To you all, of the Bridal Company, born of the seed of Abraham and co-heirs of the Kingdom with Jesus Christ our Bridegroom. You who are the fruit of that prophetic seed that was sown into the ground and died that He might bear much fruit, many compatible sons and daughters ….’spiritual flesh of his spiritual flesh and spiritual bone of His spiritual bone’….a compatible partner, who could be His Precious Bride. We pray for you all and you for us that we may together grow into Him and reflect more and more of His likeness.
The word ‘Reflection’ is a hint about what I want to share today.
Whilst continuing to think on the theme of the two realities introduced by Dr Mike in his recent Word for Today, I was interested to read an article reported by Reuters Tuesday that the moon will get its first ever mobile phone network next year, courtesy of Vodaphone Germany. This will “enable high-definition streaming from the lunar landscape back to earth.”
What, you might be asking, does this have to do with the Bride of Christ, with the Jewish festival of Purim which has just begun or with the Bible or with Esther?
The moon holds a central position in Jewish theology as well as the fact that the Jewish calendar follows the lunar cycle. The Old testament is full of references to their religious festivals based on Sabbath moons. We also see further ties between the moon and the Jews in tracts of Jewish law. The Talmud puts it this way: “The Jewish people are compared to the moon, and therefore we count according to her cycle.” But this Reuter report is about a connection on the moon itself, not between the Earth and the moon. Its part of a movement toward another self-sustaining planet.
However in line with our Word for Today studies, we also see within this Reuter article a hint of the two realities as Dr Mike has been expounding to us recently…..one in the heavenly realm and the other on the earthly…or one as the primary reality the other within the secondary. Of course, in this case quite literally it’s a celestial connection facilitated by the earthly technology.
But going further, what is most coincidental as far as Judaism and Christianity is concerned is that the news should come as the Jewish holiday of Purim approaches and as you know Purim is a celebration of the sacrifice and intercession of Queen Esther and Queen Esther is a type of the Bride of Christ.
In previous Word for Today’s we have explored the meanings of the different names given to this Jewish heroine like Hadasseh (Hadas) meaning Myrtle as in the Myrtle tree. But in all this we have seen her as a type of the Bride of Christ and it has revealed much to us about the character and authoritative position of the Bride of Christ and of her relation to the Bridegroom King, Yeshua. But the name she is most well-known for is the name Esther… which comes from the Aramaic word sihara meaning moon.
The Talmud says that the nations of the world called the heroine of Purim by the name Esther since she was as beautiful as the moon (Found in Megilla 13a). Yet there are many ways to describe beauty so why is Esther compared specifically to the moon? We hope to see.
Firstly, let us consider the difference between the Lunar and Solar Calendars because they will shed some light on all this for us.
To understand the significance of the moon in our study, it is helpful to explain the prominence of the moon generally in Jewish thought, and specifically in the context of the calendar which is based on the moon. The first commandment in the Torah is “hachodesh hazeh lachem,” literally “this
month is yours,” which is the Torah’s commandment to establish the Jewish lunar calendar. (Exodus 12:2). The word chodesh meaning month is derived from the Hebrew word chadash meaning new. Unlike the solar calendar which is connected to the earth’s annual orbit around the sun, the lunar calendar is based on the waxing and waning moon. From a Jewish perspective, the moon is reborn every single month; it waxes until it is completely full and then wanes into oblivion, while the sun is consistently present. The Gregorian Calendar which is internationally the most widely used civil calendar is named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582 as an attempt to bring alignment between of a holiday and the time of the year when the church was celebrating Easter.
The moon is reborn every month, but as Ecclesiates 1 :9 says “there is nothing new under the sun”, for in contrast the sun represents a system of time which has no observable beginning or end. The adage “there is nothing new under the sun” is a verse from Ecclesiastes which describes a realm of time which has no observable beginning or end, and which does not seem to lead to a particular destination and the Talmud associates this non-Jewish nations’ system of time with the sun, (Sukkah 29a). The Julian or Gregorian calendar in common use today, is based on the sun.
However, the lunar system is replete with renewal and leaves room for providence and flexibility, something that is impossible in a system strictly based on cause and effect. Likewise the Bride of Christ (like the moon) must live perpetually under the sovereignty of the King of Kings (the Son (Sun) of Righteousness with healing in His wings) by whose decree and creation She has her being and in her relationship to Him alone, receives her Glory. Similarly the moon’s glory is but a reflection of the sun’s glory and her position of alignment is crucial to her visibility. The Hebrew word for moon is levana, which comes from the word lavan, white. White reflects all the colours of the visual light spectrum and is the ultimate symbol of reflection. This light she (that is the moon, the Bride) receives from the sun (Son) alone.
A return to the story of creation provides us with a further insight into what the sun and the moon represent on a deeper level. The kabbalists, the ancient Jewish tradition of mystical interpretation of the Bible, explain that God created the world also to receive His light which conveys the ultimate good and become a demonstration or expression of a far deeper reality. Here we see the two realities once again and the consequence of the sin of the first Adam denying the Sovereign God His desire to manifest His glory throughout the earth. Our faith invites us to live in these two realities, in these two real dimensions but to seek to merge one with the other and to allow the spiritual dimension to dictate the terms and outcomes of the natural. It was always God will that it should be so. The earth was to be a reflection of the Paradise of God in Heaven, a secondary reality of that which was primary, a manifestation in the natural of that which was perfect and spiritual……and so Jesus, the second Adam, came to restore what had been lost and began the redemptive plan of God which would create not only a new earth but a new species of God men. He not only restored the Adamic race but brought about a metamorphoses (from the word ‘morphe’ or ‘form’), a new race of mankind unlike anything that had gone before, of His kind or form………but enough for today.
We will pick up this theme tomorrow
Matt 6: 9 Jesus taught them to pray saying …
” Our Father who is in Heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom Come Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”
Rev 1 : 6 “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”