The First Day Of The First Month
There is something special about New Year. If you’re anything like me the ‘first day of the first month’ of another year often conjures up some inward desire to be spiritually (sometimes even physically!) better. To turn over a new spiritual leaf. To be something more for the Lord than I have been the previous year. To be more in tune with His purposes and will for my life than before… and so the desired list goes on. What about you?
Of course there is a sense in which we can never better ourselves in our own strength. This must come from communion with and dependence upon our Saviour. But, it is interesting to note the eight references in Scripture to ‘the first day of the first month’ and these are instructive as we enter into another new year. What is significant about eight references? The number eight signifies the first of a new series; the beginning of a new work; resurrection and regeneration (see especially Genesis 8:13). Note the following two examples (and I’m encouraging you to find the rest!):
A New Opportunity to Worship. Exodus 40:17 'And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was reared up.' And what a blessing it must have been. It would seem that in recent months, anyone seeking the Lord would go outside the camp to the temporary tent Moses had erected (Exodus 33:7). Now, on the first day of the first month, the Tabernacle of Congregation was reared in the midst of the camp and the glory of the Lord filled the place (Exodus 40:34). At the outset of a new year we should consider afresh the privilege of individual and collective worship. Each day affords a new opportunity to sing of His glory. 'Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious' (Psalm 66:2).
A New Opportunity to Work. 2 Chronicles 29:17 'Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify.' The doors of the temple had been shut and the Holy Place was polluted with filth, probably a reference to the idolatrous sacrifices of Ahaz (2 Chron. 28:23-24). Now, on the first day of the first month, the process of cleansing and sanctification began, first with the priests themselves, then with the temple. What needs cleansing in our lives? At the outset of a new year, let us determine to pursue righteous living that we might be ‘vessels unto honour, sanctified and meet for the Master’s use’ (read 2 Timothy 2:19-21).
Daniel Rudge is in fellowship with the assembly that meets in Bracknell Gospel Hall (UK) and with his wife is commended to full time preaching and teaching of the Word of God.