We have moved from Nisan, the first month on the Jewish calendar, to Iyar, the second month. God determined that Nisan would be a time of new beginnings and a time of remembrance through the feast of Passover. It is a month of redemption through the blood of Christ and miracles through the resurrection of Christ. Iyar is known as a month of transition and preparation. It was during this time frame that the tribes of Israel would have been making their way across the desert from Egypt to Mt. Sinai where Torah was given. They were being prepared for an increasing level of relationship with God. He was teaching them about His nature as they traveled. Three of God's names were revealed along the way: Yahweh Rapha--as He healed the bitter waters, Yahweh Jaira--as He provided quail and manna to eat, and Yahweh Nissi--as He gave victory over the attacking Amalekites through the raising of hands as a banner of praise.
Throughout the Old Testament we read how God uses wilderness seasons to reveal Himself to us. He is intentional about bringing us into the desert so that we become more intimate with Him. "I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards..." (Hosea 2:14-15a) For the children of Israel, God's desire was to wash them of the slavery mindset and bring them into a realization of their position as sons and daughters of the Most High God. "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:18-19) This is a time when we should be transitioning from one level of relationship with the Lord to another by seeking to know Him more.
The tribe associated with the second month is Issachar. When he was born, his mother Leah declared, "God has rewarded me for giving my maidservant to my husband." (Genesis 30:18) Thus his name means "reward." The tribe of Issachar played an important role as the tribes traveled. They marched second in line after Judah because they "understood the times and knew what Israel should do." (1 Chronicles 12:32) They were the tribe that linked Judah (praise) to Zebulon (dwelling/habitation), the third tribe. Here is a key to receiving blessing from God: Our praise of God is connected to the place where we will dwell or how we live. Understanding this and walking it out will transition and transform our lives.
We must set our sights on the goal: greater intimacy with the Lord. We are in a season where God is pleased to give us revelation and bring us into deeper intimacy with Him. We are moving toward the day of Pentecost (Shavuot) where the Spirit of the Living God was poured out upon God's people. The Lord wants to prepare each of us to receive the fullness of His Spirit in order that we will experience our own personal Pentecost--a fresh encounter with Holy Spirit. Let us set our hearts on seeking the Lord. As we do this, blessings will be poured upon us.
Joan E. Mathias