Numbers 29:1-6 – I Ain’t Got No Address (A Time to Reflect & Look Forward)

Posted: November 1, 2016 in Book of Numbers

Numbers 29:1-6

The Festival of Trumpets

Today is November 1, 2016. October has ended and November has begun. Endings and beginnings seem to be the theme of the past few days in our lives.

First, there is our living situation. We are officially homeless now. As of the end of the closing on the sale of our home yesterday at about 3:00pm, we are homeless. Before you have visions of Elena and me living in our cars or something, be assured that we have a place to stay until we can move into our new home on Saturday. We are “camping out” at the Residence Inn in nearby Spartanburg, SC. The end of our six-year run at our wonderful home in Holly Tree Estates in Duncan. Before we move into our new home in Pacific Mills in Lyman on Saturday, we have 4 days where we have no official address. Although we will get the keys to the new home today, we will not move in until Saturday. My wife wants to repaint several rooms in the house before we move in so we wait to officially move in until Saturday. So, the closing on the sale of our old house was a signal, a sign, a trumpet sound to signal to us that one chapter of our lives has ended and a new one is about to begin. It is a time to reflect as you could see in my blogs recently. This week without an official address is a signal to us that we have been extremely blessed to have lived in what was our Holly Tree Estates home. So many positive things happened in our lives in that home. It was an incubator for who we are as Christ followers and as husband and wife. We have grown up as a son and a daughter of Christ in that house and our marriage grew from infancy to maturity in that house. It is also a time not only to reflect on what God has done but also on what God is calling us to do in the future. In our new home, we must rededicate ourselves to being missionaries in our hometown. We have felt called to Pacific Mills, the Lyman Mill Village, the Village or whatever you want to call it. It is a unique neighborhood that enjoying a renaissance of sorts right now. As the generation of mill workers that worked at Pacific Mills have begun passing into eternity, these houses are being snatched up and renovated and the neighborhood is just a neat place to be now. We have felt called there because of this uniqueness, because it is a neighborhood where people are social with one another. It is a throwback to days when people did not hide in their subdivision castles. That was what drew us there. We want to be a part of that. We must dedicate ourselves to be social and to be representatives of Christ. We cannot fail in this mission. This is why He called us here. We must dedicate ourselves to what we are called to do – to be God’s people where we live, work and play. So, these four days in between our old home and our new home are a time that we must reflect on where we have been and where we must go now.

 

Second, as we cross over the boundary between October and November, I must begin my month-end closing processes at work. It is time to reflect on the positives and negatives of what happened in October. It is a time to take stock of our company’s performance in the month just ended October 31, 2016, yesterday. We must make adjustments for things that weren’t classified properly during the month (that we didn’t catch during the month). We must book entries for the month that we cannot make until the month has ended (so that we have complete information upon which to base our entries). We must make sure that our balance sheet accounts agree to their subsidiary ledgers or other supporting documentation. We must agree certain balance sheet accounts balances with corresponding balances on our sister companies’ books and book adjustments as necessary. We must make sure that our cash agrees with the bank (after considering outstanding deposits, checks, and other debits and credits). We must reconcile to cash posted to accounts receivable to what the bank statement says and must do the same for disbursements released from accounts payable. It is a time of ending one month before you must onto the next one and start a new cycle of business activity. As well, in my position as administrative pastor/director of finance at my church, the same thing is happening there. I actually am orchestrating two month-ends each month between my secular job and my position at my church. It is similar to the state in which Elena and I find ourselves. Taking stock of where we have been, making adjustments, a time of taking stock before we move onto what the Lord has next for us in Pacific Mills.

 

It was this sense of a time of reflection and the symmetry that this holiday for the Israelites has with two things that I am going through on this date today – transition from one home to another with my wife, and transition from one month to the next at my secular job and at my church job. Below, you will see the offerings that are prescribed to be made during the Festival of Trumpets, in this passage, Numbers 29:1-6:

 

29 “‘On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. It is a day for you to sound the trumpets. 2 As an aroma pleasing to the Lord, offer a burnt offering of one young bull, one ram and seven male lambs a year old, all without defect. 3 With the bull offer a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah[a] of the finest flour mixed with olive oil; with the ram, two-tenths[b]; 4 and with each of the seven lambs, one-tenth.[c] 5 Include one male goat as a sin offering[d] to make atonement for you. 6 These are in addition to the monthly and daily burnt offerings with their grain offerings and drink offerings as specified. They are food offerings presented to the Lord, a pleasing aroma.

 

The Feast of Trumpets marked the beginning of ten days of consecration and repentance before God. It is one of seven Jewish feasts or festivals appointed by the LORD and one of three feasts that occur in the autumn. The Feast of Trumpets began on the first day (at the new moon) of the seventh month. Its name comes from the command to blow trumpets (Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 29:1-6). It is also called Rosh Hashanah, which means “Head of the Year,” because it marks the beginning of the Jewish civil calendar. During this celebration, no kind of work was to be performed, but burnt offerings and a sin offering were to be brought before the Lord.

 

Today, in my personal life, marks four days without an official home address and thus is a time of reflection on where I am in my walk with the Lord, upon how He nurtured and provided for us in our old home, how I have disappointed the Lord most assuredly during that time, to repurpose my dedication to the Lord and what He has called us to do, how He and He alone has orchestrated this change, and how I must rededicate myself at this “down time” to being His servant. Taking stock of how amazingly God has provided for me, grown me, and challenged me. Seeing where I can be a better disciple of Christ and moving forward into the future at the end of these four days. Today, in my professional life, I must begin the process of taking stock of our company’s and my church’s financial performance over the past month and do so before we really get started on the month of November. Once we understand the trends of the information on performance in October, we can use that knowledge both at my secular job and at church to chart what we need to be doing and focusing on in November.

 

So, it is with us as Christ followers, sometimes we need periods of reflection to recognize where we have strayed from God’s Word, reflect on His grace, reflect on how He has seen us through and carried us, reflect on how He has matured us, reflect on how we can better serve our Lord in the future. Where we’ve been. Where we are going.

 

If you find yourself at a crossroads in life and do not know of the grace of Jesus Christ, please reflect today on how your life has gone so far. That life where you have been seeking but never finding. That life where you are the center of the universe where there are trails of “dead bodies” (broken relationships, hurts, angers, resentments, burnt bridges, etc.) behind you. Are you tired of seeking empty things? Are you yearning for something more to this life? That hole in your soul that you fill with other things that come up empty is meant to be filled by Jesus Christ? You have not committed too many sins in this life to void the gift of grace in Jesus Christ. Take stock. Look back at the wasteland of sin that has marked your life. Look forward to the cross. There is forgiveness enough for each and every sin. Although it takes only one sin to commit us to hell before a honest, pure, holy and just God not to mention the piles and piles of sins that we commit in our lifetimes, it only takes accepting Christ as your Savior and Lord to cover all those sins. He will set you free from your sinful past and its condemnation and allow you to look to a future where that God-sized hole in your soul is filled. Look back on your past. Look forward to the cross.

 

Amen and Amen.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s