God called Abram to leave the land of his father and go to a new land. He promised Abram that he would be blessed if he did that. Abram was 75 years old when he set out. His journey required courage and trust in God. Genesis 13:18 tells us this: "So Abram moved his tents and went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the Lord." The meaning of the names here are significant. Mamre means "from the vision or fatness and vigor." Hebron means "association, joining together and union." In Genesis 14 Abram is called the Hebrew. This is also significant in that the Hebrew people lived the definition of their name—"One who passes over from the other side."
The understanding of these words becomes particularly significant during the month of Nissan. We, who are grafted into the tribes that came from Abram the Hebrew share in the prophecies and promises that came from God. Consequently, we are part of the people who crossed over. It becomes important for us to operate according to the Hebraic calendar. This means moving into what the Lord has for us during this new month and new year. We must move in order to reach the destination of blessing that God has for us.
When the tribe of Israel moved they had an order to their movement. Judah (the people of praise) went first. Judah went out praising the Lord, and power comes from praise because "God is enthroned on the praises of His people." (Psalm 22:3-KJ) The symbol of the tribe of Judah is a lion and, indeed, Jesus is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah. (Revelation 5:5)
Since we are in the month of Nissan and this month is associated with the tribe of Judah—the Tribe of Praise--this is the time to cross over into our new season with praise as we look to God to order our steps. It is God who decided to make Nissan the head of the months in the year and to give us a fresh start each year. (Exodus 12:2) We start the cycle of repentance, redemption and new life here. The three feasts or festivals of Nissan—Passover, Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits—are a shadow of what is to come through our Messiah.
Nissan is associated with the constellation of Aries, the ram or lamb. What could be more appropriate for the Passover month? Of course, Yeshua/Jesus is our Passover Lamb who removes the sins of the world. (John 1:29) He also is a picture of the unleavened bread (matzah). He was striped and pierced for our transgressions. (Isaiah 53:5) He is the bread of life who came to give everlasting life to all who believe in Him. In addition, He is the fulfillment of the Festival of Firstfruits as He was resurrected on that day. (1 Corinthians 15:23)
Set your sights on the Promised Land that God has for you. This is our month of freedom and redemption. Numbers 33:3 tells us that "The Israelites set out from Rameses on the 15th day of the first month, the day after Passover. They marched out boldly in full view of all the Egyptians." We are to be bold like the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. It is time to cross over into the new thing that God has established for us. Step into the direction of your promise, and let the Lord order your steps.
Joan E. Mathias