As we enter into the 8th month on the Hebrew calendar, the month of Cheshvan, we look to the new season and time and wonder what is the lesson it holds? Cheshvan is also known as Marcheshvan, literally bitter Cheshvan (eighth month). An interesting paradox seeing as the number eight itself carries the meaning of new beginnings and hope. Yet the parallels continue seeing as this month has no feasts, following on the heels of the pinnacle of the year with the 7th month Holy Convocations, it is a quiet month and one of stillness. It is during this season that the days become shorter, naturally as we enter into the winter season, it is colder, darker, and at first glance more distant than the intimacy found within Tishri during the culmination of Sukkot. Yet in the midst of all of this, it is a season of new beginnings.
It is during the month of Cheshvan that the flood of Noah both began and ended. With this, it is often seen as a season of judgment and difficulty. Yet once again we are reminded that in the midst of great devastation, Noah was secure in the ark! As we prepared to enter into this month, this season we now all find ourselves in, this was a key reminder from Yahweh to us. Most have probably felt the pressure and weight of prophecy unfolding before our eyes as the enemy seems to be jockeying into position preparing for the last days. We are bombarded daily by media sources and events around us that all loudly proclaim difficult days are upon us. There’s a sense of urgency, pushing, and even an attempt to bring fear. From this place, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos, to be pushed to make decisions, to allow stress to steal the peace. Yet, the reminder is that regardless of what’s happening all around us, Yahweh is still on the throne and still in charge! The waters can rise, the waves can rage, yet there is a sanctuary for His people. And so we listen to the lesson of Cheshvan…the stillness, the quiet, and we hear His voice whisper…”Be still and know that I am Yahweh…” (Psalms 46:10). The same King that tabernacled among us and lavished His love upon His people during the 7th month appointments, is the same King offering an Ark in the 8th month when the rains begin.
Fear is an interesting thing….the enemy knows its power and ability to cause our paths to shift, or to cripple us in our steps. Yet another powerful Hebrew lesson is found here. Did you realize there’s a righteous fear and there’s a wrong fear? 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For Elohim hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” What then is the righteous fear? The Hebrew term for fear is yare’ meaning to fear, revere, or be afraid; one word contains both the concept of fear and reverence or awe! According to the sages there are 3 levels/types of yare’/fear from the basic fear of something unpleasant, to the second type which is fear of breaking the commandments – therefore produces obedience, but the third is defined as a profound reverence that comes from rightly seeing because yare’ is a cognate of the term ra’ah (#7200) רָאָה to see! It’s about rightly seeing, this is the holy fear that we are to walk in regarding the Name, Character, and Dwelling Place of the Most High!
Deuteronomy 10:12 – “And now, Israel, what does Yahweh require of thee, but to fear/yare’ Yahweh thy Elohim, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Yahweh thy Elohim with all thy heart and with all thy soul…” When we see correctly, when our eyes are kept on our King, then we walk in righteous fear/yare’! Our steps are directed by His Word, we are not dictated to by the fear that drives and controls the masses, because we understand that there is a refuge in the midst of times of trouble and we see correctly.
Proverbs 19:18 – “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Don’t allow the chaos going on around you to cause you to lose sight of the vision Yahweh gave you! Walk in yare’ – the holy reverence of His Name, keep the vision, though it tarries, it will surely come! In the quiet times and months we can mistake that quiet for distance…for being forgotten…for a forsaken promise, but this season is not a time when we are forgotten, this season is where we learn to be still and know that He is Yahweh. May this month of Cheshvan be a new beginning in your life and walk as we collectively keep our eyes on the King!