May Day

“1 Kings 6:1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.”

Have you ever considered those two words in their modern and social context? May Day is normally associated with May 1st or close by. The Ancient Europeans associated it with Spring festivities, some of which were not so moral by our standards. That’s where the May Pole idea came form.

May is also associated with promoting the western worker especially the factory or union worker. That recognition was actually as attempt to respond to the growing influences of socialism and communism by President Franklin Roosevelt.

May in the United States is associated with other important events. Some of those are Mother’s Day (the 2nd Sunday of the month), graduation, end of the school year, and of course Memorial Day.

In the Bible the month of May was called Zif. It is a particularly monumental month with the children of Israel. It is called the Second month because Israel observed two calendars. One that was the normal recognized calendar that nations kept. The other was their religious feast calendar which started with the month of Abib (April). That was the month of the Passover and Israel’s exodus. That is also when they officially began as a nation—People: their new birth.

For Jews, Zif was a glorious and sad memory during captivity. For Israel, it was 480 years since their inception and second birth. They finally reached maturity and their zenith as a nation. Finally Jehovah would have a home, (Note the building of Solomon’s Temple) to meet his children and walk within their midst again. Yet for all this splendor, this generation would experience civil war and splintering of the Kingdom.

How could that be possible in one generation? Unfortunately, it is not uncommon as the book of Judges, Kings, and Romans 1 reveals. The leadership (and hence people), forgot the source of their glory and power. They took for granted their new birth and stopped living by faith.

Oddly enough, every building program also began in May here at Tomah Baptist. May we never forget or neglect our second birth or it’s source, Jesus Christ. ‘Til Jesus comes, let us always be a remarkable people of Faith.