Overcoming Fruit From the Tree of Life – Av 5779
By Beth Auman and JoBeth Kested
It is our intention in The Quest of the Overcommers, to not only share our researched facts regarding each month, but the revelation with insights fresh from the LORD Himself that we’ve received in the process. The month of Av presents a most amazing picture for us of the importance of our faith with obedience.
The word Av in Hebrew literally means “father.” It is derived from a root word meaning “to will” or to “desire.” As we will see, it is critical in this month of Av for us to willingly choose to desire our Father’s good plans to bless us. We must pay very specific attention to listen carefully, hear with discernment and to obey during this month in order to keep progressively moving forward in our Journey of the Overcomers.
Why is the Tribe of Simeon so significant to understanding the choices we face in the month of Av?
Clue – The importance of “hearing.”
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Matthew 11:15
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
The Hebrew tribe of Simeon is aligned with the month of Av. Simeon means “to hear” or “be concerned.” Simeon was the second son of Leah, and was named Simeon “because God has heard that I am unloved and has given me this son also.” Simeon may have carried his mother’s wounds of offense because he became a man of violence. (Genesis 34:25-27) It would seem that he chose bitterness and anger instead of “hearing” of God’s goodness to his mother.
Perhaps Simeon was the instigator among Joseph’s brother’s scheme to kill him because he was his father, Jacob’s favorite son. He was the firstborn of Rachel, Jacob’s favorite wife; Leah’s younger sister. (Genesis 18-32) Could that be why Joseph held Simeon captive in Egypt until his brother’s retuned with his younger brother Benjamin? (Genesis 18:34). And, could it be that his root of bitterness and unrepentant attitudes permeated the tribe of Simeon generationally? It must be noted, that Moses did not give the tribe of Simeon a prophecy or blessing when he blessed all the other tribes before his death.
The month of Av is the lowest point in the Jewish year. Sadly, we will see that historically the month of Av is linked with tragic events, time and time again, because Israel did not rightly choose to “hear” the words of faith to overcome their fear and unbelief resulting in a terrible and repetitive generational curse. They doubted God’s ability to help them do what He told them to do.
What could be the ripe fruit from the Tree of Life we need for overcoming in this month of Av? (Revelation 22:2a)
Clue – Faith… for overcoming fear and unbelief!
”But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” Hebrews 10:39 NIV
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:1, 6 NIV
A look at Jewish history on the 9th of Av resulting in the persecution and death of multitudes of Jews:
Av 9 578 BC – Babylon destroys Solomon’s Temple.
Av 9 70 AD – The 2nd Temple is destroyed by the Romans.
Av 9 135 AD – The final crushing defeat of the Jews and Israel by Rome.
Av 9 1095 AD – The first Crusade is launched to free Palestine of Christ haters.
Av 9 1290 AD – Jews are expelled from England.
Av 9 1492 AD – Jews expelled from Spain under the Great Inquisition.
Av 9 1942 AD – Jews deported from the Warsaw Ghetto to Nazi death camps.
Av 9 2005 AD – Beginning of expulsion of all Jews from Gaza.
No one can look at this horrific sequence of events and consider them a coincidence! Why would all this happen on this date?
Clue – Fear resulting in unbelief!
The 12 spies return with a report from the Promise Land
And they returned from spying out the land after forty days. Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.” Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants ( the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” Numbers 13:25-33
Jewish tradition has believed that God had led the Israelites to the borders of Canaan to enter the Promised Land in the month of Av. The 9th of Av is the tragic date that Israel chose unbelief based upon fear! The number 9 represents God’s completeness. Whereas, the 9th of Av was to have been a date to celebrate God’s completion of Israel’s deliverance from 400 years of captivity in Egypt into the Promise Land, instead it has become a month of foreboding associated with generations of death and destruction historically due to listening to the bad reports based in fear and choosing unbelief.
Even though Joshua and Caleb gave a good report, the people of Israel chose to listen to the bad report from the 10 other spies. They chose to “hear” and receive their fear instead of choosing faith to fulfill God’s promise. After experiencing all the miracles of deliverance from the Egyptians, through the Red Sea and receiving the daily manna, they doubted God’s ability to help them overcome the giants in the land. They chose not to believe in God’s ability to help them do what He had told them to do. The month of Av was to be a month to celebrate God’s Goodness throughout posterity; instead becoming a time of dread and fear.
After 40 years in the wilderness, where everyone from that generation died, God mercifully gave a new generation raised upon the miracles of God a second chance to enter the Promised Land.
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword”; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. Isaiah 1:18-20
God designed the month of Av to be the month to enter into His Promise. Each of us by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, through His Blood Sacrifice, has the opportunity to enter into the rich promises of the Word of God for abundant life. God’s promises are true. Jesus is LORD. And, we have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb out of the hand of the enemy!
What is our hope to break patterns of unbelief, disobedience and the consequences of sin in our lives?
Clue – Repentance with Forgiveness.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9 NKJV
The month of AV offers us the opportunity for self evaluation to recognize our need for repentance to break any generational curse that may be hindering us from choosing new life and blessings. Av is a month to stop struggling and stop wrestling with God. Don’t yield any longer to the doubts, fear and unbelief of the past. Accept the opportunity this month to break any generational curses or defeating patterns of sin. Ask Jesus for forgiveness and receive His finished work of the cross. Be a Curse Breaker and a History Maker!
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:14-15
We mourn for the decisions that the Jewish people made, yes. All that they have historically suffered is so very grievous and sad. We pray for them to come to know their Messiah, Jesus; and we LOVE them with God’s everlasting and never changing love. However, we see through the revelation offered to us from the ripe fruit from the Tree of Life to Fear Not, but choose Faith!
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”Isaiah 41:10
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32 NASB
The Hebraic letter associated with this month of Av is the letter TET. It pictorially resembles a womb, representing the anticipation of new life. Also, the significant color and gemstone linked with the days of Av are green and Emeralds that represent new life and prosperity.
“Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” says the LORD. “Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?” says your God. Isaiah 66:9
“See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.” Deuteronomy 30:15-16 NIV
A personal note from JoBeth:
When I was 19 and just a couple of years into my new life in Jesus, I had a profound sense of a calling to the nations and was planning to join a discipleship program with Youth With A Mission (YWAM), a very new ministry sending young people in international missions at that time. The same day the decision had been made, I got a call offering me my previous “dream” summer job in an old mining tourist town in the mountains of Colorado. Without prayer or seeking any spiritual guidance, I immediately said, “Yes!” Sadly, it was a huge mistake and a summer filled with many wrong choices. I thought I had forever missed God’s plan for my life. After much sorrow and repentance, a couple years after my husband and I had gotten married and dedicated our lives to seek our call to missions, the LORD miraculously opened doors for us to serve with YWAM, mostly in Europe, for eight and half years. He is a merciful God of second chances!
Step into the blessings and all that God has planned for you in your Promised Land. Abba, Father, created you with purpose and has placed other people within your sphere of influence that are wandering in their wildernesses without hope, that only you can minister to. So lets move ahead in our Journey of the Overcomers by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. (Revelation 12:11)
Prayer and Declaration:
Thank You, God, for freedom from the curse of fear and unbelief! I declare that You are more than able to supply all my needs to walk according to Your commands. I choose to be a hearer of the Word and to believe God! Yes, there are giants in the land and I will see them without fear. Not by might nor by power, but by waiting on the Spirit of God to give me His One Word that will defeat and fell the giants that attempt to keep me from possessing my Promise Land! (Zechariah 4:6) I desire to see and partake of God’s best blessings for my life. I may not know exactly what that looks like but I trust that He will show me step by step as I continue moving forward with Him. I choose to be all that God created me to be today. I choose to move forward as an Overcomer! In Jesus Name, Amen!
“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 3:12-13
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All scriptures from the New King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise noted.
Reference credit: “A Time to Advance” by Chuck Pierce with Robert and Linda Heidler © 2011
(Photography purchased or taken by Beth Auman and JoBeth Kested. Photo Art by Beth Auman)
© Beth Auman and JoBeth Kested 2019
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