Last year I preached this new year message in several churches where I was invited to preach. This message has blessed my heart so much. I hope this will bless you too as we celebrate the first Lord ’s Day this year.
My three main texts are found in Exodus 12:1-24, 13:1-10, Exodus 23:14-19 and Deuteronomy 16:1-22
The month of January is named after the Roman god Janus, who was pictured as a man with two faces, one looking backward and the other forward. New Year’s Day provides a valuable time to ponder the past while anticipating the future.
The New year In the Old Testament—
The first month of the Hebrew calendar was in the spring, around March/April.
In its later history the nation of Israel adopted all 12 months of the Babylonian calendar as their civil calendar. (The month of Nisan Being the first month)
With regard to the year, the Jewish historian Josephus stated that Israel had two New Years—the commercial New Year, which began in the fall (seventh month), and the religious New Year, which began in the spring (first month).
The new year in Modern Jewish times:
The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, is a holy time when people consider things they have done wrong in the past and promise to do better in the future. Special services are held in synagogues and the Shofar is blown. Rosh Hashanah is observed the first and second day of the seventh month of the Jewish calender, Tishri. Coming in the Fall season of the western calendar, usually in September.
As we read through the text we can see four things God wants the Jewish people to do on their new year:
1.) REMEMBER . . . Our salvation
God instructed the people of Israel to remember their:
a.) Being slaves in the land of Egypt – A picture of our being slave to sin
b.) Their being miraculously rescued by God – Our picture of being redeemed by Christ
A new year should be started off by remembering how God has saved us from our sins through the blood of His son the Lord Jesus Christ and cleansed us from all unrighteousness that we might live a new life.
2.) REDEDICATE . . . Our lives
In Ancient Egypt, the holiday was celebrated when the Nile flooded, usually near the end of September. This flooding made it possible to grow crops in the desert, and the people celebrated by taking statues of the god Amon, his wife and son, up the Nile by boat. Singing, dancing, and feasting was done for a month, then the statues were returned to the temple.
God instructed the people of Israel to “sanctify” themselves. To rededicate their lives, separate themselves from the people who lived in the Promise land before.
A new year should be started off by rededicating our selves to continue in the 5 basic areas of the Christian life that is: Studying the Bible/ prayer/witnessing-discipleship/Fellowship/Ministering
3.) REJOICE . . . in all that God has done for us and will be doing for us.
Every start of the month is begun by the Blowing of trumpets (Number 10:10)
God wants us to rejoice and thank him for all that he has done for us.
4.) RENDERING . . . Our offering to him
God wanted his people to give back to him as a symbol of their acknowledgment of their authority in their lives.
The Hebrews even gave offering not only at the beginning of each year but at the beginning of each month ! (Numbers 28:11-15)
We must start of the new year by giving our physical substance to him as an acknowledgment of God’s authority of our lives.