The third offering God commands Moses to remind the new generation about is the monthly offering. This one is in addition to any other of that day.
I couldn’t wait any longer. I had to figure out how many animals of each kind were used in the sacrifices required for the people. The sacrifices listed in chapter 28 and 29. I put together a rough chart showing the approximate numbers. Because of the variability of the Jewish calendar this is a rough estimate. Sorry for getting sidetracked with that but my mind kept going there. I’m only going to say one more thing about the numbers (for now at least). I would HATE to be a lamb in Israel!
The sacrifice Moses reminds the people about in our reading today happened on the first day of each month. This sacrifice was in addition to any that happened to fall on that same day. The daily sacrifice was observed but the Sabbath or one of the Holy days observances could also be taking place on the first day of the month. Passover, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Booths never fell on the first of the month as God fixed their times. The Feast of Trumpets happened on the first of the seventh month.
The Jewish calendar has either 12 or 13 months in its year. The extra month is added for leap years and that happens 7 out of every 19 years. They also can either add one day or subtract one day from a year, leap years included, to ensure that some of their Holy days don’t fall on a Sabbath. I wonder if God set it up that way or if it was adjusted to the needs of man.
Regardless of how this system started, God set reminders for the people. We already observed how He focused each portion of the day as well as ended and began each week with reminders for the people. Now He gives them a monthly reminder too. This one is a bit unique because of how the months are signaled. In the Jewish calendar the months follow the phases of the moon. In bible times the first day of the month is declared when the “birth” of the new moon. The people keep marching forward in their month until they are told the moon has completed its cycle. Once it is observed by two or more people who are monitoring the phases of the moon then the nation moves into the new month by decree of the priests.
The Jewish calendar today estimates the time it will take the moon to complete its phases and structures their months appropriately. Also since the Temple was destroyed there are no sacrifices taking place any longer. (Sheep are safer.) But it would not surprise me to learn that they still celebrate the new month with a remembrance observance.
God set the stage for each month to be a new opportunity to draw closer to Him. A new remembrance of His love. Another opportunity to reflect on His goodness and His promises for what is to come. Also another opportunity to ask for His forgiveness, grace and mercy.
Thank You Father for another reminder. I watch the months fly by on my calendar. I never thought of adding a special “look up” to my monthly routine. I do so many other recording chores at the change of the page. I think I’m going to add one more just for us. Please remind me of this promise when the days arrive. I don’t know what our time will look like but I want it to be something meaningful for me. Thank You for my daily, weekly and monthly reminders.