The end of the Passover Season. We have gone through Passover & the exodus from slavery. We’ve gone through the Feast of Unleavened Bread where we cleaned our house of Leven (and sin) for 7 days. We’ve gone through the Feast of First Fruits. Yeshua’s First Fruit offering was resurrection of the dead. He resurrected on the Feast of First Fruits. The harvest is ripe and ready to pick. And we are just completing the counting of the Omer, the 50 day journey through the wilderness, from Sukkot to Mt. Sinai. Now on the 50th day it is Shavuot (Pentecost in Greek).
These were God’s instructions regarding Shavuot:
Leviticus 23:15-21 15 “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. 16 You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath.7 full wk+1Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord. 17 You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as first fruits to the Lord. 20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the first fruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21 And you shall make a proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations.
Shavuot is the day that God gave the 10 commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai. God tells Moses that if the people would obey His covenant, His Torah, they would be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. He wanted them to separate from the pagan cultures around them that did not honor their Creator, His justice or His loving kindness. God was going to make them a special treasure. It is said that the law was God’s wedding covenant with the people of Israel and that He married them at Sinai.
But much of Israel had gone to other gods of the neighboring countries, to wickedness and corruption, and forgotten how Elohim has saved her, loved her & protected her. Though we all are wayward at times, if you are in the covenant, through birth or faith, you are His betrothed and He will redeem us.
It is traditional to read the book of Ruth on Shavuot. If we, like Ruth, ask God to spread His covering over us. He will not rest until His bride becomes His.
Interestingly, in the book of Acts, the day the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples in the upper room of the Temple, was exactly to the day, Shavuot. The exact day God gave the 10 commandments 1500 years before.
Yeshua had redeemed us with His blood and then sent the Holy Spirit as a bridal gift to empower us on Shavuot, so that we can better follow God’s instructions.
Today, led by His Holy Spirit, let Him transform us into obedience, and Let Him guide us onto His path so that He can make us His beautiful bride. We need His power to follow His instructions; to follow Him. He doesn’t want us to conform to the image of this world, but to be transformed into His image. He wants us clothed with garments of righteousness. He calls us to come out of this present darkness and to live in His light.
There is a future time, in the last days, when those who have honored the call of the Lord and walked His path led by the Holy Spirit, will be made His bride. The Bridegroom, our Redeemer, does not renege on His covenant.
Hosea 2:16 “And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’…19 And I will betroth you to me forever.
Our husband, redeemer, will prepare us to be his pure spotless bride. Read the law, Torah, with the Holy Spirit.
Today Shavuot is celebrated with some traditions. Eat dairy. Decorate with greenery and flowers. Stay up all night reading scripture, the law, and especially the book of Ruth.
The day the disciples received the Holy Spirit was the same day they were celebrating the law of Moses. It was Shavuot, or in Greek, Pentecost. But why celebrate Torah? Why did God give His laws, His instructions to us? What does that have to do with the Holy Spirit?
God gave us His instructions as laws engraved in stone with His own finger, so we know what is right and wrong; what He wants us to do and not to do. Moses said doing the laws are within our grasp.
Deut. 30 says the Lord will rejoice over us: 10 “However, all this will happen only if you pay attention to what Adonai your God says, so that you obey his mitzvot and regulations which are written in this book of the Torah, if you turn to Adonai your God with all your heart and all your being. 11 For this mitzvah which I am giving you today is not too hard for you, it is not beyond your reach.
14 On the contrary, the word is very close to you — in your mouth, even in your heart; therefore, you can do it! 15 “Look! I am presenting you today with, on the one hand, life and good; and on the other, death and evil.
The goal is a loving society with God. But do we do the law 100% of the time? Did Abraham sin? Yes. Did Jacob sin? Yes. But did Noah, Caleb or Joseph sin? The bible doesn’t tell us, but we can guess they did in some way. In Torah God gave us His sacrificial system, so it appears God thinks we can’t obey Him as a matter of our will all the time. The sacrificial system was packed. Our choices are not always the better one and in the end there is always death, the consequence of sin.
Sin is not only an inclination within a person. It is a force pursuing the good in us to destroy it. It is pursuing God’s Shekinah in us, the radiance of His glory that dwells in us when we are bound to Him in love. That force of evil is trying to convince us that God has no power. It is trying to invalidate God in so many ways so we are left alone without him.
But God said if we harken to His voice, turn to him with all our heart and all our soul keeping the law would not be too hard. It is within our grasp. It is within our grasp when He helps us out by putting it in our inward parts, our heart and our soul. Jeramiah 31:31-33 says:
It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I took them by their hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, violated my covenant, even though I, for my part, was a husband to them,” says Adonai. 32 “For this is the (new) covenant I will make with the house of Isra’el after those days,” says Adonai: “I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people.
God adds strength to obey. Many have obeyed the law out of love and many had the Holy Spirit. But the Spirit of God that was there at creation and all throughout bible history was about to make another big display of power on the day celebrating the giving of the law, Shavuot, the year of Acts 2. As usual, tens of thousands of people were in Jerusalem that year shortly after Yeshua resurrected. There, in the temple at 9am a sound from heaven come from above as a mighty rushing wind. Tongues of fire were on the heads of the disciples of Yeshua. The disciples all began speaking in the tongues of the people in the crowd who were from many nations.
The Spirit gave them utterance. The crowd understood the message. God who said He will circumcise your heart so you can love the Lord with all your heart and soul at Sinai brought forth His Spirit to further accomplish this work. With a little bit of heaven in you you are living on a different plane. With a little bit of heaven in you the Holy Spirit will help you obey God’s instructions so you may live. Obedience is within our grasp when we harken to God through His Spirit. And when we fail and are brought to repentance we call on the authority of Yeshua for forgiveness. We return to God and we can change. God gave us His laws so we would live in love. He gave us His Holy Spirit to graft us into His heavenly power to make choices that give life. He wants to rejoice over us and He wants us to rejoice in Him and in this life. This is His new covenant; that He would write His laws on our inward parts and in our hearts. It would take a miracle. And so it did.
Hag Sameach Shavuot
Diane C. Peck