Avi and I both wore our garments of affliction for Yom Kippurim this year and it was quite an experience. If someone would have told me 2 years ago, that I would wear a sackcloth tunic for a whole 24 hours for Yom Kippurim, I would have told them they were crazy!
For this Biblical Feast Day, I made long tunics out of burlap which is made from Jute – you know that itchy and rough fiber that they make into rope, twin, feed sacks, and outdoor rugs. That name burlap is interesting; bur/lap it is the ‘bur’ part of the word that stands out to me. Wearing the sackcloth next to our bare skin felt like we were covered in hundreds of cockleburs. No kidding. We both felt like our skin was being rubbed raw and all of the nerves in the surface of our skin were highly irritated and screaming for comfort.
These unpleasant experiences DROVE us to prayer. We prayed the better part of 24 hours with only a few short naps during the night hours. We basically were awake all night, praying and repenting for anything that the Ruach ha Kodesh brought to our minds. We came before YHWH on behalf of others and our forefathers, interceding and standing in the gap for them and for Yisrael. We prayed for Yahweh’s set apart land to be restored and for His kingdom to come and for Him to regather all of the Remnant from wherever they have been dispersed to, so that ALL of Yisrael could be brought together again.
The enemy seemed to be continually urging us to ‘take the garments off’ and ‘surely you have been afflicted enough.’ We resisted and fought the good fight of faith during this time of testing. We clung to the fact that Yahshua was able to withstand and overcome the enemy’s irritating challenges while He was in the wilderness. Surely Ezekiel must have battled like this as he was laying on each side for all those many many months.
It was interesting that we seemed to be battling in 3 areas at the same time: our flesh’s desire to remove the sackcloth and get soothing relief, the enemy’s challenges and urgings to remove the garment of affliction, and warring in the spiritual realm for people and situations that we don’t even understand at this time.
Avi and I both came to realize that when we thought we couldn’t take it anymore, with YHWH’s strength we could endure longer than we ever thought possible. We know this concept has many other applications for our life. We were grateful that the time of Afflicting Ourselves came to an end. We were EXTREMLY GRATEFUL that we had soft, smooth, (not stiff and rough, itchy and irritating) clothing that we could put on when the BURlap came off.
We both agreed that wearing sackcloth in this manner was WAY MORE afflicting than fasting has ever been for us. Avi felt lead to fast for 4 days with only the occasional beverage. I fasted for 36 hours with 2 very light snacks with water during that time. Actually, we began fasting Friday morning. Avi’s fast was intentional but mine was an accident I was busy working in the early morning and didn’t eat before I had to go to the hospital for a diagnostic procedure for my heart. It was 1:30 PM until that was over and I grabbed a quicky lunch and then we were busy at home again and I forgot to eat dinner before the Shabbat started. As you can imagine this made doing the actual FAST much more difficult for me.
Lesson learned: PREPARE!! I wasn’t properly prepared to begin the Fast for Yom Kippurim and it was a reminder to me that I must be prepared for Yahshua’s return. I thought about the 10 virgins all who were waiting for the Bridegrooms return but 5 didn’t properly prepare and they feel asleep. Next year Abba willing, I will set the day before the FAST aside to prepare and eat meals and to be ready for this Most Set Apart and Holy Feast Day of the Lord.
I also found it difficult this year to Shabbat right before Sukkot. With us going camping away for Tabernacles (Sukkot) this year – I had a To Do List longer than ever (radio shows to complete, chickens to set up so we could be gone, teachings to prepare, way more packing than ever before, etc.) and I found it a constant battle to not think about the things that needed to be completed so that we could go to observe and celebrate Sukkot.
I was thinking about the ancient days when people would be journeying to Jerusalem by foot and beast of burden to celebrate Sukkot. They would have left home weeks maybe a month before hand – that means that they would have been ‘on the road’ when Yom Kippur was observed. I wonder how many of them battled the urge to keep moving, keep traveling so that they could get to the City on time and before the commencement of the Shabbat?
The sackcloth experience, though scratchy, uncomfortable, itchy, generally unpleasant and downright painful ~ was AWESOME!!!! We will do this again and we may do it more than once a year. We truly felt that Abba was pleased with us for choosing to walk down this Ancient Path. We could FEEL His love and blessing and comfort and help through it all.
Do we recommend that others wear a sackcloth tunic as a way to afflict yourself? Absolutely!! His grace is sufficient for all of us and when we are weak; He is strong and will enable us to do more than we could on our own.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
This was a blessing and so was the time of prayer and fasting and waiting on Him. Now we ready ourselves to participate in Very Much Rejoicing before Him as He Tabernacles with Us.
To learn more about how we made the sackcloth tunics, which is Part 1 of this story, read here.
Blessings to all,