Tammuz 5776 (2016)

keep eyes on prize

Wow can’t believe we’re already 1/2 way through the month of Tammuz and this is the first time I’ve had a free moment to even post a blog about it!  We have been extremely busy here in the Smit family.  Summertime is always a busy season for us here at the Farm… we have so many different varieties of summer fruits and it seems like it’s non stop until around October.  I’ve also been teaching every Sunday night at our church which means I study all week and just haven’t had the extra time needed for blogging.  However, we did manage to take a few days and go to San Clemente and enjoy life at the beach… we’ve missed it!  All that to say, I’m so happy today to blog about the wonderful month of Tammuz.

Every month in Biblical times had a different meaning and purpose… it was a new prophetic season.  

Jews in Biblical times had a special celebration at the beginning of every month, it was a time to put God first and seek direction for the new month.  It was called Rosh Chadesh (Head of the Month).   They came together to praise God, gave their first fruit offerings and to hear what He was saying for the month….they listened to the prophets to gain direction for the month ahead.

Tammuz is the 4th month on the Hebrew Biblical calendar and the 10th month on their civil calendar.  It is a month to worship and stay faithful. A month to wait on God and choose to trust Him.  It is also the month associated with the tribe of Reuben.

Reuben was the firstborn son of Jacob and Leah, and as such he was born into a position of great privilege.  

In Genesis 49:3,4 Jacob prophesies over Reuben that “he is my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power.”  This was his position.  He was destined to inherit the double portion. He was to be the leader of the tribe and the priest of the family.  But like his Uncle Esau, Reuben lightly esteemed his birthright…. he acted so disgracefully that he forfeited his birthright – Gen 35:22.

This incident changed the course of his life.  The double portion was taken away and given to Joseph.  Leadership as a tribe was taken away and given to Judah.  Priesthood was taken away and given to the tribe of Levi.  When Jacob blessed the other sons he pronounced a curse on Reuben – telling him he would not excel.

Why did Reuben do this?  Jacob’s family had been through a traumatic period.

  • They had fled from Laban who had chased them down and would have killed Jacob if God had not intervened.
  • Escaping Laban then they faced a confrontation with Esau who also tried to kill Jacob
  • Entering Canaan their sister Dinah was raped at Shechem and two of her brothers massacred all the men of the city in retaliation.  Canaanites were outraged.
  • Fleeing Shechem, Rebekahs nurse Deborah died and was buried at “The Oak of Weeping”  Then Rachel went into labor and died giving birth to Benjamin.
  • Still they journeyed on until they came to the tower of Eder where they finally stopped.

So the whole family had gone through a time of tremendous upheaval, violence and loss.  They had to just keep moving through all of it.  Not until they stopped at the tower of Eder could they even begin to process what they had just gone through!

That’s when Reuben went in to Bilhah.  He wasn’t even thinking about what blessings lay ahead.  He wasn’t thinking about all he could lose…. he wanted comfort NOW!

He was desperate for comfort and security and sought them in Bilhah instead of in God.  

The biblical tower of Eder was built near Hebron as a watchtower shepherds watched their flocks from. Eder became a symbol of God’s watchfulness over His people. It’s a place of refuge.  That’s when Reuben went in to Bilhah.  It was here that Reuben should of sought refuge in God.  Allowing Abba Father to refresh his soul… a soul that had been through a series of traumatic events.  Doing that would have restored his vision and helped him walk out his prophetic destiny.

So, he went in to Bilhah.  He wasn’t even thinking about what blessings lay ahead.  He wasn’t thinking about all he could lose…. he wanted comfort NOW!  He was desperate for comfort and security and sought them in Bilhah instead of in God. Bilhah means terror or trouble.  It also means worn out…. something so worn out that it serves no purpose.  Another possible definition means foolish.

These definitions sum up for us what Reuben was experiencing when he went in to Bilhah.  His action was foolish…Ps 14:1 – a fool says there is no God… a better translation is a fool says in his heart “no God!”.  Reuben by yielding to sin was saying no to God… no to His promises, no to His destiny for Reuben, no to trusting God to see him through this time in his life.  He was so worn out in life that he ended up losing sight of his purpose in God.

Reuben’s name means “behold a son”.  Behold means to see…. see a son!  It’s important in this season that we begin to see ourselves as “sons”.  Sonship is our destiny that was marked out for us in love by God (Eph 1:5).  Having correct vision… seeing ourselves as God sees us, in a position of sonship… will keep us from forfeiting our spiritual inheritance.

God wants to awaken the mantle of “Sonship” in our lives in this season.  Psalms 2:7-8 – we are to declare/decree our position as sons;  Gal 4:1-7 – time to claim our inheritance as sons;  Rom 8:14-17 – as sons & daughters we are endowed with authority in His kingdom;  This is a time to displace, to cast off  an “orphan spirit” and embrace the spirit of sonship with all of the rights, privileges, and responsibilities (John 5:19).

Because of Reuben’s sin, his birthright was forfeit.  The wonderful inheritance… the prophetic destiny… God intended for him was lost.  Reuben took his eyes off the prize (Phil 3:14)… when you lose sight of the goal you are always in danger.  Wrong vision can cost you your inheritance. The sad thing is his descendants followed in his footsteps… the tribe of Reuben also lost their inheritance.

Next time we’ll look at how Reuben’s descendants followed in his footsteps……

~ Robin

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