Day 3 of The 40 Days of Teshuvah
During Elul 1 until Tishri 10, are the dates believed that Moses “returned” unto the LORD to Mount Sinai to intercede for the children of Israel, for the sin of the golden calf. The season of Teshuvah is said to be a season of return. Upon Moses’ “return” he tells the LORD, these people have sinned a great sin. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai the first time, seeing the people in revelry, he broke the commandments that the LORD had carved and chiseled and had written on with His own finger.
During the second visit, the LORD tells Moses, to chisel or carve out the two tablets. He instructs Moses to make them just like the first tablets or tables. God again wrote on the second set, with His finger. God, never asks us to bring to Him something He hasn’t first fashioned and built. We react and break what He fashioned in perfection and love.
How did Moses know what to do? He saw The LORD make the first set. When we return we are also required to chisel out the two tablets or the tables which are our heart and mind and God will write with His finger, His laws, in our hearts and on our minds. When we have had an encounter with the living God it becomes our nature to intercede for others to come to Him. More about this when we discuss having our names written in the book of life.
In order to fully enjoy and understand this season; it will require reading the word of God to renew our minds and thoroughly search our hearts.
Read Hebrews 7:24-25
God have mercy on me, a sinner. Luke 18
Is there a season to work out our salvation, with fear and trembling? Is there a season and a set time to be justified by God? Yes, as Christians we know that the gates of salvation, are always open because of the Cross of Jesus Christ, and His finished work. And doesn’t the bible tell us “Now is the day of Salvation?” We should read it from the Weymouth translation.
2 Corinthians 6:2 For He says, “At a time of welcome I have listened to you and on a day of salvation I have succored you.” Now is the time of loving welcome! Now is the day of salvation. Succored – Greek literally means to run to, or run to support; hence to help or relieve when in difficulty want or distress. Aid; help; assistance; particularly, assistance that relieves and delivers from difficulty, want or distress.
However as we continue to learn we will clearly see that God indeed has ordained times, and seasons, to show us how to follow His commands. In Ecclesiastes, chapter 3 clearly marks out the times and seasons God has ordained. Jesus, makes reference to seasons, in His teachings to enlighten us concerning kingdom laws. Jesus, points to agricultural laws describing repentance, and the kingdom of God. Jesus, refers to himself, as Lord of The Harvest!
Is there be God ordained seasons? If yes, and I know this to be true, then these seasons have significance, not just for our Jewish brothers and sisters, but also for Christians as well. Learning and understanding this precious season of returning (Teshuvah) and repentance will enhance or possibly correct our Christian experience.
Elul – Aramaic verb to “search”
Teshuvah – a desire to “return” is truly ignited and born from zeal to know and please the One True God. …
As AW Tozer puts it so eloquently:
Repentance or (Teshuvah) then is a zeal that leads to penitence, restitution, and amendment of life is surely precious to God.
If it doesn’t take you to your knees it may be frenzy not fervor.
In chapter 18 of Luke, Jesus told a parable. Luke 18:10-14 NIV
““Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ (Dead prideful Works)
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ (realization that he had missed the mark)
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted.””
Acknowledging our sins, should result in a deep understanding that our actions deserve judgment. This understanding is what the bible defines as, a broken spirit, and a repentant heart. These are the actions that move the heart of God, toward the sinner (succored). The season of Teshuvah is a time of turning away from sin and toward God. When our eyes are opened and we are able to see the damage caused by sin in our lives, we then realize we are separated from God. Sin has consequences, and separation is the result. It is the grace of God that leads us to repent, now we we can see we are being mercifully broken by His grace.
Teshuvah is a time where we search our hearts to be certain we are not holding onto any un-forgiveness against another. We search, (Teshuvah), and forgive others for any wrongs they have committed against us. We also search to see if we need to apologize or make amends to others for wrongs we have committed against them. God, cannot forgive us if we have not forgiven others or ask for those we have wronged for forgiveness. Remember our responsibility to forgive others and ask those we have wronged for forgiveness. Once we have done this, our part is complete.
Surface level (shallow) repentance is not sufficient to cleanse a soul damaged by sin. Sin in the heart of man must be atoned for. Therefore, God has created a season for repentance. A time for this process, and time for the soul work required. A set time. A special time. A time to turn, a time to return to our first love. What a wonderful Father who has marked out set times, for the work He requires. He has not only marked out the season, but left us a how to manual, mapped out in nature itself. Nature and the changes caused by the changing of seasons is a thorough road map. A road map of how we are to work the work of repentance. I know some like to say God is going to do all the work, and yes He has completely and thoroughly done His part. But we have a part in accepting His invitation.
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, calling oh sinner come home.
Father, You have set seasons and times. There are seasons to draw us and make us aware that our hearts being drawn. As You call unto me show me how to answer. I know this is a special time set by You, You are drawing me out into the deep with You. You are desiring for me to come closer to You. Draw me close LORD. Teach me how me how to thoroughly search and inspect my soul. Father as I study Your word, show me what pleases You. I ask that You highlight before my very eyes, what You would have me turn away from. Father I desire to have a soft heart, a cleansed heart, and a new heart for You to write Your laws on. Lord I long for a heart that Jesus describes where You and He will live and make Your abode with me. My true desire is to be face to face with You. Now and forever. Amen.
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
By AW Tozer
Not the quantity of zeal matters to God, but the quality. The significant question is not how zealous is the Christian but why is he zealous and to what does his zeal lead? To the church at Laodicea our Lord said, “Be zealous, therefore, and repent” (Revelation 3:19, KJV). The zeal that leads to penitence, restitution and amendment of life is surely dear to God. The ardor that drives a man to his knees in intercession for others was found in men like Moses, Daniel and Ezra; but there is a kind of zeal that gives to the world such misshapen religious examples as Joseph Smith and Mary Baker Eddy.
God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you Shalom.
Until next time. Thank you for listening with me. Laurette