Rosh Hashanah: LORD, Grant To Us A Sweet And Good New Year
Rosh Hashanah, literally “the head of the year” is celebrated as the Jewish New Year, Tishri 1, a day set apart as holy to the LORD God:
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work, and you shall present a food offering to the LORD. Leviticus 23:23-25
The Biblical year starts with the month Nisan (Exodus 12:2), the beginning of the new harvest season.
Tishri is the seventh month (Leviticus 23:24). Did someone make a miscalculation?
According to Barney Kasdan, author of God’s Appointed Times: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Celebrating the Biblical Holidays:
However, rabbis gave such significance to this special Shabbat (it was the first of the fall holidays) that they eventually considered it as the “spiritual” New Year. Hence the name change as well. Biblically known as Yom Teruah (the Day of Sounding/Festival of Trumpets), this first day of Tishri became called “Rosh Hashanah“, the Head of the Year.
The purpose of this holy day is summed up in one word—regathering. Since the fall holidays call us to regather to a pure faith in God, Rosh HaShanah has come to represent the day of repentance. It is the day when the people of Israel take stock of their spiritual condition and make the necessary changes to insure that the upcoming new year will be pleasing to God.
And what a perfect time for repentance and reflection. Leviticus 23:26 and following, describes the High Holy Day of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which takes places on Tishri 10. Tishri 15 begins the week long Feast of Tabernacles, Sukkot, which celebrated bringing in the latter harvest, in other words, the Jewish “Thanksgiving”. Dwelling in booths, or tabernacles, recalls when God dwelt with His people during the 40-year wilderness journey. Both the ingathering and God dwelling with His people are symbolically and theologically significant for end times.
Rosh Hashanah is a perfect time for Christians to celebrate a “spiritual” New Year with our Jewish brothers and sister. With the counsel of the Holy Spirit, Tishri 1 is a perfect time to take stock of our own spiritual condition and make the necessary changes to insure that the upcoming year will be pleasing to God. Especially as we enter the season of Thanksgiving, Christmas, civic New Year, Lent, and finally Easter, commemorating the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father and Almighty God,
Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has set us apart by Your commandments and has commanded us to kindle the holiday light.
With expectant hearts we look forward to experiencing a sweet and full New Year in Your blessing. Lord, grant to us a sweet and good new year on this divinely ordained day of Rosh Hashanah.
In the sound of the trumpet, we recognize Your voice calling to us. A call to gather in Your Presence and worship with a whole heart. A call away from the humdrum of earthly toil, and a call to the spiritual service of rest, remembrance, and worship.
At this time of memorial, with immeasurable gratitude, thank You for Your goodness throughout the year. Praise You for fulfilling covenant promises guaranteed to those who obey Your commands. Thank You for Your work of Creation that set the order of the seasons for us.
We thank You, Lord God, as we look forward to a new season of spiritual renewal and festive thanksgiving.
As Your people regathered to You on Rosh Hashanah, we humble ourselves before You God, who alone has the power to decree life and death. In awe and fear of You, we gain wisdom to direct our ways, words, and choices, so that our lives ascend as a fragrant offering, honoring Your Great Name.
We turn away from things that are destructive and harmful and turn back completely to You Lord.
During this time, grant us the help of the Holy Spirit to evaluate our spiritual condition. Guide us to make necessary changes to insure that the upcoming new year will be pleasing to You. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24).
As we look back over this last year, help us to see those whom we have hurt and give us the courage and strength—and fear of God—to make amends for the wrongs we have done. Help us to come back to living the life that You intended for us.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
We thank You and are assured of Your compassion and forgiveness. “You will tread our iniquities under foot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).
How blessed are we Your people, the children of Abraham. Whether “children of the flesh or children of the promise, we are counted as Abraham’s offspring” (Romans 9:8). We thank You that all of Your children are called to participate in this high and holy day Rosh Hashanah! Father, how we look forward to the day when we all participate as one in the Name of Jesus Christ! Glory!
For certainly You have made known to us “that since their rejection meant that God offered salvation to the rest of the world, their acceptance will be even more wonderful. It will be life for those who were dead! And since Abraham and the other patriarchs were holy, their descendants will also be holy — just as the entire batch of dough is holy because the portion given as an offering is holy. For if the roots of the tree are holy, the branches will be, too” (Romans 11:15-16).
Lord, I am struck by the words “even more wonderful”! It is truly beyond comprehension, but by faith I believe.
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?’ ‘Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?’ For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:33-36)
Heavenly Father, we thank You for always sounding the trumpet. For sending us the call. Thank You for all of our wake-up calls! With much thankfulness we recognize the current wake-up call! Thank You for this alarm to gather us to this appointed time. Thank You for hailing the King and keeping Him ever in our hearts and minds.
Father God, we praise You for the people of Israel. We thank You for all Jewish people wherever they may live. We pray for Your blessings and favor on each and every person. We pray that all would turn their hearts completely to You.
Praise You Almighty God for the historical peace deals just signed between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, and between Israel and Bahrain. May more and more nations join together in these peace deals so that the land, together with the people, can experience a great Sabbath in the Holy Land.
Divine Providence has once again watched over Israel and given them a great gift to usher in Rosh Hashanah 2020! Oh Father, we are not surprised by Your goodness, but elated and rejoicing over Your mysterious ways and love for Your chosen people.
We rest assured in Your promise and thank You in advance that “the LORD will make the nation of Israel the head and not the tail, and they shall only go up and not down, if they obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them” (Deuteronomy 28:13).
We lift up our prayers and “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! May they be secure who love you! Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!” (Psalm 122:6-7).
Lord, You are “my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
Let all who hear the trumpet sound of this Rosh Hashanah hear the wake-up call to turn hearts and minds toward repentance. And from repentance to freedom. From freedom to redemption.
Grant us another year of life so that we can continue to do Your work in the world.
And Father, please remember Your people in America! Remember us Father and have mercy on this nation!
Remember Your nation, America. Remember the goodness that America has always shown to Israel and how we have cherished her as an ally. Forgive the dark years of the evil anti-Israel attitude from U.S. “leadership” during 2009-2016. You know Your people in America did not agree with that! And in fact, we were severely ashamed of the evil behavior ushering forth from the White House during that time. And God, that is Yours to avenge.
Father, remember these last 4 years and the goodness and blessings that have been bestowed on Israel from President Trump and his administration. Please God, have mercy on our nation and give us 4 more years of freedom. Four more years to pray, to work with You, and utterly make known the evil of the left and to drain the corrupt and murky swamp.
We are holding You to Your Word which cannot be broken—even though “Heaven and earth will pass away, Your words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35)—and that Word was spoken to our spiritual father Abraham:
I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Genesis 12:3).
God, I believe You are good. I believe that You love me. I believe that You have the power to help me. And I believe that You want to help me.
I believe that You will bless America, if for no other reason than we have been a good and strong ally to Israel. And I believe that You will curse those who have acted reprehensibly toward Israel. Oh Lord, do not delay Your blessings, nor Your curses, based on this grand promise to all nations!
Restore to us the joy of your salvation, and uphold us with a willing spirit. Then we will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will return to you (Psalm 51:12-13).
Thank You Lord God. Oh God! Grant to us a sweet and good new year. Protect us from evil. Purge the evil from among us.
In the Name of Our Savior King, Jesus Christ, Amen.
A golden apple is a common decoration for Rosh Hashanah.
Proverbs 25:11 speaks about the immense value of words skillfully constructed, beautifully written, and of lasting value. Similarly, the Jewish Holidays are also like golden apples in settings of silver. When viewing from a distance, a person sees mostly silver. Yet the closer one moves to the ornate work, the more visible the apples of gold, and thus, their skillful construction, beautiful purpose, and lasting value. Indeed, the Jewish holidays have eternal value. They are all types of Christ, teaching the nature of God and His plan of redemption for mankind. Ultimately, the holidays find fulfillment in our Messiah and Savior, Jesus Christ.