CONVERGENCE: YHVH, HIS PEOPLE AND HISTORY
Since my retirement from the classroom in 2007, Grace and I have experienced a renewed eye-opening relationship with the WORD that we have come to understand as God's call to us for EXPANSION. In the last couple of years, and quite separate from us personally, this EXPANSION theme has become the word for our church as well; the first bit of convergence.
For us this sense of call reminded us of the Jabez story to which many people paid attention some years ago:
"Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request."
Jabez was not willing to give in to the pain of the name given to him, so he came before YHVH with his plight and asked that God would grant him just the opposite of that with which his name saddled him. We are told that he "was more honorable than his brothers"; was it that characteristic that gave him the courage to enter YHVH's Presence, or was it perhaps his decision to approach YHVH that made him "more honorable"? Whatever the case may be, he brought his request for enlarged territory, the hand of God on him and freedom from pain, or causing pain, before the Creator and King of the Universe, "And God granted his request".
So we have had our territory expanded; and a primary component of that expansion has been our growing love for Israel, God's LAND and People, and the WORD that has come to us through them, through their Prophets. Of particular encouragement has been the joy of being called, as Gentile followers of Israel's God, to participate in YHVH's restoration of His people to His Land.
This brings me to the CONVERGENCE event I want to explore.
One week ago Friday, March 20th, our Spring Equinox converged with a gathering in our home to pray for Israel.
That was wonderful in and of itself, since it also coincided with an enormous burst of Solar Flare that caused exciting Aurora Borealis that were visible from Winnipeg. Grace and I went out one evening to photograph, but came home only with a few sunset images.
But, allow me to back track a little. Right now, 2014-2015, as most of you know, we are in the middle of a tetrad of lunar eclipses, that is 4 consecutive total lunar eclipses that each happen on one of the Feasts of YHVH; the Feasts He gave His people to organize their year so that they would remember Him on a regular basis. I have written about the significance of this new calendar before, so I will not elaborate here, except to say that He gave them a pattern for life that would, if they followed it, keep their minds on His relationship with them: morning and evening prayers every day; Shabbat, the Holy Day, every 7th day; the New Moon celebration to remember the past month and look forward to His Presence and Blessing for the next month; and finally, the 7 Feasts; four Spring Feasts, Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Pentecost; and three Fall Feasts, Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles. Again, I have written, although much too briefly, about these Feasts before, and will again.
Before I go back to the CONVERGENCE story, I must insert a personal memory. For the second of the tetrad of Lunar Eclipses, Grace and I were privileged to be in the Eternal City of Jerusalem. We had celebrated our 50th anniversary on the Feast of Trumpets/Yom Teru'ah/Rosh Hashanah, and then enjoyed Tabernacles/Sukkot there as well, during which the second of the tetrad occurred.
So, now we are approaching the 3rd of the Eclipses, which will occur on Passover/Pesah.
But that gets us ahead of the convergence.
On March 20th, not only did we celebrate the Spring Equinox, but it also happened to be the 1st of Nisan, the head, or 1st, of the months on the Jewish calendar, the New Moon of the month of Passover/Pesah. And earlier that morning we experienced a total eclipse of the sun, the shadow of which swept up over the North Pole.
This latter convergence, a Total Solar Eclipse occurring on the New Moon celebration in the midst of a Lunar Tetrad has never been recorded before, and I'm told that such convergence occurs only once in 100,000 years.
Just a brief related digression: As we celebrated Purim this year, we were looking forward to elections in Israel; elections in which the whole world seemed to conspire to support "anyone but Bibi", including representatives supported by the White House, with American money, perhaps White House money, forming a "charitable" organization, V15, whose mandate was to support the anti-Bibi camp. The proximity of Purim to the unfolding of these events did raise questions about a modern day Haman whose plot was foiled by Mordecai.
The election results revealed a foiling of those plans. Enough said.
March 20th was our regular 3rd Friday of the month gathering to pray for Israel, and, of course, celebrate the election victory; all the other events CONVERGED by Divine Appointment. Plus, we noticed, this day marked the halfway point of Israel's Shmita/Sabbath rest year.
Needless to say, it was an incredible celebration that reminded us all that YHVH is Sovereign and that He will not abandon His people. He is FAITHFUL, His WORD is trustworthy.
Jeremiah 32:40-42 says, "I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul. This is what the Lord says: As I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will give them all the prosperity I have promised them."
Let me conclude with the words of Moses in Deuteronomy 33:
"There is no one like the God of Jeshurun,
who rides across the heavens to help you
and on the clouds in his majesty.
27 The eternal God is your refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
He will drive out your enemies before you,
saying, ‘Destroy them!’
28 So Israel will live in safety;
Jacob will dwell secure
in a land of grain and new wine,
where the heavens drop dew.
29 Blessed are you, Israel!
Who is like you,
a people saved by the Lord?
He is your shield and helper
and your glorious sword.
Your enemies will cower before you,
and you will tread on their heights.”
We are so Blessed that our God has called us to participate in the unfolding of His Almighty Plan of Redemption for the whole world through His Covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and that He is revealing Himself to be present in His world to accomplish His Purposes!