Summary: Gleaning lessons from 7 Scripture portions which are New year related (mention of FIRST DAY OF THE FIRST MONTH is there in them)!!!
NEW YEAR : THE SEVEN CS’
First things first. What is the chief and highest end of man? Let the revered Christian Book namely the Westminster catechism give the answer. Man's chief and highest end is to glorify (worship) God, and fully to enjoy him forever. When it comes to glorifying Him and fully enjoying Him, let it be said that the entire exercise ought to be “absolutely genuine emanating right from the innermost core of one’s being (read spirit)”. This would lead to the next question, how could the process of glorifying Him originate right from the depths of one’s heart? It is only possible, when a person is truly fascinated by His unique traits. Remember, worshipping God for WHAT HE IS, is the highest form of worship, standing head and shoulders above other forms of worship, which come with strings attached, such as worshipping Him for the blessings, He showers upon us. While on the subject, at this stage, it would serve us well to look at the synonym of the word “Glorify”, which is “Magnify”. When, one magnifies Him, that is to say, when one keenly observes His Divine nature, with a magnifying glass, as it were, the “spiritual explorer” (if you permit me to use this expression) in you is bound to come across several unique attributes of the Almighty, which would at once evoke awe, and in turn lead to spontaneous, heart-felt worship and praise.
At the onset of New Year (time-related subject), the order of Creation…of first putting the “stage” in place and then bringing the “actors” onto it… stirs up impromptu adoration!!! Before the Almighty’s most “Prized” Creation (read Man created in God’s own image arrived-Genesis 1:26-27) arrived, the “stage” was set-up as it were…for amongst other things…Sun and Moon were created and put in their places in vast space (Genesis 1:14) to mark “days, months and years”. Imagine the utter chaos, which would prevail in our society, without the orderliness the good Lord put in place by creating Sun and Moon in infinite space. For instance Economy as we know would simply cease to exist…Boy how would the Employer-Employee relationship “survive” without the periodical payments for the service rendered…how would we plan and organize our “business activities”…how would Banks calculate the interest to be paid on the deposits…the list can go on and on.
Coming to my message “First day of the first month” (New year in Biblical parlance), a careful study of the Scriptures, would reveal 7 events occurring “at that time” …all loaded with lessons waiting to be gleaned. Now what are they…
“Moses did everything just as the LORD commanded him. So the tabernacle was set up on the FIRST DAY OF THE FIRST MONTH in the second year.”-Exodus 40:16-17
If there is one thing that proves that we reverentially fear and love the Lord, it is our implicit obedience to His instructions, even the discerning World with its plethora of rationalists, agnostics would not be able to deny the “cost” we pay to obey. Our Heavenly Father delights in our obedience, just as a Doting Dad would, on seeing his growing child take his words seriously. Moses, as the captioned Scripture bears out, not only accomplished the mission of setting up the “First Temple” (movable and quite unlike the Fixed One Solomon would construct nearly 500 years later), he also did it exactly as per the Lord’s instructions (Exodus 25:8/Heb 8:5). The result of it all?
“Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.”-Exodus 40:34
Our Heavenly approved of the complete compliance of Moses’ in setting up the Tabernacle exactly in accordance with His instructions, by filling it with His Glory.
The ever-truthful Scripture without glossing over the cases of disobedience of God’s chosen People (Jews in the dispensation of Law) gives the other side of the coin too, so to speak, faithfully of when God’s glory left them at the time of their disobedience as this Scripture portion illustrates…
“She named the boy Ichabod, saying, “The Glory has departed from Israel”—because of the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. She said, “The Glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”- I Samuel 4:21-22
Now who is this “She” in the captioned Scripture portion? The perceptive daughter-in-law of callous High Priest cum Judge Eli (1 Sam 4:18) and wife of dismally disobedient Phinehas his son (1 Samuel 3:11-14) at that “trough time” in Israel’s historical obedience graph when “everybody did what seemed right in his eyes” (the time when Judges ruled before the advent of that wondrous leader Samuel- Judges 21:25).
In this dispensation of Salvation through the Cross, as His Sons led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14), let us resolve to be always be sensitive and obedient to the leading of the indwelling Spirit in all areas’ of our life, in order His glorious Presence always abides with us, for where would we be, if His presence (God-forbid) were to depart from us even for a second…nay nanosecond.