Kislev 5777 (2016)

identity 1

I have been blogging about the Hebrew months for 2 years now and I’ve learned so much.   God’s calendar is not like ours…. He has a different way of looking at time. After all, He created time! He designed a calendar to help us stay in step with Him as we move through the year. His calendar was established at creation….

Gen 1:14 “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years”.  

On God’s calendar day begins in the evening not the morning.  Night watches set the stage for the new day.  His calendar includes “set apart” or “appointed” days such as the yearly cycle of Feasts and the weekly Sabbaths.  Israel began every month with a first fruits celebration called Rosh Chodesh (Head of the Month).  They did this because they wanted to honor God at the start of every month and during this celebration they also gathered to seek prophetic direction for each month….because they knew every month was like a prophetic season for them. Gathering for First-fruits allowed them to live in sync with God’s timing.

So, what is God saying about the month of Kislev…..

The month of Kislev (כִּסְלֵו in Hebrew) is considered a “month of darkness” because as you move through Kislev the days get shorter and the nights get longer.  But Kislev is not only a month of darkness but a month of light shining in the darkness. It is the month of Chanukah, which is the festival of lights.  God has called us to be a light in the darkness to the world… not just in this month but all the time.

Matthew 5:14 in the Message translation says “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.”  Verse 16 in the same translation says  “Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”  I LOVE that!  By opening up and being generous of myself, my family, my home, my possessions, it will prompt them to open up with God!

Kislev is also the 9th month.   Nine is the number for fruitfulness, completion, fullness of blessings and Holy Spirit.  It is the 9th month on the Hebrew Biblical calendar (counting from Nisan)….. it is a number of Divine blessings, divine completeness, and divine judgment.  9 is the number of gifts of the Holy Spirit and there are 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit.  Twice in the book of Acts the 9th hour is associated with prayer (Acts 3 and Acts 10)  And then of course the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost at 9am in Acts 2:15!   Through the number 9 of this month God gives us a prophetic revelation of what to believe for in our lives…. again, not just this month but all the time.  So let’s believe God for an increase of supernatural healings, angelic visitations, and Holy Spirit outpourings upon our households and families.   

Nine is also usually a number representing finality and judgement.  Lately I’ve been studying a lot on grace and the finished work of the cross… I think the number 9 represents the finality (completeness) and judgement of the Cross so beautifully… God’s judgement was poured out on Jesus who was crucified at 9am (Mark 15:25) and then at the 9th hour (3pm) He said “it is finished!”  We are able to walk in the gifts and the fruit of Holy Spirit because of the finished work of the Cross and in our set prayer times let us continually give thanks to God for the judgement He poured out on Jesus and for the grace of this finished work… the complete work… that grace that enables us to live on Earth as it is in Heaven… to walk in our inheritance… no sickness, no poverty, no lack, only total victory in all areas of our life

I think the most important thing about this month is receiving revelation of your true identity. Kislev is the month of the Hebrew tribe of Benjamin… it is a month to begin to uncover your true identity.   Whenever God changes someones name in scripture, their destiny changes… their new identity becomes their true identity… the identity He had for them all along.  

Gen 35:18 Rachel was dying. As she took her last breath, she named her son Benoni [Son of My Sorrow], but his father named him Benjamin [Son of My Right Hand].

Benjamin was one of those individuals who had a name change which altered the course of his destiny.  Although the tribe of Benjamin lost their way for a bit and were almost destroyed (see the story in Judges 20 – they lost 25,000 men!  Only 600 survived) they ended up strong with members of their tribe saving the Jewish population (Esther and Mordecai) and writing almost the entire New Testament and fulfilling Israel’s destiny of being a light to the Gentiles (Apostle Paul)

Benjamin was the youngest child of Jacob and Rachel….and one of the smallest of the tribes of Israel. Rachael’s first son was Joseph and her second was Benjamin. She died giving birth to him.   Before she died, she  named him Benoni (son of my pain).   Jacob knew this was not the identity God wanted him to have and so he renamed him Benjamin (son of my right hand… or son of honor)God’s destiny for Benjamin is in Gen 49:27 “When Jacob blessed him he said, “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.”  The tribe of Benjamin were fierce warriors, skilled in warfare… trained to hit the mark.  The tribe of Benjamin had many distinguished slingers and archers such as in Judges 20:16, where we read of 700 “left-handed” slingers who could sling stones at a hair and not miss! One such Benjamite by the name of Ulam, had 150 sons and grandsons who were expert archers. (1 Chron 8:40) while King Asa had an army comprised of 280,000 valiant warriors from the tribe of Benjamin. (2 Chron. 14:8, 17:7)

King Saul was a Benjamite and also a skilled warrior (a quality God would use to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines – see 1 Sam 9:16)… however, nothing of spiritual significance is ever mentioned when we are introduced to Saul in 1 Sam 9:2.  What is mentioned is how impressive his lineage and family status is and his physical appearance. Saul is chosen as king because the people asked to be given “a king to lead them like the other nations” (1 Sam 8:5).  Even after Samuel warns them that he (Saul – whose name means “asked of”) will be a king that will take everything from them (sons, daughters, land, vineyards, etc) and make them like slaves… they still choose to have a king.

God, however, in His grace, put a new heart in Saul and made him a changed man (1 Sam 10:6,9) He did this in order to help him succeed as a righteous king.  In contrast, David needed no such change in order to rule… he was already a man after God’s heart, having spent his whole life cultivating a relationship with God.  God literally changed Saul in order to make him the kind of man who could rule and be King. When God removed His anointing… from Saul, He truly removed the qualities that made him king. He left behind the man Saul originally had been and worse.  He became the man who hunted and tried to kill David.  However, his son Jonathan cut covenant with David which forever united the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.  Although the potential was there… Saul was given a new identity when he became a changed man with a new heart, his fear of men (1 Sam 15:24) caused his downfall.  Rather than walk in the “new man” that he had become, he chose to fear the people instead of God.

Saul of Tarsus is another Benjamite who had an identity change….. he was given a new heart, a new nature, a new name (Paul) and also given the Name above all Names!  He was changed from Saul to Paul in Acts 9.  Unlike the king who he was originally named for, Paul chose to walk in this new identity and fulfill the destiny God had for him…. a destiny which included writing most of the New Testament, planting churches, and being an apostle to the Gentiles…. he advanced the Kingdom.  He counted the natural qualities of his old self (which were quite impressive) as nothing… in fact he called them “rubbish or dung” compared to gaining Christ.  He received from God the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness and therefore “reigned” in life IN CHRIST.

Sometimes circumstances or people in life brand you with an identity that God never chose for you.  The way you view yourself is not how God views you.  This month choose to change your identity and be all that God has called you to be.  If you are like king Saul, held captive by fear, this is a month to be set free.  Ask God to show you the habit patterns and ways of thinking that hold you in an old cycle.  Guard the word of your mouth, this is a time of confession and decree… what you say now determines your future.  Ask God to breathe fresh revelation on you this month revealing your true identity in Christ… your sonship identity.  And then begin walking as a son. For the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation (the revelation) of the sons of God (Romans 8:19)

~ Robin