On August 19th, we enter into the sixth Hebrew month known as ELUL, which is linked to the tribe of GAD. Gad was the seventh son of Jacob and his name primarily is translated as a “troop.” However, GAD can also mean good fortune, to attack, to overcome, to invade, and to gather together.
This is the final month of the summer season and one that reminds us of the “good fortune” that comes when God’s people choose to gather together in a heart of humility, repentance, and forgiveness.
ELUL is pictured as a month that God wants to meet us intimately right where we are, even in the midst of struggle, and “hang” with us. This can be best illustrated through the ministry of Jesus here on the earth: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” John 1:14.
The word “dwelling” is actually the word for “tent” or “tabernacle.” Jesus left His throne to come and “tabernacle” among us for 33 years. Then He gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit who “dwells” within us.
In the days of Moses, the two months prior to ELUL (Tammuz and Av) were tragic. In Tammuz, the children of Israel built the golden calf while Moses was gone to get the “Tablets of Covenant” from the LORD (Ex. 32:1-5). When Moses returned in AV and saw them worshipping idols, he broke the Tablets of Covenant. Moses then called out, “Whoever is on the Lord’s side-come to me” (Ex. 32:26). Those who came with Moses were then given instruction to kill everyone else left, totaling 3,000 people.
Afterward, Moses instructed the remaining people to consecrate themselves while he went to ask God to pardon them for their sin (Ex. 32:29-31). The Lord still plagued the people, as their “stiff-necked” demeanor was being chastised. During this time, God was provoking them to throw away their idols and to choose Him (Ex. 33:5). After many days of continual prayers, God answered Moses’ plea to pardon the people.
On the first day of ELUL, Moses cut two stone tablets and went back up to Mount Sinai to bring them to the LORD (Ex. 34:4). It was during this time (ELUL), that the children of Israel gathered together and prepared their hearts in humility. They understood it was the mercy of God that had given them a second chance.
The month of ELUL reminds the Body of Christ to prepare their hearts, both individually and corporately, with humility, prayer, and thanksgiving as we wait for Jesus to return as King.
This year this month is so relevant and critical for us today, and we need to participate with heaven. The “Church at large” is being asked by the Spirit of God to wake up, reset, position herself in prayer and worship, seek God’s heart, and gather together in unity with this core attitude: Admit we need Jesus – His leadership, truth, righteousness, and justice. The Holy Spirit is trying to alert the Church….get in the game by getting desperate for Him…..for our “ways” have not worked, and the enemy “appears” to be running the show in our nation and the nations. God has given us the key to overturn these events. He desires for us to partner with heaven in the overturning and the shaking.
During this time, we need to come broken in humility (2 Chron. 7:14). We need His truth, revelation, and anointing to bring breakthrough for the Church and the nation. We need to be moved with a passion to seek His leadership. The healing, purpose, and identity of our nation need the Church to take this posture in the prayer.
The tribe of GAD was known to be great warriors and taking the lead line on the battlefield. 1 Chronicles 12:8 says, “Some Gadites joined David at the stronghold in the wilderness, MIGHTY MEN OF VALOR, MEN TRAINED FOR BATTLE, who could handle shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as gazelles on the mountains.”
The Gadites were effective when they joined the king’s forces and came under their authority and purpose. The Lord today is training us to be His mighty army as we learn to come under His command and defeat the enemy., first in prayer and then obedience to the Holy Spirit.
Before Moses died, he prophesied over the tribe of Gad. “..he (Gad) administered the justice of the Lord, and His judgments with Israel” (Deut. 33:21).
The great prophet, Elijah, was from the tribe of Gad. His life illustrates how one man can take down the enemies of the camp with the “sword/word.” The story of Elijah confronting the false prophets of Baal really captures the essence of Gad’s strength as well as the Father’s heart of giving his people an opportunity to repent and forgive before judgment comes.
In 1 Kings18:18, King Ahab accuses Elijah of being a “troubler of Israel.” Elijah boldly answers, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed after Baals.” It was after this encounter that Elijah challenged King Ahab to bring all the false prophets to Mount Carmel. Ahab takes on the challenge and brings the children of Israel as well.
God then uses Elijah to draw a line in the sand between righteousness and justice, giving the children of Israel the opportunity to humble themselves and escape God’s judgment. In verse 21, Elijah SPEAKS truth to the people, “How long with you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” Unfortunately, God’s people did not respond to this call.
Elijah then challenges the false prophets to a sacrifice dual. “Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God who answers by fire, He is God” (1 Kings 18:24). Elijah eventually calls on the Lord after the false prophets fail the task. The Lord consumes the sacrifice with fire and then has all the false prophets executed.
This is the same cry of God’s heart even today: HOW LONG WILL YOU FALTER BETWEEN TWO OPINIONS? God wants to see the gift of Gad rise up in all of us and confront the enemy, but more importantly, he wants us to have ears to hear His rebuke so we can repent before judgment comes.
After Elijah’s huge victory over the enemy, we find him alone in the wilderness, fleeing in fear for his life after Queen Jezebel threatens to kill him. This was right after he was used by God to call down the fire of judgment on the false prophets. This hidden fear in Elijah was exposed when he SAW Jezebel and HEARD her threat. All of a sudden, God became small compared to Jezebel’s threat to kill him.
Let’s look back at the Word that was given to Gad to understand Elijah’s weakness. Genesis 49:19 prophecies of GAD in the latter days: “Gad, a troop shall tramp upon him, BUT he shall triumph at last.”
This latter-day prophecy of Jacob over his son Gad used the word “troop” to describe Gad’s enemy. This indicates that Gad’s greatest enemy can be himself because “a troop” is what Gad’s name means! The enemy can work on the soul of Gad to defeat himself, even though he is known as a great warrior. This happened even to the great prophet Elijah! How many Christians today are defeated by fears instead of the fear of the Lord? We must stand, and continue to speak His truth.
BUT, God came to Elijah in a still small voice, meeting him intimately in his weakness. As God spoke, Elijah gathered strength, humility, and the instruction of moving forward with God’s plan. This is the heart of ELUL and the heart that is ready to meet the King!
“In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity, and by the fear of the Lord, one departs from evil” (Proverbs 16:6).
May the Body of Christ join together in the unity of prayer and worship and seek God’s leadership in this critical time. We must speak the truth as He leads, and be obedient to His instruction.