From God’s word – May His glory fall on each of us

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By Toni Ford

This past weekend we celebrated the Biblical feast of Shavuot, also known as the Day of Pentecost, the Festival of Harvest (First Fruits) and The Festival of Weeks.

As one can tell based on the multiple names, this feast has several important meanings. Shavuot commemorates seven weeks or precisely 50 days from Passover, which is why the Greek name is called Pentecost (“Fiftieth day” in Greek). Shavuot also has one significant variant that makes it different from all the other feasts. It is the only feast God did not name a specific day to celebrate. Instead, He told us we must count.

Leviticus 23:15-16 says, “From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord.”

Shavuot is the day during which we recall and celebrate the giving of the Torah on Sinai, the day of the revelation at Sinai. The Feast of Pentecost is also a celebration and blessing of the first fruits of the harvest, the wheat harvest. This celebration contains a message of charity and love which is found in Leviticus, when God gives the Israelites directions on how to glean their fields at harvest, instructing them to leave some of the harvests for the poor. In this command, God is teaching us to be generous to those who are in need.

Leviticus 23:22 says, “’When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God.’”

We can see that beginning with the command in Leviticus to leave a portion for the poor, the Lord continues this instruction in the Book of Ruth when He graciously guides and provides for Naomi and Ruth in their time of need. God’s faithfulness, steadfast love and sovereign hand are evident throughout the story! No doubt, the God of Israel indeed keeps his covenant promises to his people – past, present and future!

The Feast of Pentecost is also a time to count and rejoice in our blessings, knowing that all we receive is a gift from the Lord. As He blesses us, we are to share in our abundance and bless those who have little. By giving this free-will offering, we are saying to God, “I trust you. You are my Jehovah Jireh.”

It is also no coincidence that Pentecost, the day of the outpouring of the Spirit, occurred on the date of Shavuot. It is a day during which the disciples were instructed to wait for the gift of Power from the Holy Spirit, thus fulfilling the Lord’s promise in Acts 1:8. God had a divine purpose in creating this feast distinctive from the rest. He was teaching us to watch, be ready and prepare to count every day and as we count the days and be mindful of His Ruach HaKodesh, or The Holy Spirit.

During our church service this past week, we sang a song called “Fall Like Rain” by Passion and Rachel Halbach. This song is not only a worshipful praise to our Father but depicts the cry of my heart. As I wait expectantly for our Lord’s return, it is my prayer that His glory would fall like rain on me, my family, my workplace and my community. In the process, I would never lose the wonder of His presence in my life.
“God, I live to worship You,
All my life I offer You
Simple melodies of sacrifice
Open hands and open heart
You’re the only one I want
Your presence is my treasure, my delight
Fall like rain, Holy Spirit,
Have Your way, Let Your glory fall down,
One thing I ask, one thing I seek, so much more than anything
To dwell within Your house for all my days, knowing You is everything
So I let go of lesser things, You alone are worthy of my praise,
Stir in me a passion for Your Name, May I never lose the wonder of Your presence,
May I always stand in awe of who You are, Oh the beauty and the gift of Your friendship
Is unlike anything I’ve ever known.
“Fall Like Rain” by Passion and Rachel Halbach

Come, Holy Spirit, come, and may Your glory fall on each of us!

If you would like me to join you in prayer, please e-mail me at tonif77@gmail.com. I would love to pray for you!

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