Shevat - 11th Month
Two Psalms declare that righteousness and justice are the foundation of the Lord's throne--Psalm 89:14 and 97:2. This is good to remember as we begin the 11th month of Shevat. The month (that began on Monday) is linked with the Hebrew letter TZADIK which symbolizes the "righteous one." We need to firmly establish ourselves on the Lord's foundation. In your prayer time declare that the Lord is Jehovah Tzidkenu (Lord God our Righteousness).
Righteousness from God comes when we profess faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21-22) Its primary component is being in right standing with God. Jesus restored the relationship of humankind to God through His life, death and resurrection. Matthew 5:6 says, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." We must pray that the Lord will make us hungry and thirsty for righteousness.
I love the way the tribe, Asher, the letter, righteous one, and the constellation, Aquarius (the water carrier) are so interconnected during this 11th month. Righteousness is essential for our happiness, and the name Asher means happiness, pleasure and fatness. Their inheritance was rich and included wheat, corn, wine, bread, oil and new wine. Their land was rich in iron, bronze and copper. The tribe of Asher was able to export their bounty to the other tribes of Israel. Asher's inheritance included Cana, were Jesus did his first miracle of turning water into wine. This area is also where Jesus revealed Himself as the "Bread of Life." (A Time to Advance, Chuck Pierce)
Asher was also blessed with many children and their tribe became one of the largest. He seems to have been favored by the Lord with many blessings. Anna, the prophetess, was from the tribe of Asher. She recognized Jesus as the Messiah when His parents brought Him to the temple as she had devoted herself to prayer there for 84 years.
In order for crops to prosper they need water. Isn't it fitting that the constellation aligned with Shevat is Aquarius? We, like trees, need to be rooted by streams of living water in order to produce fruit. That living water comes from the Word of God. We must meditate on it day and night. (Psalm 1)
God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah to declare that Jesus would be a righteous Branch. We are grafted into the "olive tree" and are dependent upon the life that comes to us from the roots. Trees are representative of people. We need to be asking ourselves if we are ready to bear fruit. Shevat is actually called the month of "The New Year of Trees." During this month there is a day set aside on the Hebrew calendar (Shevat 15) to celebrate this holiday. It celebrates the time when the fruit trees in Israel start their fruit-bearing cycle, and is particularly significant because in Deuteronomy 20:19 man is compared to fruit trees. God's people produce fruit by cultivating strong roots of faith.
If you are not already positioned to be well watered, do so this month. Re-look at the way you are eating and consume what will bring health and nourishment to your body. This is true for both the physical and spiritual realm. Eat the Word of God for good health and proper alignment with Him. You might want to read the book of Daniel where we see an example of a righteous man who only put healthy foods into his body and who was faithful to connect with God three times a day. God protected him and gave him wisdom and understanding because of his faithfulness.
This is a time to consider what you are doing to bless the next generation. God does not want the next generation to have to re-take the ground that has already been taken. He is drawing each generation closer and closer to Himself. As we are blessed, we can hand down our blessings to the next generation. Chuck Pierce says that the key for this month is to shout, "My blessings are on the way!” Amen! Declare it, dear ones, as you praise God for His righteousness.
Joan E. Mathias