Appointed Times

Shavu’ot / חג השבועות‎ – Ignite the “fire” within you

Shalom everyone,

We’ve counted the Omer and now it’s Shavu’ot!

Shavu’ot commemorates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai and the Ruach Ha Kodesh (The Holy Spirit). It’s also about fire: Our God, the Almighty Living God of Israel, is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24 Hebrews 12:19 ).

We read in the Torah, Exodus 18 to 19 that “Moshe brought the people out of the camp to meet God; they stood near the base of the mountain. Mount Sinai was enveloped in smoke, because ADONAI descended onto it in fire — its smoke went up like the smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain shook violently.  As the sound of the shofar grew louder and louder, Moshe spoke; and God answered him with a voice.”

Further in Deuteronomy 33:2 we read that “[t]his is the blessing that Moshe, the man of God, spoke over the people of Isra’el before his death:  “ADONAI came from Sinai; from Se’ir he dawned on his people, shone forth from Mount Pa’ran; and with him were myriads of holy ones; at his right hand was a fiery law for them.

From Exodus 20, the Ten commandments were given and the rest of God’s guidelines and instruction in the later verses. In Deuteronomy 16 we read about the appointed times (moedim (מועדים)) and in Deuteronomy 16:9 to 12 about counting of the Omer and observing the festival of Shavu’ot.

In the Nevi’im, we read how ADONAI revealed to Jeremiah in Chapter 31:31 to 33 that ” [h]ere, the days are coming,” says ADONAI, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Isra’el and with the house of Y’hudah.   It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I took them by their hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, violated my covenant, even though I, for my part, was a husband to them,” says ADONAI.  “For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Isra’el after those days,” says ADONAI: “I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people. “

In the Brit Chadasha, Yochanan explained in Matthew 4:11 that [i]t’s true that I am immersing you in water so that you might turn from sin to God; but the one coming after me is more powerful than I — I’m not worthy even to carry his sandals — and he will immerse you in the Ruach HaKodesh and in fire”.

In Acts 2, this prophesy was fulfilled when “The festival of Shavu’ot arrived, and the believers all gathered together in one place. Suddenly there came a sound from the sky like the roar of a violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire, which separated and came to rest on each one of them.  They were all filled with the Ruach HaKodesh and began to talk in different languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.”

If we reflect on the above-mentioned sections of Torah, the Nevi’im and the Brit Chadasha there is this continuing reference to fire. In the above-mentioned verses, we see ADONAI’S power, ADONAI’S persona: that is His love for His people and ADONAI’S plan for guidance for believers. ADONAI wants to us to know how to walk in His ways and to get closer to Him on a daily basis. This is achieved by reading the Word of God as well as having his guidance within us. We could say that this is imprinted within us (our minds and on our hearts). This will enable us to be a light for Him. We are His people and He is our God.

My conclusion is this: I hope from this Shavu’ot onwards that you will be on “fire” for ADONAI. Be more than a luke warm believer. It’s time to shine…