Rosh Hashanah means “head of the year” and falls on the biblical Feast of Trumpets. If you’re curious about why the Jewish New Year isn’t on January 1 or why it’s in the seventh biblical month rather than the first, you can find out the answers here.
As the New Year approaches, the idea of openness has been on our minds at Jewish Voice Ministries. Looking to the Jewish year 5784, we’re praying for open doors, open ears and eyes, and open hearts.
These are the words of Him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open (Revelation 3:7).
Our vision at Jewish Voice is to reach as many Jewish people as possible with the Good News of the Messiah, Jesus, no matter how far away they may be. As we discover unreached Jewish communities throughout the world, we explore their stories, oral histories, beliefs and more. Our exploratory trips over the coming months will take us to locations we have never been to as we look to see what doors God opens for us to walk through. We will visit new-to-us Jewish communities in familiar countries where we currently work and entirely new countries.
Such newness requires many open doors, from permissions at multiple levels of government to invitations from the Jewish community elders. The logistics of bringing a humanitarian Outreach to any location are vast and complicated. We pray for God to open doors in every area, preparing the way for us to share Yeshua’s (Jesus’) love and the Gospel.
Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear” (Mark 4:9).
Since just a few centuries after Yeshua walked the Earth, crusades of zealous people have falsely used His name to persecute, abuse and kill the Jewish people. Over and over again. It’s easy to see how Jewish ears have become stopped to the Good News that Jesus is indeed the Messiah they’ve waited for. We pray for God to open the ears of Jewish people we meet so that they may come to know the fullness of their Jewish identity, found only through faith in Jesus.
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (Romans 11:25 NKJV).
The Bible tells us there is a partial blindness, a partial hardening among the Jewish people today. Jesus fulfilled hundreds of prophecies about the Messiah with His first coming as the suffering Servant and will fulfill those remaining when He comes again as the conquering King. Pray with us that God will open Jewish eyes to see that Jesus is the Messiah promised in their Hebrew Scriptures.
One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message (Acts 16:14).
Loving care and meeting needs help open hearts to the Gospel, but ultimately, we know God is behind it all. We pray that God will open Jewish hearts to respond to the Gospel message and receive Jesus as their Messiah.
Ears to hear. Eyes to see. A heart to respond. What about you and the word “open”? As you take the time for traditional Rosh Hashanah reflection, ask the Lord some questions about your coming year. Here are some questions to get you started:
- What doors do You want me to walk through this year, Lord?
- What do You want to say to me? Do I need You to open my ears to anything?
- What do You want to open my eyes to?
- How do You want to open my heart more, Lord?
Lord, help me have an open heart to the directions, doors and truths You want to lead me to in the coming year. Where there are closed doors, open them for me according to Your good and perfect will. Where my ears are closed, open them so I may truly hear You. Where my eyes are closed, open them so that I may see You and the people, paths and purposes You have for me. Where my heart is closed, open it so I can embrace all You are and have for me to know and do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
The Fall Feasts of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot offer an extended time of reflection, repentance and drawing near to the Lord. Simchat Torah follows Sukkot as an occasion to celebrate the gift of God’s Word. Discover how these fall holidays can enrich your faith in Jesus.
A 5784 gift
In honor of the new year, would you consider giving a gift of $57.84 to share the Gospel with scattered Jewish communities throughout the world? And please pray that more hearts would become open to the Gospel through compassionate humanitarian Outreaches Jewish Voice conducts to meet their vital needs.