SNAPSHOT OF IYAR
TRIBE: Issachar- The fifth son of Jacob and Leah. The name Issachar means, “reward.” King David said the men of Issachar, “understood the times and knew what Israel should do.”
OCCURANCE: Between the months of April and May
DURATION: 29 days
IMPORTANT DAYS: Yom Haatzmaut is Israeli Independence Day, a day of great celebration held every year in late April or early May – on the day (in the Hebrew calendar) which, in 1948, Israel declared its independence.
Yom HaZikaron is Israeli Memorial day. On this day, the entire country of Israel comes to a stand still during a two-minute siren of uninterrupted honor for the fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism.
2nd month: on the Jewish Civil Calendar.
ALPHABET: The Hebrew Letter Vav (click the link to learn more about this word)
Modern: The Modern Hebrew name for this letter is vav, a word meaning “peg” or “hook.”
Paleo: The Middle Semitic letter was adopted by the Greeks and the Romans to be the letter F, but was dropped from the Greek alphabet and does not exist in the Modern Greek alphabet.
Pictograph: This letter looks like a tent peg (they used to be made of wood and may have been Y-shaped to prevent the rope from slipping off). As the pictograph indicates, this letter represents a peg or hook, which is used for securing something. The meaning of this letter is to add or secure.
The Path Between Redemption and Revelation
The month of Iyar falls between the month of redemption (Nissan) and the month of revelation (Sivan), making it a “month of passage” leading up to the revelation at Sinai. The Hebrew letter for Iyar is Vav, which is a picture of a connecting pin. Iyar is a transition month, or a hinge month. It was the month Israel transitioned from Egypt to Sinai. It is a month of transition from redemption at Passover to provision/revelation at Pentecost. What was provided at the first Pentecost was the law, or the old covenant. Moses was handed two tablets that were to be Israel’s covenant with Yahweh. In the New Testament, we have a second Pentecost that takes place in Acts (chapter 2), the Holy Spirit falls on 120 people in the upper room. This is the provision that God has for those who enter into the new covenant with Him through Jesus Christ. When we move from Passover to Pentecost, we remember that there is no redeemer and there is no provider like Yahweh. He is a sustaining Spirit, and His kindness compels our hearts into a deeper connection with Him.
Counting the Omer
In the Torah, the Israelites were instructed to count 49 days (this is 7 weeks of days) from the day following Passover to Shavuot (Pentecost). This period of time is called Sefirat HaOmer, or the “counting of sheaves.”
And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord.Leviticus 23:15-16 (NKJV)
Every day during this season a special blessing is recited, naming exactly how many more days are left until the “seven weeks of days” are complete. Psalm 67 is often recited during this time because it contains 49 Hebrew words that go along with the 49 days of the Omer count. This practice was important for the children of God because it represents a countdown to the climactic jubilee of the holiday of Shavuot or Pentecost.
May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
The earth has yielded its increase;Psalm 67 (ESV)
God, our God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us;
let all the ends of the earth fear him!
OLD TESTAMENT TRANSITION
|Passover||The month of |
|A month of redemption when Israel was delivered from Egypt||———>||When Israel arrived at Sinai, where God poured out revelation|
To understand the month of Iyar, look at what happened to Israel on their journey from slavery to covenant. It was on this journey that God because to reveal His covenant secrets. When Israel left Egypt- they knew they were God’s people, but they did not know much about Yahweh. They had seen what God had done in Egypt, but they did not know Him intimately like Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob. Israel had lived as slaves in Egypt and they knew all about those Egyptian gods, but little about Yahweh. After leaving the Red Sea- God took them through a series of tests on the way to Sinai. And just like Israel, the Lord wants us to know these names of God and He will test us like He did Israel. We must put away complaining and see the provision God has made for us!
- Marah– They went three days without water. God brought them to an oasis but then they tasted the water it was bitter (poisoned). They grumbled and complained. The Lord showed Moses a piece of wood and told him that he can heal bitter water, but can also heal people, “If you listen to my voice, I will keep you well. For I am the Lord who heals you”. His covenant promise to Israel was this: “I AM JEHOVAH RAPHA“
- Elim– This place had twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and the Israelites camped there near the water. This was a place of provision. After the disappointment of Marah, God brought them to a beautiful place. He revealed Himself as: “I AM JEHOVAH ROHI” (The Lord your Shepherd). God loves to surprise us with His goodness. The test was how Israel responded to His blessing (Deut. 28:47 says, “Serve Him with joy and glad heart, for abundance of all things.”) He is looking for thankfulness, but they failed the test! Elim was mean to strengthen their faith for the rest of the journey.
- Wilderness of Sin– 15 days into Iyar, they complained. They had no food. God said, “Behold, I will cause bread to rain from heaven for you; the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, so that I ay test them (to determine) whether or not they will walk (obediently) in my instruction (law).” God established a plan for Sabbath rest. Israel complained again. They had no meat. At twilight, the Lord provided meat. It’s interesting to recognize that manna was provided in the morning, and the meat was provided at night. God is where our sufficiency is found. He revealed Himself to them as: I AM EL SHADDAI, the all sufficient God.
- Rephidim– Again, they had no water (Exodus 17). They couldn’t see any way God could provide for their need. Most of us feel the same at times- when we can see a way, we trust Him. The sky was cloudless and everything on the ground was dry. God was testing them to see if they would trust. God provided! Moses struck the rook with his staff and water came out. God was revealing Himself as: I AM JEHOVAH JIREH, the Lord who sees your need and provides! We must remember out God makes water come out of rocks. We must trust Him to make a way. Amalek fought them at Rephidim. God promised to wipe out the memory of Israel’s enemies! He revealed Himself as: I AM JEHOVAH NISSI, the Lord is my banner. He swore an oath that He would war against the people of Amalek from generation to generation.
NEW TESTAMENT TRANSITION
|Passover||The month of transition||Pentecost|
|Jesus was crucified. He gave His life to be our Passover lamb.|| |
|The Holy Spirit was poured out. God birthed a new humanity (His CHURCH)|
After rising from the dead- for 40 days, Jesus ministered to the disciples (in the month of Iyar). Jesus was about to leave, and He was entrusting God’s redemptive plan to His Church (Acts 1:3). He gave them Kingdom secrets (Luke 24:27) that changed His flowerers- from disciples to apostles, and from followers to leaders. They walked into a new level of glory! Jesus gave them instruction, or Kingdom directives.
- Revealed His secret plan to expand His Kingdom into all the world (The Great Commission). This commission is given in each of the gospels (Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:14-18; Luke 24:44-49; John 20:19-23) and in Acts 1:8.
- Gave instructions to train every believer to minister.
- Taught the secret strategy of the 5-fold ministry (Ephesians 4).
How the Church Equipped the Saints
And [His gifts to the church were varied and] He Himself appointed some as apostles [special messengers, representatives], some as prophets [who speak a new message from God to the people], some as evangelists [who spread the good news of salvation], and some as pastors and teachers [to shepherd and guide and instruct], [and He did this] to fully equip and perfect the saints (God’s people) for works of service, to build up the body of Christ [the church]; until we all reach oneness in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, [growing spiritually] to become a mature believer, reaching to the measure of the fullness of Christ [manifesting His spiritual completeness and exercising our spiritual gifts in unity]. So that we are no longer children [spiritually immature], tossed back and forth [like ships on a stormy sea] and carried about by every wind of [shifting] doctrine, by the cunning and trickery of [unscrupulous] men, by the deceitful scheming of people ready to do anything [for personal profit]. But speaking the truth in love [in all things—both our speech and our lives expressing His truth], let us grow up in all things into Him [following His example] who is the Head—Christ. From Him the whole body [the church, in all its various parts], joined and knitted firmly together by what every joint supplies, when each part is working properly, causes the body to grow and mature, building itself up in [unselfish] love.Ephesians 4:11-16 (AMP)
Jesus gave His disciples all they needed to complete the redemptive mission:
Commission = reach the world with the gospel
Goal = train to do the works Jesus did
Strategy = 5-fold ministry
Ten days after Jesus ascended into Heaven, Pentecost came! One-hundred and twenty people received the Holy Spirit that day. While there is a movement of people who believe that these gifts have ceased (cessationism), there are countless testimonies of the Holy Spirit working through people and using these gifts today. And the 5-fold gifts are not the only ones mentioned in the Bible. Romans 12 gives us another list of gifts.
For just as in one [physical] body we have many parts, and these parts do not all have the same function or special use, so we, who are many, are [nevertheless just] one body in Christ, and individually [we are] parts one of another [mutually dependent on each other]. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them accordingly: if [someone has the gift of] prophecy, [let him speak a new message from God to His people] in proportion to the faith possessed; if service, in the act of serving; or he who teaches, in the act of teaching; or he who encourages, in the act of encouragement; he who gives, with generosity; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy [in caring for others], with cheerfulness.Romans 12:4-8 (AMP)
In addition to the gifts mentioned above, 1 Corinthians 12 sheds light on the use of the gifts. The purpose behind the gifts of the Holy Spirit are to edify the body of Christ, bring unity, and reach the world with the gospel. And since there are still places in our world that have yet to be reached, why would God stop these gifts from flowing? I think a lot of people don’t understand the power of the human will. God gave us choices, and it is humans that were given the responsibility to manage the earth. So, that means that we have the choice to obey his mandate, or chose our own way, building our own kingdoms. The Church is being revived by Holy Spirit, but people can chose to become involved or they can abstain. Since God doesn’t control people’s decisions, we will see some that refuse the work of the Holy Spirit today. This should not slow us down in our race of faith. There will always be mockers and critics, but the Holy Spirit has not finished what He started and will complete the work through willing individuals who are surrendered to the work of Jesus.
A Month of Healing
The month of Iyar is commonly referred to as the month of natural healing, for its name is an acronym for Ani Adonai Rofecha, “I am G-d your Healer” (Exodus 15:26). Our bodies were designed to heal, and the Lord wants you to experience healing this month. You do not need to strive for healing like the world does, but instead reach for the edge of Jesus’ garment. To know Jesus more intimately is a pathway to healing, and so I would encourage you to allow Him to cleanse you so that your body, soul, and spirit are aligned with Him moving forward this year. Make sure that you make time to remember the healing that has already taken place within you. This remembrance is key to moving into greater depths of healing.
Jesus is our light, and His light is within us! Let His light shine through you during this season of transition. Ask the Lord for increased revelation of who He is, and to open up secrets and hidden meanings of His Word. Keep coming to God as His beloved child, and receive revelation and healing this month.
Arise [from spiritual depression to a new life],
shine [be radiant with the glory and brilliance of the Lord];
for your light has come,
And the glory and brilliance of the Lord has risen upon you.Isaiah 60:1