Shevat 5780

Overcoming Fruit From the Tree of Life

By Beth Auman and JoBeth Kested

The evening of January 27 began the Hebraic month of Shevat that will last for the next 30 days. Shevat is the eleventh month on the Jewish ecclesiastical calendar that began in Nisan and is the fifth month on the civil calendar year. There are so many blessings to embrace this month as we press on in our “Quest of the Overcomers!”

The sense of taste is one of the characteristics linked with the month of Shevat.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.” Psalms 34:8-9 NIV

The Tribe of Asher is associated with Shevat. He was the 8th son of Jacob, second son of Leah to her maid Zilpah. When he was born, Leah exclaimed, “How happy I am! The women will call me happy. So she named him Asher.” (Genesis 30:12-13) Moses said of Asher: “May Asher be blessed above other sons; may he be esteemed by his brothers; may he bathe his feet in olive oil.” (Deuteronomy 33:24). Asher became one of the most numerous and blessed of the tribes, inherited some of the most fruitful and prosperous territory in the Promised Land, dwelt in peace with his brothers and was protected from his enemies.

There is no mention of war hero’s from the Tribe of Asher, but an elderly prophetess, named Anna is mentioned in the book of Luke; “who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.” She recognized the infant Messaiah’s arrival into the Temple and “in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:37-38) In this month of Shevat, let us be among those who are watchful and waiting upon the presence of the LORD.

What is the fruit from the Tree of Life that Adonai is offering to us in this month of Shevat? (Revelation 22:2)

Clue – Righteousness, right standing with Jehovah Tzidkenu.

“Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Jeremiah 23:6

 The letter from the Hebraic Alphabet representing the month of Shebat is TZADIK, which symbolizes “righteous one.” Jehovah Tzidkenu, “The LORD our righteousness” is a significant declaration for us to declare and decree over our homes in this month. If there are any areas of our lives that have gotten out of line, become cloaked in darkness by sinful choices that have led us into unrighteousness; then Shevat is the month the Lord is reaching out to restore our righteousness. Take this moment to lay any unholy entanglement in our lives at the feet of Jesus; asking Him to forgive and restore our right standing in Him. We are never able to be righteous within ourselves. Our righteousness is only found within a right relationship with Jehovah Tzidkenu — the only One Who is Righteous, Yeshua, Jesus our Messiah.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6

 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Psalm 23:3

 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face. Psalm 89:14

The name of this month appears in Zechariah 1:7 and is believed to have come into usage during the Babylonian exile. Shevat possibly originates from an ancient Akkadian word for “lashing or striking,” seemingly related to the heavy seasonal rains nearing the end of winter. Rain, in the Jewish tradition, is linked with blessings. It is not known where the acrostic for Shevat was first expressed, but Shevat in Hebraic can stand for Shenishma Besurot Tovot, meaning that “We should be blessed to share good tidings.” How appropriate, as we will want to receive fresh, restoring rains of the Holy Spirit for the fullness of blessings in this month of Shevat.

What is the holiday celebrated in Shevat?

Clue – Tu Bish’vat, The New Year of the Trees.

Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. Revelation 22:14

Shevat is the month of Trees. The 15th of Shevat, is a holiday celebration called Tu Bish’vat, which is traditionally the New Year of the Trees. Some find it odd that this holiday is celebrated during the cold winter, however, during the winter months, followed by the heavy thrashing winter rains, the trees begin to drink deeply from the water of life during this time. Through their root system, sap begins to rise upward within the trees and new life begins to flow in the process of renewal and fruitfulness in the beginning of a new growing season. The holiday is celebrated by eating fruit, particularly from the “Seven Kinds” with which Israel is blessed – wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.

What a beautiful picture this provides for us during the winter months of our lives. If we are truly trees planted by the River of Life, in Yeshua, Jesus – our Messiah; and we are receiving His water of life during our winter days, our renewal will begin, and we will see vibrant life bursting forth in a new season of Springtime.

“Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.” Psalms 1:1-3

What is our spiritual warfare assignment this month?

Clue – Shevat is the month to discern our generations.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7

Why would we be directed to focus on tress in this winter month of seeming lifeless barrenness? What is planted in our fields? Scripturally, we are looked upon as trees and branches who will ultimately bear good fruit or if bad fruit is found, to be thrown into the fire. What type of trees are in your generational line? Prayerfully evaluate the trees, fruitfulness or barrenness, good fruit or bad fruit in your generational fields. We need to be asking ourselves, are the trees in our field ready to bear good fruit?

We need to be mindful that there are generational blessings and generational curses. We have authority to break every chain or curse off of our generational bloodlines with intercession for salvation that is already paid for on their behalf, by the blood of Jesus. (Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 18:18) This Quest of the Overcomers is all about what is pictured this month, breaking every cyclical challenge that our generations have sown and reaped in the past; so that we can move forward to be rooted and grounded to become fruitful in all that Adonai has purposed for us. While we are awaiting on the return of Messiah Jesus, there is still time to break off the past and to speak forth blessings into our generations moving forward.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

“Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Matthew 7:17-20

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV

How can we make sure our future generations grow in wisdom with understanding knowledge in the fear of the LORD?

Clue –Words of Blessings!

Jewish families celebrate the sabbath, “Shabbat” together with a meal every Friday evening. The father of the house speaks blessings upon his wife, children and each family member in the home. What a difference it could make in all our families if each week the children heard the their father speak words of blessing and honor over their mother! Can we imagine the difference it could make for each child to hear their father speak a blessings over them? What would this world be like if every Friday night, every father in this world verbally spoke God’s blessing over every member of his family? Pause and think about that for a moment. Be encouraged to speak forth blessings into our children, children’s children and our generations going forward.

“The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” ’ “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:24-27

 What is the significance of the Constellation of Aquarius, the water carrier, aligned with Shevat?

Clue – Pitchers of the the Water of Life.

Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13-14

Of course we have already made mention of the importance of water, winter rains and preparations for a new season of growth. And, in the scripture above, we will all remember when Jesus had the encounter with the woman at the well and His declaration that He is the water of Life to quench all our thirst, that never ends. But, we may need to stop a moment to ask ourselves, “How am I being watered?” If you are not being watered and refreshed, you may need to position yourself to be watered in a new way. Who is carrying the pitcher of water you need for this season in your life? What changes do you need to make, new direction you need to go, in order to receive what is needed in your next season on our Overcoming Journey? It is also equally important to ask ourselves, “Who am I to share waters of life with on this Quest of the  Overcomers?” Look for those bringing pitchers of water to you! Shout, “My provision and blessings are on the way!”

“And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.” Revelation 21:6

“And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17

Adonai, May we continue to clearly hear Your voice and clearly see the path ahead to always follow You. We welcome the winter, renewing and refreshing rains of The Holy Spirit. We resubmit and rededicate ourselves to You; trusting You to show us Your wisdom and give us Your understanding that we may continue to persevere and overcome. Please direct and position us amongst a happy tribe that is willing to water, encourage and bless each other on this Quest of the Overcomers. We want to be the mature trees which provide shelter to others during their storms and to be pitchers of water to those who are thirsty. Yeshua, we thank You that You are the Water of Life that will never end! In Jesus Name. Amen!

“Happy is the that people, whose God is the LORD!” Psalm 144:15

 

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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