Rabbi’s Reflections – Sunday, April 12, 2020
Shavuah Tov and Chol-HaMo’ed Same’ach (Happy Half-Holiday) *|FNAME|*,
Counting the Omer – Day 1
We count the Omer to prepare our hearts. But for what are we preparing? Let me explain…
God gives us a command… Leviticus 23:10 “Speak to Bnei-Yisrael and tell them: When you have come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you are to bring the Omer of the first-fruits of your harvest to the kohen. 11 He is to wave the Omer before Adonai, to be accepted for you. On the morrow after the Shabbat, the kohen is to wave it…. 15 “Then you are to count from the morrow after the Shabbat, from the day that you brought the Omer of the wave offering, seven complete Shabbatot. 16 Until the morrow after the seventh Shabbat you are to count fifty days, and then present a new grain offering to Adonai.
Sounds obscure and out of date. But God is preparing us for Shavuot (Pentecost). That holiday is not well understood. First, it is the only major holiday that is only one day long. The other two, Pesach and Sukkot, are each a week long. Secondly, Shavuot falls in early summer when our minds are on the season of graduation, end of the school year, vacation planning and every other thing other than God’s calendar.
Lastly, the Jewish Bible doesn’t give us a major tie in to the Holiday. Both Pesach and Sukkot are connected to leaving Egypt and entering Canaan. Shavuot is tied to the giving of the Torah, but that is not specifically biblical, but is solidly rabbinical tradition. The other reality of Shavuot is in the New Testament. The Holy Spirit fell with power on the 3,000 on Shavuot, the 50th day following Yeshua’s resurrection.
After His resurrection, Yeshua taught the disciples for 40 days, then ascended on high to be seated at the right hand of the Father. He told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for another comforter. They did wait for 10 days, then they encountered 3,000 who were leaving the Temple after both groups had all night prayer vigils.
We must spend the next 50 days preparing our hearts for an encounter with the Holy Spirit. How do we do this? By counting our blessings. Every year we follow a different pattern of counting our blessings. This year for 7 weeks we are going to count by spending a week each studying a longing of the human heart. We will start with the top 7, there may be more.
This study is partially based on a textbook by Mike Bickle, and partially based on a study prepared from Scripture by my wife, Jan Weiner. 18 months ago, Jan taught on our common destiny to be made into the image of Yeshua. But like every RR, what was originally their steak has been run through my meat grinder, so now it’s my hamburger.
To understand and appreciate the power, elegance of His design, and the sheer beauty of God’s creation, we have to examine the origins of the longings of the human heart. Let’s begin….
Jeremiah describes God’s love for us in terms of grace (Hebrew “Chesed”). Jeremiah 31:2(3) “From afar Adonai appeared to me.” “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love. Therefore I have drawn (Hebrew – “betrothed”) you with lovingkindness (Hebrew – “grace”).”
We’re going to spend the next 50 days examining what it means to be betrothed to God by grace. However; we’re going to stop here today. As Scarlet said in “Gone With The Wind,” “Tomorrow is another day.”