L’shanah Tovah

Tonight begins the year 5783 – the Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah is the first of what we call the High Holy Days, a ten-day period that ends with Yom Kippur—the holiest day of the Jewish year. On Rosh Hashanah, Jews from all over the world celebrate God’s creation of the world. Jews bless one another with the Hebrew words “L’shanah Tovah Tikateiv Veteichateim,” which translates: “May you be inscribed and sealed in the book of life for a another good year.”

Rosh Hashanah is considered the birthday of mankind, highlighting the special relationship between God and humanity. The central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the ram’s horn, known as the shofar. The cry of the shofar is a call to repentance, as the holiday is also the anniversary of man’s first sin and his subsequent repentance. Therefore, Rosh Hashanah also serves as the first of the “Ten Days of Repentance” which will culminate in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

Enjoy the unique sounds of the Maccabeats, the world-renowned acapella Jewish singing group performing a song for Rosh Hashanah. Not a single instrument other than the young men’s voices was used in the making of this video.

The appearance of the red heifer is God’s wonderful Bible promise for the Third Temple.

In America, in Seminary, Bible students/future pastors are taught the Rapture will take place before the Tribulation. This was never taught in the past. This is what must take place first.

“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4)

Tonight we enter into one of God’s appointed times, the festival of Yom Teruah/Rosh HaShanah. Teruah is a Hebrew word that means blasting. This sound is generally understood to be the sound of the shofar but could also include the voice of a person crying out.

It’s interesting to look at what the blast of the shofar communicates throughout the Scriptures. It accompanied God’s presence descending on Mt. Sinai, caused the walls of Jericho to crumble, put fear into the hearts of Israel’s enemies, and was the declaration of victory when God delivered Israel’s enemies into their hands.

There’s one more use for the shofar, and this is the one I would like to focus on. I believe it’s the common thread that ties all the other uses together. 2 Samuel 15 and 2 Kings 9 tell us that the shofar was blown when a king of Israel was coronated. More than that, if we look at Psalms 47 and 98, blowing the shofar is directly related to declaring the Almighty’s Kingship. The shofar blast at Sinai was God saying, “Israel, I am your King.” When the walls fell at Jericho, God was showing the world that He, the God of Heaven, is the King of Israel.

When a King rises to power, his subjects rally around him, and his enemies tremble and are afraid. Are you fully submitted to God? Have you declared Him as your King? Yom Teruah is a day of shofar blasting – a day to coronate God as King of our lives. He is a merciful and gracious King! He is inviting all those willing to hear the sound of the shofar to accept Him as their King. Today is the day of salvation!

There are many emotions that take place when a righteous, holy, merciful king takes his throne: sobriety – seeing God’s righteous judgments; humility – because of God’s great mercies toward us; and joy – knowing we serve a God who is faithful to forgive.

Come, let’s coronate the King today! Shanah tovah u’metukah,

Winston Churchill – Prime Minister of Great Britain
“Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.”

John Adams, Second President of the United States (From a letter to F. A. Van der Kemp Feb. 16, 1808 Pennsylvania Historical Society)
“I will insist the Hebrews have contributed more to civilize men than any other nation. If I was an atheist and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations. They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this Earth. The Romans and their empire were but a bubble in comparison to the Jews. They have given religion to three-quarters of the globe and have influenced the affairs of mankind more and more happily than any other nation, ancient or modern.”

Thomas Newton, Bishop of Bristol (1704-1782)
“The preservation of the Jews is really one of the most single and illustrious acts of divine Providence and what but a supernatural power could have preserved them in such a manner as none other nation upon earth hath been preserved. Nor is the providence of God less remarkable in the destruction of their enemies, than in their preservation. We see that the great empires, which in their turn subdued and oppressed the people of God, are all come to ruin. And if such hath been the fatal end of the enemies and oppressors of the Jews, let it serve as a warning to all those, who at any time or upon any occasion are for raising a clamor and persecution against them.”

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