Before taking the children of Israel to the Promised Land, God wanted them to come to His holy mountain, Mt. Sinai. When Moses met God, He told him this: "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain." (Exodus 3:12) God determined that this would be the first destination for the children of Israel after leaving a life of slavery. He had much to teach them about Himself.
Exodus 16:1 tells us, "The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai on the 15th day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt." God's greatest desire is to have intimacy with His children. During the days from Passover to their arrival at Mt. Sinai He would concentrate on introducing Himself to the Israelites. On their trip, God began to show them who He is through several miracles. The bitter, undrinkable waters of Marah were healed when a stick/tree was placed in them and they became sweet. The Lord announced, "...I am the Lord who heals you--Yahweh Rapha" (Exodus 15:26) Food called manna, quail and water from a rock were provided by Yahweh Jaira--The God who Provides. "...Then you will know that I am the Lord your God." (Exodus 16:12) Victory was given to the children of Israel in a battle against the Amalekites. They learned that victory comes through praise, as Moses held up his hands. "Moses built an alter and called it The Lord is my Banner or Yahweh Nissi. He said, 'For hands were lifted up to the throne of the Lord...'" (Exodus 17:15-16)
The Israelites started to have a more personal relationship with God through getting to know him during the second month of the year, Iyar--sometimes called Ziv--meaning radiance. The second month of the year is linked with light or increasing revelation. During this month of transition from slavery to identity as a child of God, they were coming into a new level of intimacy with Him. It was during this month that God revealed the details of His covenant with His chosen people. The letter from the Hebrew alphabet that is linked to it is VAV which means connection. As they came to understand the goodness of God, they drew closer to Him. This is the month when we should do likewise! I see the Lord as a many-faceted diamond where there is always another facet of Him to know. This is a time to press into a deeper relationship with the Lord. "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things (things to eat, drink and wear talked about in Verse 31) will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6:33) "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you..." (Matthew 13:11) As we become more intimate with the Lord, we shall see more of the manifestation of His Kingdom.
The tribe of Issachar is associated with the month of Iyar and is known for their understanding of the times and seasons. They are linked with prosperity, intercession and blessing and show us how important it is to seek the Lord for deeper manifestations of His personality. We should make it our quest for the next 29 days to seek a greater manifestation of the three characteristics of God that He introduced during this time frame. God wanted His "kids" to know these characteristics before He gave them Torah in the third month. I believe there is a greater grace for healing, provision and victory as we celebrate the anniversary of what God demonstrated. (Iyar begins at sundown tonight.)
We have been grafted into the family of God (Romans 11:17-24) and are part of the covenant He made with the Israelites. It is time for us to pursue a deeper understanding of the God who loves to pour out His gifts, those introduced on the journey to Sinai and others such as mercy, faithfulness, righteousness, unconditional love and peace. Perhaps we will discover another facet of Him that we have not experienced before.
Joan E. Mathias