Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict [deny, humble yourselves, fast] yourselves and present a food offering to the LORD,” Leviticus 23:27-28. ESV
“Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land,” Leviticus 25:9, ESV.
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement): “This shall be a permanent statute[ “a lasting ordinance,” Lev 16:29 NIV] for you: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month [October/evening of the 3rd -4th/ 2014], you shall humble your souls [fast] and not do any work, whether the native, or the alien who sojourns among you; for it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you; you will be clean from all your sins before the LORD. It is to be a sabbath of solemn rest for you, that you may humble your souls; it is a permanent statute”.
Each of the three fall festivals has its own flavor. Rosh Hashanah was a very special celebration. Anticipation & excitement were high – His presence was felt by all. The 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur have been the Days of Awe. We may ask, what is “awe”? Remember how our nation was immediately after 9/11? There was a hush, a reverence, over the land. The solemnity we felt after 9/11 will pale in comparison to what we will experience when we stand before our King.
We have been preparing ourselves. We have interceded; answered the call to be part of Operation Jericho (special ops intercessory assignments). We have fasted. We have seen G-d, our Heavenly Commander in Chief, answer our entreaties. As we conclude these days of repentance/introspection and preparation for Yom Kippur, let us ponder Yom Kippur’s being the rehearsal of the Great Day of Judgment.
Friday evening begins the Yom Kippur fast. Many wonder: how should I fast. Orthodox Jews do not eat or drink for the 25 hours. Others, with health challenges, cannot totally fast. Nevertheless, we encourage everyone to at least give up some favorite food. Personally, we will have only thin liquids during the fast. Yom Kippur is not only a memorial but also a dress rehearsal for the Day of Judgment when we will all appear before HaShem and all things hidden will be exposed.
Let’s use this holy day to ‘clean up our acts’ spiritually, to remember His intervention in our lives, to seek G-d. People/our families, our nation, and Israel depend upon your prayers!! (G-d answers prayers on Yom Kippur )
Exercise: greet one another with “Tzom Kal!” ‘May your fast be easy’ – and we pray your day will be special before Him!
“How awesome are You, our God! You continually show Yourself in ways unimaginable – thank You for loving us. Lord, we dedicate this Yom Kippur fast to You!! Do a deeper work in each of our lives during this fast. Hear the prayer of our hearts. Move in the situations that are heavy on our hearts. Touch our families. Heal our nation. Heal Israel. Protect the persecuted church. We love You, our King! In the holy name of our Messiah, we pray! ”