What can we expect in 2018? The Biblical New Year begins each Fall on Rosh Hashanah, which fell on September 20th, so we already have a sense of the type of changes the 5778 brought with it. Understanding time is important; understanding transitions is important; but most of all, understanding God’s plans in their seasons is essential. If you missed my on-air teaching, you can listen to them or study my notes on Rosh Hashanah, The Days of Awe, Yom Kippur, and Tabernacles. They are all posted on blog.victory.radio
Understanding God’s Plans in Their Seasons is Essential
Ecclesiastes 3 tells us, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under Heaven…God requires an account of what is past. Moreover, I saw under the sun: In the place of judgment, wickedness was there; and in the place of righteousness, iniquity was there. I said in my heart, “God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.” In the same way that we can anticipate that Winter will always come after Fall, the Kingdom of God advances according to guiding principles that God has revealed in the Bible, especially within the Hebrew language. Thankfully, there are no hidden or secret codes to decipher.
In the same way that Jesus is the “Lamb that was slain” and the number “12” winds through every book of the Bible, the Hebrew pictograph language has layers of meaning within each letter, number, and word. In Hebrew the number 7’s pictograph is a sword. Since the Hebrew year of 5777 had three 7’s, that implied three distinct swords, and since the number 3 relates to God, it also meant that God was holding one of the swords. Revelation says of Jesus: “Coming out of His mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword.” So, we anticipated that 2017 would be a year marked by warfare, specifically verbal warfare. And sure enough it was the year of words intended to kill, steal, or destroy. There was fake news with an agenda of destruction; there was political accusation intended to cause harm; and everywhere there was offense with no middle ground. Everyone seemed to offend everyone else until eventually everything was offensive. And Twitter joined the verbal fray as we experienced the first President to communicate daily by Twitter.
Boundaries Will Be The Primary Issue of 2018
The Hebrew number and letter for 8 is Cheth – it means change. Its pictograph looks like a wall, so boundaries will be the primary issue of 2018. Since 5778 also has two 7’s, we can expect verbal offense to continue, but already we are seeing that the cost will be much higher because, those who ignore honesty build walls that hinder them from hearing the truth. Revelation 2:16 tells us, “Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.” Consider Harvey Weinstein, and others who were once famous, but are now infamous as a result of actions they thought were safely hidden in the past. The boundaries they thought had been established suddenly changed, and it brought massive scandal to their lives. “Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.” Job 4:8
Boundaries influence every area of our lives: spiritually, emotionally, and physically. When to say yes, how to say no without guilt, and how to regain control of our life when it’s spiraling downward. They help us set proper limits, bring health to our relationships, and provide healthy direction for managing our time, our love, our energy, and our money. We need to be wise so that we are not deceived, or deceiving ourselves. And we need to walk in grace so we can help those whose failures are exposed. Those whose hearts have been impenetrable for years may soften greatly when the walls that protected them collapse. “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.” Proverbs 25:28
Boundaries Help Define: Who We Are & Who We Are Not
Boundaries, like borders, enable safety and order, so they are crucial, not cruel. The immigration issue will remain in the forefront as we wrestle with how to love hurting people, but still maintain necessary boundaries. Another word that contains “Chet” is the word “Chen”, which means grace. Grace works like a yoke. It reveals hidden opportunities that await when we love and minister to people. Grace will play a big part in the success or failures of this year. “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise…In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you…no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.” Isaiah 54:11-17
God is at work in America, Israel, and the world in some unusual ways. In addition to “Trump” being our President’s name, the word is used in strategy and in many card games which feature “a trump card or suit”. A trump usually has the highest point value so it can turn the tide of a game, because the word “trump” simply means triumph. Since Rosh Hashanah, the 121-year old Stock Market saw continual firsts: it reached over 25,000, went up more than 5,000 points in a year, and climbed over 6,000 points since election day of 2016. In December when President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it came at a historic time: It was 50 years since Jerusalem was liberated in the Six Day War, 100 years since Jerusalem was liberated from the Ottoman Empire, and 400 years from when the Turks initially entered Jerusalem in 1517. It was not a random moment.
Borders and Boundaries Equal Authority
We have been given authority from Jesus for such a time as this, and we need to understand how it works, and pray for the grace to walk in it every day and in every situation. What we do affects our authority, empowers our authority or steals from our authority. We must move from criticism and protest to proclaiming and restoring. If we are sowing anger or anarchy instead of humility, then we are fighting against God. Hosea 8:7 says, “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind. The stalk has no head; it will produce no flour. Were it to yield grain, foreigners would swallow it up.” Which is to say, when you plant or do wrong, you won’t just have a lack of fruit or grow bad fruit, you will grow poisonous destructive fruit. The reaping will be done by the whirlwind, meaning it will be scattered and lost.
The year ahead holds much transformation for those who will see with eyes of faith and begin to raise up the old foundations, believe and obey. “Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.” Isaiah 58:12