And so we are "counting the omer" again, counting off the 50 days from Passover to Shavu'ot (Pentecost), as we are commanded in Leviticus 23:15-16. I have written before about the profound meaning of this ancient commandment, which God gave the Israelites, but it bears repeating. Biblically, Passover occurs at the BARLEY harvest and Shavu'ot occurs at the WHEAT harvest. Barley was thought of in ancient times as animal fodder - and so it can represent the "animal nature" or the flesh. Wheat, however, represents fine flour, the ingredient in a fragrant, lovingly-baked loaf of bread, to be waved before the LORD as an offering. These fifty days should be a journey of moving from the flesh-nature to the Spirit; from seeking our own way, to walking in the righteous ways of Yeshua, who lived out and demonstrated the perfect walk of Torah. In these fifty days we are to be asking the Holy Spirit to show us the dross that must be burned off; we must submit to the work of the Refiner's Fire, so that we can be molded into the image of our Master. They are to be days of deep self-examination and prayer. As we study in the Word and grow in our understanding of Yeshua's teaching on righteous living, we are changed. Our hearts grow softer. We stop getting offended all the time, as we become slow to anger and quick to forgive.
Then we reach the 50th day, which is always the glorious day of Shavu'ot (the Feast of Weeks) or Pentecost. It was on this Feast day that the Holy Spirit was poured out on many who had gathered in Jerusalem from foreign nations. Acts Chapter 2 describes this awesome display of God's power in the mighty wind, the "tongues of fire," and the incredible outpouring of spiritual gifts as people began speaking in other languages. I have been pondering how wonderful, and how like our God it is, to pour out the gifts of His Spirit after the people have kept fifty days of counting the omer, seeking His ways and His righteous commandments.
Psalm 63:1: Oh God, you are my God; early will I seek You. My soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctury, to see Your power and Your glory.
Acts 2:5 says, "And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused because everyone heard them speak in his own language."
These devout men from all the nations far and wide had gathered in Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Shavu'ot. They were surely seeking the Holy One of Israel, and endeavoring to keep HIS feast days and His commands - and He met them there in power and in glory! Hearing the Gospel preached to them in power by Peter, they repented and were baptized by fire and water and received salvation in Yeshua, the Messiah. It had been fifty days since Passover and they had been counting the omer, making the journey from barley to wheat, from the flesh nature to the Spirit-nature - and the Lord meets them there, even as He says: "I love those who love Me and those who seek Me diligently will find Me." (Prov. 8:17)
Seek the Lord diligently, my friends while we are still in these days. Ask Him to reveal to you what must be changed in your heart. He will meet you there.
Kelly Ferrari Mills