Beautiful flower from Caesarea Philippi.
Below is a Shavuat article written by Baruch. We wish you a blessed holiday!
Normally, when thinking about Shavuot (Pentecost), the focus is on what took place at Mount Sinai; however, there is an emphasis in the Torah on counting in regard to this Festival Day. Each day, for 49 days, one is commanded to count, and the next day (day 50) is Shavuot. This is known as counting the Omer. During this counting, one is also commanded to count weeks until one arrives at 7 full weeks. What do these numbers (50 and 7) represent? The answer is clear, as the number 50 represents Jubilee, relating to freedom and liberty, while the number 7 relates to purpose (holiness). In other words, Shavuot conveys that one has been set free from bondage (liberated) in order to fulfil the purposes of G-d (demonstrate holiness).
When looking back at the Scriptural context for Shavuot, this counting corresponds to the Children of Israel traveling from Egypt to Mount Sinai. Therefore, it is equally important not only to focus on what took place at Mount Sinai, i.e. the giving of the Torah, but also the journey to arrive at Mount Sinai. As believers in Messiah Yeshua, we understand an additional message to Shavuot. This is because 50 days after the resurrection of Yeshua, believers received the Holy Spirit on Shavuot. These two events, receiving the Torah and the Holy Spirit, are of course not in conflict with each other but represent a fulfilment; as it is only those who are filled with the Holy Spirit who can properly apply Torah truth to their lives.
What I would like to emphasize in this brief article is the correlation between the Children of Israel traveling to Mount Sinai and what took place during the period between Yeshua’s resurrection and the the giving of the Holy Spirit. One is told in the book of Acts that Yeshua gave many convincing proofs of His resurrection by appearing for 40 days and teaching on the Kingdom of G-d prior to ascending to Heaven. Similarly, the Children of Israel defeated both the Egyptians at the Red Sea and Amalek in the wilderness prior to arriving at Mount Sinai. What can one derive from these events? The answer is faith in the resurrection is connected to victory.
The counting period is not just so a person will know which day is Shavuot, but it represents an important part of the process in preparing a person to be ready to receive from G-d what He has for him. The primary message of this article is that the journey is a necessary part of of our Spiritual growth. Most believers do not place enough attention on the journey. We frequently are so focused on the final results that we ignore the journey experience. This is most unfortunate, for it is during this journey experience that our knowledge of G-d increases. It is also during the journey that one can have the greatest intimacy with G-d.
One of the reasons that Yeshua taught about the Kingdom during this period was to remind His disciples about the absolute necessity of being prepared for the Kingdom of G-d. Most believers think by their acceptance of the Gospel that they are prepared for the Kingdom. Acceptance of the Gospel does in fact guarantee that one will be in the Kingdom, but this does not mean that one will be necessarily ready for the coming Kingdom. Yeshua commanded that His followers watch for the Kingdom. This means that as one recognises prophetic signs taking place, that this one will be able to understand the times in which he is living and respond to these events faithfully. It is this faithful behavior that will bring about spiritual growth and maturity in this individual and cause this one to be ready for the events that will bring about the establishment of the Kingdom. This is to what Yeshua was referring when He asked in Luke 18:8, “Will the Son of Man find faith on earth when He comes.”
The standard view in Judaism is that the counting of the omer actually has a spiritual impact on the individual. How you may ask? The answer is not to be qualified except to say that obedience to the Word of G-d always has a positive impact on the individual.
Shavuot is at hand, and maybe you have not been counting as the word of G-d commanded, but learn a valuable lesson from this commandment. This lesson is to pray diligently as you are in the midst of each spiritual journey. Often times the journey process can have a greater spiritual impact on you then arriving at the destination.
May you have a blessed Shavuot.