ChoDesh Tov, or Good Month! Welcome to the new Hebrew month of Shevat in the year of 5783!
Remember that one of the keys to walking in God’s blessings, is to walk with an understanding of God’s calendar. His calendar is designed to help us stay in step with Him as we move through time. Each month is a prophetic season. Therefore, the goal is to live in sync with God’s timing, which enables us to enter into another level of connection with Him.
Shevat is the 11th month of God’s spiritual calendar (counting from Nisan) and it is the 5th month of the Hebrew civil calendar. This year Shevat begins at sundown on 1/22/23 and ends at sundown on 2/21/23. It was on the first day of Shevat that Moses began to deliver his final words to the Israelites after 40 years of living in the wilderness, shortly before his death. The book of Deuteronomy records his final message to them. You see, apart from Joshua and Caleb, the generation that would actually enter the Promised Land was not present as adults at Mount Sinai. Therefore, they received a repetition of God’s word and law from Moses near the Jordan River.
In the Land of Israel, Shevat has abundant rains that nourish the soil allowing trees to draw in moisture causing them to burst forth with new life. Almond trees are are known as “watcher trees” because they are the first to “wake up” as they sprout green buds and “watch” for spring. Tu’B’Shevat, the 15th of Shevat, commemorates the New Year for Trees. Shevat means branch, rod, scepter, or staff. Almond buds are associated with AUTHORITY. Read the story surrounding Numbers 17:8, “the rod of Aaron, of the tribe of Levi, had sprouted and put out buds and produced blossoms and yielded [ripe] almonds.” This sign revealed that Aaron was God’s chosen high priest, and that he operated in the fullness and AUTHORITY of the Holy Spirit. Jeremiah 1:11-12 says, “The word of the Lord came to me, asking, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” I answered, “I see a branch from an almond tree. Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, because I am WATCHING to fulfill my word.”
People are often compared to trees in Scripture. Humans have limbs, trunks, and grow roots. People can flourish or wither, and produce fruit. Jesus compared people to trees in Matthew 7:15-20 when He said, “You will know them by their fruits; every good tree bears good fruit, bad trees bear bad fruit.” So, what kind of tree are you? Do you allow The Word to nourish you? Do you provide a canopy of shade for others? How deep are your roots? How far-reaching are your branches? Are you yielding Galatians 5:22-23 fruit? No matter how appealing the outward appearance is to one’s eyes, looks can be deceiving. Tasting fruit offers one additional measure of discernment.
Discernment is very important this month. Like the almond blossoms, our taste buds look like a blossom under the microscope. This is a reminder for us to WATCH and DISCERN what is going on around us in the natural and supernatural by inspecting the fruit of people and situations in our lives. This month, be wise and choose to eat from the Tree of Life. Proverbs 3:17-18, “The ways of wisdom are sweet, always drawing you into the place of wholeness. Seeking for her brings the discovery of untold blessings, for she is the healing Tree of Life to those who TASTE her fruits.”
The tribe linked with Shevat is Asher. Asher was the 8th son of Jacob, the second son of Leah’s maid Zilpah. Asher means “happy and blessed”. This tribe was considered to be highly favored and blessed by God. Genesis 49:20 states, “Asher’s food [supply] shall be rich and bountiful, and he shall yield and deliver royal delights.” The tribe of Asher is a picture of one that delivers true refreshment to those who are thirsty, hungry, and weary from battle. This attribute reminds me of Psalm 23:5, “You become my delicious feast even when my enemies dare to fight. You anoint me with the fragrance of your Holy Spirit;
you give me all I can drink of you until my cup overflows.” We can partner with God, by spreading the joy of His salvation and revitalizing the weak, by taking all that God has blessed us with and share it with others. This speaks of generational blessings as we pass on our supernatural inheritance to those we disciple!
The constellation associated with Shevat is Aquarius the water bearer. The constellation appears as a man who carries an overflowing vessel of water. It’s the prophetic promise that Holy Spirit will be poured out upon all those who are redeemed! Isaiah 44:3 says, “For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring.” Numbers 24:7 states, “He shall pour water from His buckets, and His seed shall be in many waters. His king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.”
The letter associated with Shevat is Tsade or Tzaddik. The “T” is silent. It is the 18th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and it means “righteous one”. It has a numerical value of 90. Eighteen is the number of life, and 90 represents the fullness of life. The pictograph of tzaddik, looks like a faithful servant bowing with his arms raised before the Lord in humility. To be righteous is to be right with God. It’s someone who’s actions go beyond the letter of the law; one who pursues divine justice. A heart that is right with God results in a life that bears “fruit”. The righteous will not be forsaken! Proverbs 11:30 says, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life”.
Dry ground cannot support life; unless we absorb the abundant waters that God is pouring out…..our spiritual life will not be sustained. Is your heart thirsty? Is your spirit dry? If so, be a discerning tree, plant yourself next to the living waters of Jesus; let your roots run deep to drink from the wells of salvation, never fearing because the source of your life is secure! Let us be grounded in the authority we have obtained through Jesus and bloom with the fruits of righteousness which bring glory to HIM and HIS KINGDOM! Beloved, this is the month to SHIFT out of the shallowness of life and into the depths of our GOD! —Shalom blessings, Stacey Cain Woodley