Our message for this month is an encouraging announcement of the beginning of something new in our lives, as we are enjoined to prepare for the herald of greater blessings and more precious benefits all through the month. The strength of number eight – in days and months – is what we will get to understand, as we key into God’s wondrous words and the love of Jesus that teaches us to understand the divine message and Holy Spirit ministration that empowers us to hold firm in faith.
We are further encouraged to trust that the word that gives us courage and prophetic declaration of joy for us that is springing forth is not only sufficient only for this month of August, but for the remaining part of this year. That is because we are made to understand that this is the month in which God in His infinite mercies is set to bless us all anew.
That is because the covenant He has for us is that all things bright and beautiful are forever assured in our lives, and the words of Philippians 4: 19 will forever stand. God says He will supply all your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus; and we are emboldened to lean on Him in all circumstances, as we seek that exceeding, abundant and overflowing Grace of God in every situation.
Zechariah 1: 1-3 also encourage us await the voice of God and declaration of a new wave of love and joy in our lives. The passage reads: “In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers. Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.” This means God is ready to keep us under the banner of His shadow once we stay on the righteous path.
By extension, we see the spiritual angle to the eighth month, as seen in symbolic assurance of protection garnered from the figure 8 as a number of refuge. In effect, we have promises of god’s continued protection and safety all through this month and beyond, which is entrenched in the words of 1 Peter 3:20 – “Because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.”
Aside the promise of a new thing and assurances of safety all round, there is also the undercurrent of an end to limitations and stagnation that is gained in the eighth month. This angle to number eight is highlighted by an article in Biblical Horizons (No. 60; April, 1994), which stated in part: “There are, moreover, two relevant events associated with the eighth month in the Old Testament. First, 1 Kings 6:38 informs us that the temple of Solomon was completed in the eighth month of the eleventh year of Solomon’s reign. Clearly, this date relates to the general “eight” theme in Scripture; the temple, an architectural new creation, was completed in the eighth month, after seven years of construction.
“This background, in turn, informs Zechariah’s prophecy. He prophesied to Jews who were at work rebuilding the temple, and began to do so in the month that the first temple was completed; the timing of his prophecy contained a promise of success. Moreover, when the first temple was completed, the Lord’s glory came into the Most Holy Place, and God took up His residence in the midst of His people.
“The second event that took place in the eighth month was Jeroboam’s mock feast of tabernacles. 1 Kings 12:32-33 records that “Jeroboam instituted a feast in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast that is in Judah, and he went up to the altar; thus he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made. And he stationed in Bethel the priests of the high places that he had made. Then he went up to the altar that he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, even in the month that he had made from his own heart; and he made a feast for the sons of Israel, and went up to the altar to burn incense.”
We also see other edifying references to the symbolic nature of number eight from other Biblical references and messages, which inform us that it marks the time for celebration of fulfilment, accomplishment and success. This was reflected by Mark Mickelson on Jul 26, 2013: “The Eighth Day, which is one of the most meaningful yet least understood Holy Days by mankind, points to the ultimate culmination of God’s plan: the resurrection and judgment of the vast majority of all the human beings who have ever lived. The Eighth Day, which is specified as being kept at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles in Leviticus 23:33, is the culmination of all the Holy Days; following the description of the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles.”
Let us not also forget that the covenant of God with Abraham also takes note of the significance of the eighth day, as we now have circumcision as the symbol to affirm that we are divinely blessed to be fruitful, multiply and have dominion over every other living thing (and every situation) on earth. (Genesis 17:10-11).
Another symbolic reference to number 8 encourages us to see August as the month of bigger celebrations, because Leviticus 23:36 says: “Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.” The word of God decrees peace for you from every storm on every side, as you enter into your time of rest. IJN.