“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -

Friday, May 26, 2006

Shavuot

Apologies for the length of time between posts, I had no idea how long it would take me to catch up...

Anyway, we have now entered into a period, (we are currently in this period as I type), called 'Counting the Omer'. This is the period of time between Yom HaBikkurim and Shavuot -- aka Pentecost. During this period the Jewish community would be numbering the days between the firstfruits of the barley harvest and the firstfruits of the wheat harvest.

Israel, being an agrarian community, would have been focused on the harvest periods, as this was a life and death situation. Famine was not defeated by a quick trip to Wal*Mart, but instead spelled national tragedy; therefore the harvest Feasts were significant as they were tangible events which illustrated God's provision for His people. In our day and age, we have little knowledge, or understanding of the import of these Feasts to the life of the nation of Israel.

Fifty days earlier, on Yom HaBikkurim, God had not only shown provision for His people in a physical way, but our Messiah was raised on that day -- illustrating the SPIRITUAL provision which God had made for His people. Yeshua, the bread of life, was raised on that day, the absolute and complete provision for all who hunger and thirst!

Now, fifty days later -- when all of Israel would have been gathered for the latter harvest celebration, we see something amazing happening. However, there is another aspect, besides the latter harvest, which was/is celebrated during this time, and it plays a large part in the significance of Shavuot: It was at Shavuot that God gave the Israelites the tablets of stone on Mount Sinai; writing His law on stone tablets and hearts, and separating His people from those around them by the giving of the Law.

In Ezekiel 11 we find this passage -- "And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God..."

And this is also alluded to in 2nd Corinthians 3 "And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts...

We see in these passages the very real fact that the Law, given at Shavuot, was written on hearts and tablets of stone, but God, in His grace, now writes His law on hearts of flesh. This became a reality when the Holy Spirit came to indwell His people ON THE SAME DAY that, thousands of years before, His law had been codified on stony hearts!

What an amazing God -- His promises throughout the Old Testament, found in Joel, quoted in Acts 2, in Ezekiel and other places, come true on this very special day! Coincidence? I think not! :-)

And finally, we will celebrate the culmination of Shavuot when our Lord and Savior returns -- 1st Corinthians 15:20-23 -- "But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ..."

Oh what a day that final Shavuot will be, as the latter harvest is raised to incorruptible bodies, to rest forever in the Messiah!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

God seems to delight in irony at times...which is absolutely facinating to me because He is so logical and practical


b

Ray said...

I believe it is because He is logical and practical that He 'delights' in irony...

BugBlaster said...

I love these Ray, keep it up.