Shavu’ot – the giving and receiving of Torah
Did you know that Feast of Weeks (aka Shavu’ot) is mentioned 5 times in Old Testament; Pentecost (aka Feast of Weeks or Shavu’ot) is mentioned 3 times in the NT?
Shavuot (aka Pentecost or Feast of Weeks): “You shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks, that is, the first fruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of
Ingathering at the turn of the year.” (Exodus 34:22; NASB also Deut 16:10,16; 2 Chronicles 8:13; Num 28:26; Acts 2:1; etc.)
Fifty days after Passover, we celebrate another of the festivals on God’s calendar: Shavuot (aka Pentecost or Feast of Weeks). This is one of the three annual pilgrimage festivals (meaning it is to be celebrated in Jerusalem). Shavuot commemorates God’s giving the 10 Commandments on Mt. Sinai. Pentecost, memorializes God’s pouring out the Holy Spirit (Acts 2).
The emphasis of this holy day is not strictly on God’s “giving” the Law but also on the people’s “receiving” the Torah. We are not only to receive His Word but also to commit to obeying it. I really the La Costa, California, Chabad director Rabbi Yeruchem Eilfort’s comment: “We view the Torah as freshly received every day of our lives and approach it and its commandments with appropriate vigor.” Indeed, as Believers, we should not read the Torah as mere history but view it as a teacher of ongoing life-lessons. “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope,” Romans 15:4.
Do we approach Shavuot as just another “thing” to add to our already over-stuffed personal calendars or do we anticipate it with appropriate vigor and excitement for the opportunity to partake in His holy day? Yes, Shavuot (aka the Festival of Weeks or Pentecost) memorializes Moses’ receiving the Ten Commandments from the LORD and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. But is there more for us to learn?
The LORD said to Moses: “… if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples…”, Ex 19:5. It is interesting to note the people’s immediate response — even before knowing all God would require in His covenant: “All that the LORD has spoken we will do!” Exodus 19:8.
Many times we find ourselves resisting what the LORD is asking us to do. How often do we rationalize” I can’t do this or that because…” Instead, we ought to follow the example of the Hebrew children in Exodus 19:8, “All the LORD has spoken, we WILL DO!” Let us put aside our own agendas and follow His commands with vigor. Trust Him with our emotions, finances, health, etc.
Benefits of obeying and trusting? His promise of peace and joy. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit,” Romans 15:15. We can stand on this promise because “You have declared this day that the LORD is your God and that you will walk in his ways, that you will keep his decrees, commands and laws, and that you will obey him,” Deut 26:17.
Let us anticipate each of our LORD’s holy days. Let the uniqueness and message of each penetrate our hearts and lives! — Let us receive with excitement His Word daily — Let us learn to say LORD, we will do all You have spoken’, even before we know all that may entail:-) .
How great is our God!
CHALLENGE: Daily allow His Word to become fresh in our lives.
“Ancient of Days, LORD, with Your help we want to daily receive Your Word – change and mold us into Your image. Thank You for being our mentor, our guide, our teacher. We exalt You, our King! Thank You for having intervened in situations all around us! You arrange divine meetings and supernaturally answer prayer! We pray that You will heal our country! Stop the divisiveness and reveal for all to see the evil intent. Bless and protect Israel and the persecuted Church. Turn our country to You. Heal those who are struggling physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. Protect Your Land of Israel, bring Your divine peace to Jerusalem. In Yeshua’s mighty Name, we pray.”