Are you afraid of the dark? As I child, I was. I had to sleep with my bedroom door open and the hall light dimmed. I suppose it gave me some kind of comfort. The glow of the hallway light gave me the ability to rest. That is what this month of Kislev is all about. The word Kislev actually means "trust, rest and security." In this month where the days are growing shorter and the nights are growing longer, the Lord is reminding us that He is our light in the darkness. When we draw near to Him, He draws near to us. He illuminates our path so we can walk through this month in His confidence.
In Kislev, as the days grow darker, the Chanukah menorah shines brighter and brighter! Chanukah is known as the "Feast of Lights." Here's a little background on Chanukah. During the second temple period, the altar of the Lord was abandoned and soon desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes, a Greek invader. The Maccabees were a strong priestly family of Israelites who refused to just watch the temple be defiled. They hammered the enemy and recaptured the temple for the Lord. In order to bring the temple back into use, the temple needed to be cleansed and rededicated. The word Chanukah actually means "dedication." Amongst the devastation of the temple, a small flask of sanctified oil was found. This amount was only enough to keep the lampstand illuminated for one day. However, miraculously, the oil burned brightly for eight days. Hence, Chanukah is celebrated for eight days commemorating the miracle of the oil. What lesson is the Lord illuminating to us in Chanukah? Do not abandon the altar of the Lord. Let us stand firm in the Lord and His ways. When we choose to stand, we become like a lampstand and He lights us up with His light. He will multiply our offering and will bring hope to us and loved ones along our path.
The month of Kislev is also called the "Month of Dreams." As the nights grow longer, we may find ourselves going to bed earlier. This is a month to watch our sleep patterns, especially our dreams. "He gives to His beloved even in his sleep" (Ps 127:2, NASB). We all dream, and the Lord may speak to us in dreams. It could be a dream of warning or encouragement for our future. It is interesting to note the Torah portions for the month of Kislev have more dream references than any other time of the year. The portions in Kislev, Genesis 28-44, include dreamers like Joseph and Jacob. This is truly the month of dreams! May we be aware of how the Lord is communicating to us while we sleep. Let us ask Him to reveal any mysteries in dreams as He did for Daniel (Dan 2:28). May we commit both the dreams of the night and those in our heart to Him.
Amidst the dark night sky of Kislev, the Lord shines brightly through the constellation Sagittarius. Sagittarius is a picture of the archer. The Lord underscores this trait through the tribe of Benjamin who were known as "Masters of The Art of The Bow." May the Lord show us our targets and teach us how to shoot straight, move quickly and cut our losses this month. Benjamin was the beloved son born to Jacob and Rachel. When Rachel took her last breath immediately after giving birth, she named her son named her son Ben-oni, "son of my pain." Jacob, however, quickly spoke a new name over him, calling him Benjamin, "son of my right hand," which was his true identity. May we find our true identity in Him this month.
The Hebrew letter highlighted this month is the letter samech. Samech means "to lean upon or to support." It is always reassuring to have someone to lean on when the days grow dark. Samech also depicts coming full circle. Do you feel like you are coming full circle this month? Although this is the ninth month of the Hebrew calendar, it is the last month of the Gregorian calendar. He longs to be our support into 2019. May we lean upon Him and trust Him with our future even if it appears dark or uncertain to us. May we be encouraged, for even the darkness is as light to Him (Ps 139:12).
In this month of Kislev, ask the Lord to identify anything you have been keeping in the dark. May you allow His light to expose it and bring healing to you and others. Are there areas of your life where you have let your guard down? Ask the Lord to give you zeal and knowledge as He did with the Maccabees. May you be extra mindful of your sleep patterns and ask the Lord to keep you alert to hear His voice, even in your daydreams. May you glow through Kislev like the menorah of Chanukah, shining brighter and brighter every day with the miraculous light of the world Himself, Yeshua (Prov 4:18)!
Christine Vales is an author and teacher of "His Appointed Times: Hebrew /Gregorian Calendar & Journal" and has been blessed with the privilege of uncovering the Lord's prophetic calendar, teaching others how to connect with His ancient timepiece in real time in their lives. Christine sends forth her creative monthly "Chalkboard Teachings" on YouTube and social media, and also goes forth teaching at live gatherings, large and small, all to draw hearts closer to The Ancient of Days Himself—truly our times are in His hands (Ps. 90:12).
To learn more, visit christinevales.com.
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