Today is the first day of Adar II. People often ask, “Why is there a second month of Adar?” The reason is quite simple even if the calculations are a bit involved. It boils down to this: this happens to be a leap year on the Hebrew calendar. As opposed to simply adding a day, as is done on the Gregorian calendar, the Hebrew calendar adds a month. Seven times in a 19 year cycle, there will be two months of Adar – Adar I and Adar II.
The Hebrew calendar is a lunar-solar calendar consisting of 354 days, as opposed to 365 days on the Gregorian calendar, which is strictly a solar calendar. If this additional month was not added occasionally, Passover would end up being observed in a different season altogether – over time, in the midst of winter. Celebrating Passover with snow falling outside doesn’t fit the pattern established in the Scripture because the Torah tells us that Passover is to be observed in the Springtime. Therefore, the second month of Adar is added those seven times over a 19-year cycle to make sure that every feast day occurs in its appropriate season.
Why is it important for us to understand this and how does it relate to non-calendar issues? At the very least this suggests that, on occasions, we have to adjust our schedule and our expectations to conform to the Creator’s schedule and what He has ordained. There’s nothing wrong with men trying to calculate or plan for the future, but sometimes it doesn’t work out the way we think it should, so we have to adjust. Failing to do so can have disastrous results. We see an example of this when the Israelites, gathered at the foot of Mt. Sinai, grew impatient when Moses delayed his return from the mountain’s summit.
Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!” (Exodus 32:1-4)
All of us are familiar with this story. We know the consequences of what happened and how things turned out for many. For thousands it was death and for the rest of the nation, there was the prospect that God would remove His presence from the people. But let’s focus on something else in what we just read:
The people knew that Moses had gone to the top of the mountain to confer with God and knew that he had promised to return. But when it didn’t happen according to their calculations, they ended up worshipping the image of a beast. Furthermore, considering that the people were still celebrating around the Golden Calf when Moses returned, it would seem that their calculations were off by just a day or two. That brings us back to our point: If things don’t happen according to our calculations and we’re committed to walk with God, then we have to adjust.
Applying this thought to our day and time, there are many who are confident of Messiah’s return because He promised that He would. Among those there are many who try to calculate when that will be. In times past, we have seen that all who have done this have failed. They have been wrong in their calculations and, sometimes, there have been detrimental consequences. It seems fair to say that it is uncommon for things to turn out the way we think it should and when we think it should. What if the Bridegroom, like Moses, delays His coming? God’s schedule doesn’t have conform to our schedule; it’s our responsibility to adjust to His and remain faithful until the end. Peter addressed this when he wrote:
Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. (2 Peter 3:3-4)
Who are the scoffers that Peter is referring to? Is it the world or is it possible there will be scoffers even among believers? I’ll leave that to you to decide, but let us acknowledge the fact that Peter’s admonition here is that we are to remain sober and alert. Remember that when it comes to calculating time, our way isn’t necessarily His way. This truth also applies to those things we feel God has promised us. When it doesn’t happen when we think it should or how we think it should, we must not lose hope. Faith in God is not based exclusively on what we understand to be logical. Faith in Him and His Word requires that we be willing to accept that our logic is flawed and that we must be willing to endure through the uncertain times. The promise will be fulfilled when we are faithful.
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