Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.” (Exodus 12:1-2)
In the midst of everything else that was going on at the time, God interjected into the process a reset as it were in how Israel was to determine the new year. Unlike what most of us are accustomed to in this present world — that is, celebrating the new year in the dead of winter — God told Israel that the new year should begin in the spring. In fact, the Hebrew word for spring is aviv which is also the name of the month God assigned to be the first month of the year for Israel.
When you really think on the matter, it really makes sense that the new year should begin when things that have been dormant or dead are being resuscitated and resurrected. The Hebrew word that is translated “month” is chodesh and it comes from a root word that signifies “renewal” as in something that ceased functioning begins to spring up and grow. So when you consider the events that were ongoing when Israel was given this command, their new year was to coincide with their new beginning. In other words, the calendar was reconciled with redemption so that their break from Egypt was complete in every way.
This issue speaks not only of what transpired in the days of Moses but of the spiritual renewal that has occurred for all who have turned to the God of Israel. Consider that the Hebrew term translated as “new covenant” is brit chadashah — literally “renewed covenant.” The word chadashah comes from the same word that is translated as month, chodesh. So when we are born again, there is a rebirth in every way. Our lives begin to change and be conformed to God’s standards and not our own — our life’s purpose is renewed.
It is quite reasonable and wise that the Creator of all things would connect our spiritual renewal to the physical renewal we witness every year when brown turns to green and death to life. In this way He continually reminds us of His character and nature and what happens in the lives of those who are His people. At the center of it all is the fact that none of it would be possible without Him. He is the One who can bring life out of what was dead. Let us always be mindful of this and grateful for it.
Blessings and Shalom,