Kehilat HaCarmel, June 4, 2020
You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain. Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the Lord your God blesses you”
Shavuot comes seven weeks after Passover and is spoken about in scripture as the “Feast of Weeks,” the ”Feast of First Fruits” and the "Harvest Festival” (Ex. 23:16; Ex. 34:22; Lev. 23: 9-22; Num. 28:26). It is one of the three major festivals when Jews from every nation were commanded to “go up” to Jerusalem. Today, Israelis observe the day with much joy and on the kibbutzim, “first fruits” offerings from their labor are presented. In Jewish tradition, it is believed that the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai on Shavuot and, for this reason, it is studied all through the night in synagogues and at the Western Wall.
In the church world, Shavuot is observed as Pentecost, marking fifty days after Yeshua’s resurrection, when the disciples gathered in the “Upper Room” in Jerusalem in the hope of receiving the “Promise of the Father” to equip them with power from the Holy Spirit (Luke 29:49, Acts 1:8). As they waited expectantly, the Spirit of God fell upon them in a mighty manifestation of His presence. Jews from every nation who were gathered in Jerusalem for Shavuot heard the tremendous outpouring of praise for the Lord each in their own language.
What a demonstration of God’s perfect timing!! He chose to send His Spirit to empower these new disciples to go out into the “harvest” and bring in the “first fruits” of the faith exactly on Shavuot. As we enter this holiday, please pray with us for another great outpouring of God’s Spirit, leading to the fulfillment of Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 11:26 when all Israel will recognize their Messiah Yeshua and a great shout of praise will go out from Mt. Zion to the ends of the earth!
It is customary to read the Book of Ruth on Shavuot and recall how the young Moabite woman joined herself to the house of Israel through Boaz, her Kinsman Redeemer. We are so thankful for your support during this difficult season [Corona Virus season] and want to extend to you the blessing that Boaz spoke over Ruth:
”May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge” (Ruth 2:12).