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Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Write these words down, because they are the terms of the covenant I have made with you and with Isra’el.’ Moshe was there with Adonai forty days and forty nights, during which time he neither ate food nor drank water. [Adonai] wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Words. When Moshe came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, he didn’t realize that the skin of his face was sending out rays of light as a result of his talking with [Adonai]. ~ Exodus 34:27-29, CJB


Teshuvah is the 40-day season of turning back to God (the season of true repentance). For the nation of Israel, Teshuvah pertains to the days Jewish people spend spiritually preparing for their High Holy Days of the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). In other words, during the season of Teshuvah, the entire nation of Israel is repenting and confessing sins. Therefore, the Jewish 6th month of Elul represents the time of national sin and the forgiveness the Jewish nation, as a whole, obtains by means of Teshuvah.

Teshuvah’s 40 days actually include the 30th of Av, the entire month of Elul, plus the 10 High Holy Days of Tishri that end on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). This 2012 season of Teshuvah is as follows:  

Elul 1 – The official beginning of the Season of Teshuvah
– Sunset August 19th, 2012

Tishri 1 – The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah)
– Sunset September 17th, 2012

Tishri 10 – The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur; Teshuvah Day 40)
– Sunset September 26th, 2012  

Now, according to ancient Jewish tradition, the month of Elul also represents the time following the Israelites’ idolatrous incident with the Golden Calf. Thus, the 40 days of Teshuvah are the days Moses spent on Mount Sinai, preparing the second set of tablets on which were God’s Ten Commandments. Apparently, Moses ascended Mount Sinai on Elul 1 and descended Mount Sinai 40 days later, on the 10th of Tishri, which was the end of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), when Jewish people’s repentance would be complete.

Why is Teshuvah important to 21st century believers who are born again, saved, and indwelt and infilled with the Holy Spirit? Here’s why.  

While Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets) is referred to as Yom Teruah (the Day of the Awakening Blast), and while the theme associated with Rosh Hashanah is “to awake,” the great reawakening (warning) that will precede the Lord’s return for His Bride happens daily during the entire 6th month of Elul—the official beginning of the special season of Teshuvah. Once again, Teshuvah is the 40-day period consisting of the 30-day process of personal examination and repentance that prepares God’s people for the 10 days of Tishri (the Days of Awe) that begin on Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets) and end on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). However, as the 5 unprepared, negligent, and unaware (foolish) Virgins demonstrate (see Matthew 25:1-13), the sad truth is that even with all of the prophetic warnings and with all of the recurring seasons of Teshuvah there still will be too many believers who will not have any Oil in their lamps (will not be FULL of the Holy Spirit) and, therefore, they neither will be watchful, nor prepared, nor aware of the imminent Rapture.  

For the above reasons, this Teshuvah 2012, let us be aware, watchful, and prepared to go up and meet our Lord in the air. In other words, let us be ever-ready to respond faithfully and obediently to our Lord’s Voice (His midnight cry), the archangel’s call, and the last blast from God’s Shofar (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:16). Amen.