We have been praying through the 40-day Jewish season of repentance, Teshuvah, and are entering the final days between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement.
This year's final Teshuvah prayer time is also the beginning of the Shemitah, the Jewish year of Sabbath rest for the land and release of debts, which begins on the Feast of Trumpets. It is the year of the Lord's favor.
During the Shemitah years, Hebrews were forgiven from all debts. The land was also to lie fallow as the Hebrews lived off of the prior year crops and the "volunteer" produce. After seven Shemitahs, or 49 years, the first year of the new seven-year Sabbath (the 50th year) was the Year of Jubilee when slaves were freed, debt was forgiven and the land was returned to its original owners.
According to Alfred Edersheim's authoritative book The Temple, the rabbis held that the first Shemitah year began 21 years after the Hebrews entered into the land, or 1385 B.C. Following through on the math, the next Jubilee year is 2040, but this year, 2018, is the next Shemitah year. The Shemitah year begins with the Feast of Trumpets, and the Jubilee begins with the Day of Atonement.
There are a number of significant ancient Shemitah years that seem to share the Teshuvah theme of returning to God's presence. His presence came to Solomon's Temple in 958 B.C. and to the Second Temple in 516 B.C., miraculously aided its rededication at Hanukkah in 167 B.C., and moved on Herod to renovate the temple in preparation for the coming of the Messiah in 20 B.C. Gabriel visited Mary in 6 B.C., bringing God's presence, Christ, to the land. The promised Holy Spirit came to the land, and the believers, in 30 A.D., bringing the permanent presence of God indwelling all believers thereafter.
The Shemitah is a time to worship God with our land (or finances) and receive freedom from financial, personal and other bondage. The Shemitah and the Year of Jubilee were used by Jesus to describe His ministry (See Luke 4:18-19 quoting Isaiah 61:1-2). Shemitah years remind us of our freedom in Christ and the "Year of the Lord's Favor."
So join us in praying in the Year of the Lord's Favor:
- Sept. 10: Feast of Trumpets until sunset. Isaiah 61:1-4 and Luke 4:19, the Year of the Lord's Favor begins.
- Sept.11: Proverbs 3:3-4. Love and faithfulness bring favor with God and man.
- Sept. 12: Leviticus 25:1-13. The seven-year Sabbath and the Jubilee.
- Sept. 13: Deuteronomy 15:1-18. The seven-year release from debt and slavery.
- Sept. 14: Deuteronomy 31:10-11. Reading God's word in Shemitah years
- Sept. 15: Psalm 69:13-16 and Jeremiah 26:19. God's favor for protection
- Sept. 16: 2 Chronicles 33:10-17. God's favor after repentance.
- Sept. 17: Psalm 90:17 and 106:4-6. God's favor for success, prosperity and joy
- Sept. 18: Nehemiah 1:11 and 2:5, Luke 1:30. God's favor for destiny
- Sept. 19: The Day of Atonement until sunset, Isaiah 49:89 and 2 Corinthians 6:1-3. Now is the time of God's favor
Let us continue to pray for God's favor throughout this year of God's favor as we continue the Teshuvah journey of returning to God's presence and seeking God's face for unity and revival.
Ron Allen is a Christian businessman, CPA and author who serves in local, national and international ministries, spreading a message of reconciliation to God, to men and between believers. He is founder of the International Star Bible Society, telling how the heavens declare the glory of God; the Emancipation Network, which helps people escape from financial bondage; and co-founder with his wife, Pat, of Corporate Prayer Resources, dedicated to helping intercessors.
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