by David Hino, October 7, 2016
Happy New Year, Rosh Hashanah. On October 2, 2016, we began year 5777 according to the Hebrew calendar.
Between Rosh Hashanah (October 2) and the Day of Atonement (October 12) are the ten Days of Awe when Jews repent of their sins. The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is when the high priest entered the holy of holies in the temple and repented on the behalf of the nation.
I asked God to personally speak to me about this new season as I begin Rosh Hashanah. My thoughts are not to be taken as comprehensive teaching for the church. This is my personal encounter with God and what I believe He spoke.
1. “You are praying for the wrong country, Pray for Israel.”
With US presidential elections just weeks away, and I had allowed the US media to shape my focus. God’s priority in the world is Israel and His Biblical promises for this nation are still relevant. From God’s perspective, Israel not America is God’s main focus.
Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
When nations bless Israel, these nations are blessed. America has blessed Israel over the years, and has been blessed.
Pray for Israel especially during this time. Some of the worst attacks on Jewish people happened during the Jewish holidays.
2. “You are praying from the wrong perspective. Pray from a Heavenly Perspective.”
In the Book of Esther, Haman was the second most powerful person under King Xerxes of the Persian empire. Haman wanted to kill the Jews and the King was seduced by Haman’s counsel. Today the spirit of Haman rules in the highest political offices. Even US presidents are greatly shaped by political spirits, the spirit of Haman. Esther in the Bible did not confront Haman, but went directly to the King to save the Jews. The best strategy is not to confront the political and spiritual powers that are shaping Washington DC, but to go directly to the King of Kings.
Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Ezekiel 22:30, And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gapbefore me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
3.. “You are praying with the wrong attitude, Pray with the Right Heart.”
Rosh Hashanah is followed by the 10 Days of Awe, which traditionally is a call for repentance. Today, many are calling the United States to repentance. I agree that repentance is needed, but we also need to pray from “delight.”
Graham Cooke shared about an interview of an Olympic athlete who had just won the gold medal. The interviewer asked the athlete if it took a lot of discipline to run. The athlete replied that he does not run because of discipline but from delight. Christian should not follow God out of discipline but out of delight. We obey God not because we have to but because we have an intimate relationship with our Father in Heaven. We are delighted to follow God.
Many voices are calling for repentance today and this sounds like discipline and not delight. Repentance and delight need to come from our hearts and not simply from tradition or as a group response. We repent and delight because the High Priest, Jesus, has died for our sins.
Maybe it is time to change from a call to repentance to a “Call to Delight.” “Delight” in what God is doing in us, in our city, in our nation and in our world.
Psalm 37:4, Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.