Torah Reflections “Shavuot”
Torah portions Exodus 19:1 to 20:23 and Numbers 28 :26 - 31
Haftarah portion Ezekiel 1 : 1-28 and 3 : 12
The Torah of YHWH given to Moses
Leviticus 23 and Deuteronomy 16 have the commandments about annual observances of the “mo’edim”. (The Hebrew word for “appointed times”, which in turn is usually translated into English as “feasts”). These are times when God specified He would meet with His chosen ones.
Today, they are most often referred to as “Jewish Feasts”. That correctly describes the fact that they are observances remembered by Jews. But it is an incorrect understanding of the Scriptures.
When God gave these instructions to Moses, He carefully worded these ‘appointed times’ (mo’edim) as MY ‘mo’edim’. They may be characterized as times when God says, in effect, “I will be there to meet with you on these specific occasions”. Those who choose not to attend miss an opportunity of blessing through meeting with Him at His invitation.
This ‘appointed time’ is fixed in relation to Pesach. Seven Sabbaths plus one day later. ( In the Christian reckoning, it is called “Whitsun” and is seven weeks after Palm Sunday, but it bears no relationship at all to the ‘mo’ed’ of the Lord specified in Leviticus 23.) Some pretty exciting things happened at Shavuot, and the festival (also known as the Feast of Weeks) figures most significantly in the prophetic calendar as it relates to Yeshua.
Firstly, by Jewish calculation, and there is good evidence for it, this was the time when Moses was on the mountain communing with the Lord and receiving the instructions for righteous living, which we know as Torah. (see Exodus 19:1) That, in my view is cause enough to celebrate. The very Word of God, which is ‘sharper than any two-edged sword’, came to us at this time of the year. An immeasurable blessing. My Bible tells me that Moses spoke “all that the Lord had told him” and wrote it in a book.(Exodus 24: 3 and 7). More importantly, that was the exact time that the first covenant was sealed, when the people voluntarily agreed as they said “all that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient”.
Secondly, according to Acts 1, Yeshua returned to His Father 40 days after his resurrection from the grave. But He told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem. Just 10 days later was the festival of Shavuot. Jerusalem was overflowing with people, there for the festival from all over the known world (as it is today for the three pilgrimage festivals). Then came a sound ‘like a mighty rushing wind’. The Comforter, the Holy Spirit of God, the One who points to Messiah, was sent to minister His blessing to those who would receive it.
The disciples, already emboldened at meeting the resurrected Lord Yeshua, were imbued with power from on high. No longer the ‘shrinking violets’ who were shattered by the death of Yeshua on that cruel Roman cross. They spoke boldly to the throngs of people in the Temple courtyard, and miracle of miracles, the foreigners present all heard these fishermen from Galilee speaking in their own several languages. It is almost impossible to imagine. But by the power of the Holy Spirit of God, over three thousand were added to the company of believers that very day. Now that surely is another reason to celebrate.
But there’s more!! Both events related above did not stop.
Today, we have the precious Holy Scriptures, written in so many of the world’s languages. The faithful Jews who were entrusted with those Scriptures have carefully preserved them for our blessing and instruction down through the ages. In the early days, meticulously copying by hand every ‘jot and tittle’. Every yod and vav.
The Holy Spirit of God is alive and well in the earth today. His role on earth is to point us to Messiah Yeshua, by any and all means possible. He brings strength to the ‘weary’, comfort to the ‘afflicted’, guidance to those who seek, and blessing to all who ask.
So if any still wonder why we should celebrate Shavuot, I trust that this ‘reflection’ will provide some answers. But there is a much greater and compelling reason. God commanded it. His promise, is included in the introductory remarks of this ‘reflection’. He will be there to meet all who come. It is a special time. It has never been revoked.
You will be blessed as you meet together and thank Him for His unspeakable gift.