THE NEW MOON: COVERED, OR REVEALED?

On March 11 there is a New Moon.  Will you see it?  What is it that you will see?

This New Moon also marks the beginning of the first month in God’s redemptive calendar year given to Israel, leading up to the Passover on the Full Moon two weeks later. (Ex 12:2)

So, is the new moon covered over, that is, darkened?; or, is it a slim crescent, that is, partially revealed or exposed?  The Scriptures are not silent about this, since God commanded Israel to celebrate every New Moon, and to blow the trumpets on that occasion! (Num 10:10)  If Jesus does fulfill the meaning of the New Moon, and if the moon does symbolize Israel, then the answer to whether the new moon is covered or partially revealed will be consistent with its symbolism. 

There are three Bible references to the New Moon that can help us: 

1Sam 20:5   “And David said the Jonathan, ‘Indeed tomorrow is the New Moon, and I should not fail to sit with the King to eat.  But let me go, that I may hide in the field until the third day at evening.'”

From this verse, we can see that David knew when there would be a new moon, without there being any official ‘spotters’ to watch for it and inform all the others after they had seen it.  David also says that he will be hiding in the field.  How hiding?  Because there would be no light of the moon to help make him visible in any movements, as he sought to protect himself from the king who sought his life.  How long did he plan to hide out in the field during the new moon?  Until the third evening, which is about the length of time for the dark moon to wax as it goes from its final light phase to its next crescent moon. 

Amos 8:5   “. . . When will the New Moon be past, that we may sell grain? . . . .”

The heartless people who were only concerned with their own commercial interests at the expense of the poor and needy were anxious to know when the beginning-of-the-month New Moon (and the end-of-the-week Sabbath) would be over – and not, “when is it?” — so that they could get back to business and oppress the poor and needy.  If the New Moon were a sliver of light (like the Islamic sign by sight!), there would be no need of the question!  But if the new moon is darkened by the Earth being directly between it and the Sun, it could take up to three days until the life that was hidden appeared again to sight.  The oppressors wanted to know when they could again be ‘freed’ from the constraints of the Law of God in whatever way it restricted their evil thoughts and plans.

Ps 81:3-4Eng   “Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon; at the covering, on our celebration day.  For this is a statute for Israel, a law of the God of Jacob.” 

Verse 3 has been used by many to go through hoops not to accept it for what it plainly and simply says in Hebrew.  The two verses are each in parallel.  Verse 4 (5 in Hebrew) says in parallel the same thing:  God gave His instruction to Israel – to Jacob – to celebrate the New Moon.  Verse 3 (4 in Hebrew) is describing when to blow the trumpet:  at the New Moon, which is described as being covered.  The parallel part of the verse is not describing the time, nor is it speaking of two different moon phases, just as the other verse is not speaking of two different peoples.  And, God did not command Israel to blow the trumpets on the full moons.  The Hebrew word is ba-kaseh (כסה), which simply means “at the [whole] covering“.  If something is partially covered, it is not ‘covered’; it is partly exposed.  We do not speak of covering something in some measure of light, but we speak of covering something over.  Light reveals; darkness covers.  Yeshua spoke of letting our light shine, not being hidden under cover of a basket. (Mt 5:14-16) The heavens declare the glory of God!

(You can read the full article here:  http://streamsinthenegev.com/school-of-fish/the-new-moon-covered-or-revealed/ )

DOES THE ‘GOD PARTICLE’ FOREBODE DOOM TO THE UNIVERSE? – 21 Feb 2013

The capture of the most wanted sub-atomic  particle in physics last summer was named as Science journal’s Breakthrough of the  Year 2012.  (see earlier post on the ‘God Particle’:  http://streamsinthenegev.com/latest-news/god-particle-found-4-july-2012-2/  ) 

Now scientists are speculating that the Higgs bosun could also be a cause for the eventual destruction of the universe — should the sun not burn out first.

“It may be that the universe we live in is inherently unstable,” said Joseph Lykken, a theoretical physicist from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. “And at some point, billions of years from now, it’s all going to get wiped out.

Scientists refer to last year’s discovery as a Higgs boson-like particle, since they’re still working to confirm it really is the elusive particle. The Higgs boson, also called the “God particle”, is believed to give all objects mass. But Lykken says it could also spell doom for the universe.”

We see again that the Bible and Science can be reconciled.  True science — knowledge — will confirm what is written for our instruction and admonition in the Scriptures.  But, the problem with “Science” is that, while it has much of the data right, too often the scientists do not interpret the data correctly so as to give us the true knowledge for understanding of what it really means, and the wisdom for living in the truth.

The Bible is very clear that this very good universe is going to go, and will be replaced by one that is Perfect!  But it will occur far sooner than billions of years from now, but will be within the next 1000 years, give or take a few years.

Gen 1:1,31   “In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.”  “And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

Is 34:4a  “And all the host of the heavens shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled like a scroll.”

Rev 6:14-17    “And the heaven departed like a scroll when it is rolled together.  And every mountain and island were moved out of their places.  And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains.  And they said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him sitting on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of His wrath has come, and who will be able to stand?”

2Pt 3:3-14   “First, knowing this, that there will come in the last days scoffers walking according to their own lusts and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.

For this is hidden from them by their willing it, that the heavens were of old, and the earth out of the water, and through water, being held together by the Word of God, through which the world that then was, being flooded by water, perished.  But the present heavens and the earth being kept in store by the same Word, are being kept for fire until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

But, beloved, let not this one thing be hidden from you, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness, but is long-suffering toward us, not purposing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a rushing noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat. And the earth and the works in it will be burned up.  Then, all these things being about to be dissolved, what sort ought you to be in holy behavior and godliness,  looking for and rushing the coming of the Day of God, on account of which the heavens, being on fire, will melt away, and the elements will melt, burning with heat?

But according to His promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.   Therefore, beloved, looking for these things, be diligent, spotless, and without blemish, to be found by Him in peace.” 

SUNDAY

Lev 23:10-12  Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, When you have come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest of it, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest.  And he shall wave the sheaf before Yehovah to be received for you. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.  And you shall offer that day when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering to Yehovah.

Act 13:32-33  And we proclaim glad tidings to you, the promise made to the fathers, that this God has fulfilled to us their children, raising up Yeshua, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “You are My Son, this day I have begotten You.”

Ps 118:19-24  Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go into them, and I will praise Yehovah. This is the gate of Yehovah into which the righteous shall enter. I will praise You; for You have heard me, and are my salvation. The Stone which the builders refused has become the Head of the corner. This is from Yehovah; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which Yehovah has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Rev 1:9-11  I, John, who also am your brother and companion in the affliction, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the island that is called Patmos, for the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last. Also, What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches. . . .

SOUL SECURITY: MILITARY SERVICE? – 12 Feb 2013

The Prime Minister-designate, Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, is facing difficulties forming a new government coalition, partly over the issue of “sharing the burden”.  Sharing the burden here primarily refers to more equality in sharing the economic and military burdens of the country.  The political agenda of Yair Lapid and Yesh Atid (There is a Future), the party receiving the second largest number of votes in the recent elections last month, included in its platform making military service compulsory for most of the ultra-orthodox religious Jewish men who have been exempted in order to ‘study Torah’ (which is not really the Law of Moses or the Old Testament, but rather the Gemara, or commentaries on the Torah by Jewish sages of earlier centuries).  The dilemma is growing as the percent of the ‘haredi‘  population grows, putting a burden not only on the defense of the nation, but also on the cost of paying social welfare subsidies to more and more non-working adult males.

One of the fears of the ultra-orthodox haredi community is the rampant secularism of the military institution, which they fear will negatively impact those young men (and women) with respect to their religious convictions.  It is just on this matter that proclaims the weakness of their rabbinic religion and faith.  Even us among the Messianic community of believers in Yeshua/Jesus recognize the risks at this juncture in the life of our children who generally do go and serve in one of the branches of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces/Tzahal):  the years of military service of 18-21 year-olds is a proving ground and critical turning point in their lives regarding the choices they make for the way in which they will live.

We as believers in Messiah Yeshua are stereotypically accused of belonging to a cult, a deviant religious belief system outside the predominant religious culture, controlling and minutely regulating the lives of the adherents, and threatening to the ‘normative identification’.  In Israel’s case, the predominant religion and culture is Judaism, which denies and rejects the truth of Messiah being Jesus.  Yet, nearly all who identify themselves as of the Messianic Jewish/Christian faith (excluding Arab Christians) in Israel serve in the IDF, defending the country and its people — including the haredim and the Arabs —  as a necessary phase in their lives, not only as citizens, but also in submitting to the civil authority under which we live.

For those who believe in Yeshua, this is part of religious faith, too, in this present evil age, even while we much prefer peace to war, and look with expectation for the Lord’s return to transform this world.  The large majority of the believers in Yeshua here of working age also have jobs whose incomes are taxed by Israel.  We are not cloistered away, but are sent even as sheep among wolves.  (See earlier post on the topic of serving one’s country here:    http://streamsinthenegev.com/latest-news/serving-ones-country-4-july-2012/  )

The tension in Israeli society between the secular and the religious is not between the large majority of Israeli Jews and the small minority of believers in Yeshua, but between the vast majority of seculars who believe that they are just as Jewish as the growing minority of the ultra-religious who claim to be the guardians of Jewish identity.  Which is more the ‘cult’?  According the the Law of Moses, all have a role to play as one people and family to share the burden of hearing YHVH’s voice and doing His will.  Then, there will be an end to civil strife, military conflict, economic struggle . . . and the one true God will be glorified:  Israel will be His people, and He will be their God; and all the nations of the Earth will praise and glorify the God of Israel for what He has done!

JERUSALEM AT PEACE, AND A PRAISE IN THE EARTH

Ps 122:6-9 Prayerfully ask about the peace of Jerusalem; those who love you shall be blessed. Peace be within your walls, blessings within your palaces. For my brothers and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within you. Because of the house of Yehovah our God I will seek your good.

Is 62:1-7 For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until its righteousness goes out as brightness, and her salvation as a burning lamp. And the nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; and you will be called by a new name, which the mouth of Yehovah will name. You also will be a crown of glory in the hand of Yehovah, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You will no more be called Forsaken; nor will your land any more be called Desolate; but you will be called, My Delight is in her, and your land, Married; for Yehovah delights in you, and your land is married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so will your sons marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so will your God rejoice over you.

I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem, who always all the day and all the night will not be silent; you who remember Yehovah, do not be silent. And give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.