hearts so He can judge our motives, decisions, and intentions. We must allow the Holy Spirit to be the “fruit inspector,” and follow His instruction as to what needs to be pruned or lacking nutrition for our heart to mimic His love and light.
This month of Tevet reminds us of how important it is to not bi-pass this process of resting in God’s presence so He can speak to our hearts. Allow the Lord to judge your heart and all that your heart is set upon. Give God permission to “cut” out those things that could inhibit your relationship with Him. Give God the time to speak to your heart so He can direct your steps in the months ahead.
Below is a picture from the Firstfruits Calendar Journal depicting the month of Tevet, and the tribe of Dan, whose name means, “to judge.” Christian did a great job capturing this month. You can read more in the “Firstfruits” book.