By Toni Ford
This week, we are nearing the end of Tammuz, the fourth month of the Hebrew calendar, which is often referred to as the month to “Review your filmstrip and escape the snare of the Golden Calf!”
When we look back at previous months and their meanings, we are able to understand more clearly why the month of Tammuz is described in this manner. The first month in the Hebrew calendar is Nisan, which represents “deliverance.” This was the time in which the Israelites were delivered from slavery in Egypt. Iyar, the second month in the Hebrew calendar, represents “transition.” This was a time of testing for the Israelites as they traveled from Egypt to Sinai. The third month, Sivan, is linked to Pentecost, which is the giving of the Torah to the children of Israel, a pouring out of the Holy Spirit that represented moving forward.
All this brings us to the month of Tammuz, a time when God wants to draw us close to Him and put His glory on us just as he did with Moses. Exodus 34:29 says, “When Moses came down Mount Sinai carrying the two stones tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, he was not aware that his face had become radiant because he had spoken to the Lord.”
The Jews primarily refer to the month of Tammuz as a “filmstrip” month, a time to look at your life like a filmstrip. For definition, a filmstrip is made up of individual slides linked together to tell a movie. During the month of Tammuz, the Jews reflect back at individual events in their life and in the generations before them and see how they link together. Every week on the Sabbath, the Jews take time and read from the Torah, reflecting on the events that took place in the lives of the Israelites from the very beginning of time. During the month of Tammuz, as they look back and reflect on God’s faithfulness towards their ancestors, this leads the Jews to reflect upon their own lives and evaluate as to how the Lord is working out His plan for each one of them as individuals.
As a believer walking with God, I too should be able to reflect on my own life’s events and see God’s faithfulness in my life. If His blessings are not increasing, I then should ask God what is hindering His blessings in my life and what adjustments I need to make in my life in order to align with His blessings for me. Tammuz is a great time to draw close to the Lord and take time to reflect and evaluate how and where God is working in my own life.
The month of Tammuz was also when the children of Israel went to Aaron and asked him to “make some gods who leads us” (Exodus 32:1-4). Moses was still at the top of Mount Sinai receiving the Torah from God while the children of Israel were left alone at the bottom of the mountain in the wilderness. They became restless and began to focus on the circumstances in front of them, which eventually led to fear. The Israelites wanted reassurance and comfort, something tangible to look to for protection. So they took their eyes off of God and began to make their own idol, the Golden Calf. Their fear led them to idolatry, which eventually lead them to become like the idol they had created. Thus, the reason this month is critical when it comes to remaining in worship, staying devoted to the Lord and keeping our focus on Him and His promises.
Lord today we thank you for your calendar and that with each month you created, there is purpose, intentionality and a deeper meaning. Thank you for Your Word, and that you have never and will never go back on Your Word. Please guard our eyes and our hearts, keeping us focused on You and not on the circumstances around us. Lord, as we look back at our own lives, may we never forget to thank you for all the ways you have protected and blessed us along this journey. We love you, Lord!
If you would like me to join you in prayer please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to pray for you!