We have just begun a brand new year on the Western calendar. The year is what we call “The year of our Lord 2019”. In September, the Hebrew calendar (the calendar many call “God’s calendar) rolled into the new year. The year on the Hebrew calendar? 5779.
Now, it is interesting that both the Western calendar year and the Hebrew calendar year both end in the number 9. Numbers are significant in the Bible. That is a lesson in itself. It would take a long time to detail that truth, but you can’t read the Bible without coming to that conclusion. So, is there anything significant about the fact that 2019 and 5779 both end in the number 9? Most likely, so to discover the meaning, let’s first discover the meaning of the biblical number 9.
The number 9 has a long association with a concept in biblical history as well as Israeli history. Jesus died at the ninth hour. The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) the holiest day on the Hebrew calendar begins on the 9th day of the seventh month. 9 people were stoned in the Bible. 9 people contracted leprosy in the Old Testament. The last Israeli king reigned nine years before Israel was carried away by the Assyrians. The 9th day of the Hebrew month Av is historically a day of judgment for the Hebrews:
· The Hebrew spies brought back a bad report on the 9th of Av.
· Both Hebrew temples were destroyed on the 9th of Av.
· The Jews were expelled from England on the 9th of Av.
· The Jews were expelled from Spain on the 9th of Av.
· World War I which began a period of Jewish persecution that carried through the Second World War began on the 9th of Av.
One biblical/Jewish theme related to the number 9 is judgment. But, the number 9 has another biblical theme as well. There are 9 fruits of the Spirit. There are 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit. It was at the 9th hour that Cornelius received his vision which began the salvation of the Gentiles.
Another biblical theme related to the number 9 is fruitfulness. So, we have a seemingly dichotomous meaning fruitfulness or judgment. Could it be that God is saying that this is the year that He is coming into the church into the lives of His children looking for fruit? Could it be that this is a year in which faithfulness will produce fruit while unfaithfulness will produce judgment? God has called us to produce fruit. Notice in John 15 that we are appointed to produce fruit. Notice that fruit producers have divine access to heaven’s treasures. Also notice that there are nine fruits of the Spirit and nine gifts of the Spirit. Nine fruits produce internal change. Nine gifts produce external change. God is calling us to be much more than kind, thoughtful, good people. He is calling us to be fruit bearers: fruit that changes us and the world around us. If both are not happening, the Spirit is being quenched.
The goal is more fruitfulness. This is the calling of this year. God is calling us to bear fruit. A tree is known by its fruit and a believer is known by theirs. An inspection will take place to see if this process is taking place and if it is not, a change will occur. This may be a year of divine assistance and blessing for those who pass inspection! This is a year of open doors for believers! We are fasting for fruitfulness instead of judgment!!
· John 15:16
· John 15:2
· Matthew 7:16
· Luke 13:7
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