My thoughts on Yom Teruah
Yom Teruah (Trumpets or Rosh HaShanah) is the fourth of seven annual appointments (feasts) the Lord has set to intentionally meet with His people. As my wife and I celebrate this year’s event I find an unusual call to an awareness of significance. Let me make a brief observation of my Messianic sense of the feast. I say “my” Messianic sense to be sure it is understood as my experience and not necessarily a belief of others who profess a Messianic understanding.
Next, just to be clear, as a self proclaimed Messianic, I am saying I believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is God come in the flesh, the promised Messiah. His death and resurrection is a God provision whereby I can keep all of God’s Word (Torah, as recorded by Moses as well as amplified by Yeshua and the Apostles) free from the curse which would otherwise result from my imperfect ability to keep it.
The instructions to keep this fall feast are sparse—we are told to keep it annually as a memorial observed as a Sabbath (Lev 23:24 and Num 29:1). In Judaism it is kept as a new year observance. It also ushers in the ten days of Awe in preparation for the next feast, Yom Kipper (Day of Atonement).
The word “memorial” connotes to me something that has happened and that you want to remember. It may call for a resolution in remembering that it does not happen again. A brief word study of scripture brought up the first mention of trumpet as being at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19 especially verse 13 and following). This was the mighty sustained, ear piercing, rock splitting shofar (trumpet) blast announcing God descending on the mountain to speak to those gathered. It is His first tangible appearance, other than indirectly through manifested miracles in Egypt which resulted in bringing the Israelites to this location before the mountain. The outcome of God’s visit is recorded in Exodus 20:19: “You (Moses) speak with us (those assembled), and we will hear; but let not God speak with us lest we die.” Thus began 1500 years of indirect communication through priests, prophets and others (donkeys, for example) before the appearance of God come in the flesh, Yeshua!
I believe that year after year I and my generations have been called by the shofar blast on Yom Teruah to a personal embracing of relationship with Creator God in His manifest presence. A memorial, if you will, to remind me not to reject the desire of my Father for personal, indwelling presence. An annual heart check for stoniness! Yet, at the same time a day of unbounded joy because my God wants, desires and has provided for this personal, indwelling relationship through Messiah Yeshua.
What a blend of introspection, repentance, joy and celebration—let the shofar sound!