As we prepare to enter into the month of Elul, it seems rather we realize it or not, there’s a shift that takes place in the atmosphere. It begs the question, what is this month and what is it’s significance? Elul is the 6th month on the Hebrew calendar and it’s translated as meaning nothingness, vain, and yet it can also mean to search. It would seem then, for some there is nothing unique about this month, it is a month spent in vainness. Yet for others it is a month of searching and seeking!
It is no accident that Elul begins the 40 days of teshuva – repentance in preparation for the Fall festivals! It is a month that has long been associated with the searching of one’s own heart. It is a month of prayer, introspection, and carefully weighing out our deeds, words, and thoughts. Yet what does this introspection and prayer lead us to? What do we find in our month of searching and seeking?
Once again there is more than meets the eye here! Elul in Hebrew is spelled אלול forming an acronym for the phrase “Ani l’dodi v’dodi li” or “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” from Song of Songs 6:3. In all of our searching, all of our seeking, all of our introspection the goal of what we are to learn is summed up in this simple statement. I am beloved by the King, I belong to Him, and He to me. It’s about rekindling the fervor of our walk with Him. There is a closeness that is garnered in the month of Elul for those who seek.
There is a beautiful pattern that emerges here. During the 6th month, the King is in the field! He’s on His way to the city gates to be crowned on Yom Teruah, He will sit on His throne in judgment on Yom Kippur. But during the 6th month of Elul he walks among the field to inspect the harvest. To come before Him on His throne, there is proper protocol that must be followed. Though it produces an awe inspiring experience, there is a loss of a sense of intimacy. Yet in the field, there is no throne room protocol required.
The month of Elul is about a personal intimate experience, where the ones who are willing to journey there can find Him. Perhaps you’ve been hurting, maybe you have a need, or maybe it’s been so long since you’ve really felt like you had time with the Great I AM…the month of Elul is upon you if you’re brave enough.
Is it a month of nothing…spent in vain…missing a life changing opportunity…or is it a month where you find your Beloved in the Field?
This month (just like all others) are associated with one of the 12 tribes. Elul is assigned to the tribe of Gad. Gad in Hebrew is quite an interesting name, often translated merely as “troop” there is more to this Hebrew root. It conveys the idea of a priceless treasure for which a troublesome, invasive effort is made to acquire it. The connection to Elul is powerful! The King is in the Field – to gain access to Him is the treasure we should be seeking! Yet those who will find Him are those willing to go through the troublesome invasive effort of teshuva – repenting, circumcising, and inspecting their hearts. It’s about removing all the things that would hinder and distract. It seems to convey a sense of desperation that overcomes the seeker – not in the sense of having no hope, but an overwhelming passion to find the King in the field!
Hebrews 11:6 – “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to Yah must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
May you find the King on your journey…