We are just days away from God’s High Holy Days and the start of His fall feast season which begins with Rosh Hashanah – the Feast of Trumpets, signified by the blowing of the shofar.
In this supernatural season – God’s holiest season – we have an opportunity to enter into the times of the Lord and to come alongside Israel and the Jewish people. These Jewish High Holy Days are times, mo’edim, or divine appointments that God has marked on His calendar in order to meet with us His people – Jews and also Gentiles.
In Genesis 1:14, God said: “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs for SEASONS, and for DAYS, and for YEARS.”
As we approach this very special time of the fall feasts, I have a sense of excitement in my spirit. God commanded His people to honor these “holy days” forever, as an everlasting covenant with Him. They are His Holy Days!
God underscores the importance to Him of this time of the year, in Leviticus 23:2: “The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.”
He continues, “…these are the LORD’s appointed festivals, the official days for holy assembly that are to be celebrated at their proper times each year.” (Leviticus 23:4)
God commanded His people in Exodus chapters 23 and 34 and Deuteronomy 16: Three times a year you shall ‘mark your calendars’ and celebrate a feast before the LORD your God…at the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover); the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) and the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot or Booths)… including the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur that falls in His holy fall feast season between Trumpets and Tabernacles.
The line-up of fall holidays is special because three distinct holidays all occur within one month. The first is the Feast of Trumpets, known in Israel as Rosh Hashanah (literally, head of the year), which begins this year at sundown on Sunday, Sept. 25.
On Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, the trumpet or shofar issues a clarion call for Israel to gather for God’s word of redemption and it begins the “10 Days of Awe” (Yamim Nora’im). These days are marked by personal repentance and soul-searching before the Lord leading up to His holiest day, the Day of Atonement.
Yom Kippur, the holiest day on God’s calendar and in Judaism, begins the evening of Oct. 4 at sundown and continues through the next day, completing the “10 Days of Awe.”
This is a day of prayer and fasting in Israel and around the world. The food and water fast lasts 25 hours, from sunset to sunset. Many Christians join the Jewish people on this day in prayer and fasting.
Yom Kippur is followed days later by the Feast of Tabernacles, which begins this year on the eve of Oct. 9. Called Sukkot in Hebrew, the Feast of Tabernacles is a week-long holiday, in which the Israelites were commanded by the Lord to live in a sukkah or a temporary “booth.” (Leviticus 23:34, Deuteronomy 16:13, 16)
This entire holiday period was a time for the Israelites to harvest their fields and bring a “first fruits” offering to the Lord, who declares in His Word that, “No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed. Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way your God has blessed you.” (Deuteronomy 16:16-17)
As we are counting down the days to the beginning of His New Year, 5783 on the Hebrew calendar, this is a timely moment for us to look inside ourselves with a humble and contrite heart and to ask what God desires from each of us.
This is a time of “divine appointments” – don’t miss yours!
For more insights in this fall feast season, sign up for Robert Stearns’ upcoming “10 Days of Awe” daily email teaching series here.
Bishop Robert Stearns is the founder and executive director of Eagles' Wings, a global movement of churches, ministries, and leaders.