Rosh Hashanah is recognized around the world as the “Head of the Year” among the Jewish people. Think of it as the Jewish New Year. The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah (day of shouting/blasting). While the Bible establishes the month of Nisan as the first month of the religious Jewish calendar, Rosh Hashanah falls on the first day of Tishrei. Jewish people look to this day as the start of the fall festivals (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot).
Ten days pass between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). They are known as the “ten days of awe.” During this time, religiously observant Jews reflect on the last year, how they have acted towards others, where they have failed to live up to the standards of God’s commandments. It is during this time that many will approach those they have wronged and ask for their forgiveness. Why? It is that their names may be written once again in the Book of Life and receive the blessings of God’s sweet goodness for another year.
This Rosh Hashanah might be a good time for all of us, Jew and Gentile alike, to reflect on where we have been this last year, where we are in our own lives, and make amends with those we have sinned against.
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul.
Chemical warfare, sexual politics, health care reform, gun control, race relations, voting rights, moral decline, religious terrorism, drug abuse, abortion, anti-semitism… The litany could go on, and on, and on, and on, and… Well, you get the idea. these are symptoms. They are the tip of the iceberg. The real problem lies just below the surface.
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Everything is upside down. The rhetoric ahead of the 2020 presidential election has become nothing more than an unintelligible drone. It seems as though nothing can break through the insanity of the cyclical mess we have made of this world and everything in it.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.
Governments watch from the sidelines as Satan’s demonic forces snuff out the lives of innocent children in Syria, Iraq, and Iran. As women exercise their “right to choose” and violently end the life of innocents who will never have the right to choose anything. America stands among the other nations of the world neutered and immobilized. Reason? What does reason have to do with anything? Have you watched what passes for news lately? How long has it been since our nation did what was right just because it was the right thing to do?
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
It is Deja Vu all over again. It appears that we have returned to the 1930’s, a time when the world knew the Nazi’s were doing, systematically annihilating the Jewish people throughout Europe. The world knew what was going on. America knew. Still, we did nothing until we were blindsided by another evil empire from the Pacific Rim.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold. Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Humanism is a wonderful thing. The world is becoming so much better for everyone, don’t you agree? NOT! Truth, real truth, stares everyone in the eye. It doesn’t blink. It doesn’t change. Ever! Occasionally some piece of perceived good news comes into view. Everyone shouts, “Look, there is a light at the end of this tunnel. Run to the light. Oops. It’s a train.”
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned.In keeping them there is great reward.
God instructed the Jews to remember this day each year in Leviticus 23:23-25. He knew that the Jews would periodically need to be reminded that He alone has the ability to make all things new.
Good News, Bad News
We all need to start afresh from time to time. I want to invite you to listen to a message of hope and warning given by David Brickner at my home church (Wayside Chapel, San Antonio) a couple of years ago. David is the Executive Director of Jews for Jesus. I think there are some things in David’s message applicable to everyone, Jew and Gentile alike. Enjoy!
Even if you are not Jewish, do your family a Rosh Hashanah favor. Turn the page, celebrate the beginning of a new year. Get an apple and a jar of honey. Slice the apple and drizzle a little honey over each slice. Give a slice to everyone around your dinner table. Recount the ways that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the only One who can make old things new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Shana Tovah, Y’all!
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward. – Psalm 19:7-11
P.S. – Share some of the things your family discusses in the space below!