Thoughts on Pentecost (Shavu'ot) - by Merv Watson - May 2009
The Lord is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow! How often we have heard that assertion and take a certain amount of comfort in knowing its truth. The only question that arises immediately is “What was He like yesterday??" From what has He maintained his “sameness”? With everything around us going through extremely rapid changes, what is the relevancy of knowing that the God we worship never changes?
This question is profoundly important as we arrive again at the fixed time of the year when the most revolutionary event occured - i.e. the time when the third member of the Godhead made Himself known with such clarity, that men who lived in Jerusalem from every country in the world, were staggered into belief. Even as the curse on the citizens of Babel caused the confusing and scrambling of all languages, the blessing on the citizens of all varieties of languages and cultures staying in Jerusalem, heard the Word of God clearly. Clearly enough to rush to become part of what God was doing in that city. What was going on in the city was called - Pentecost!
Three times a year, the Hebrew people were to appear before the Lord, prepared to worship during an appointed time and at an appointed place. Pentecost (Feast of Weeks) was one of those times. It was to be an holy convocation, dedicated totally to the rituals that the Lord had requested to be done. Out of each house, two loaves of bread were to be brought to be waved before the Lord as First Fruits. Not only leavened bread, but also two lambs were to be waved before the Lord. The lamb`s blood caused the event to be holy.
It was on the completion of this holy day, that the early disciples, who had been waiting in Jerusalem for the power from on high to come, burst forth with unimaginable conviction! This conviction was the birth pangs of what became the church. It had irresistable power that swept the crowd into its vortex of commitment and into a richer awareness of God`s presence following the event of the cross.
Although the fervour of that day in Jerusalem has cooled, the renewal it brought with it has gained a new interest among those who have become aware of it. All over the world, as this spring festival is remembered, there is the awareness of ancient connections that provide hope and joy. Even as the cycle of spring issues forth from every tree, God`s promises issue forth from this event to challenge us all to a renewal of our souls.
As we hear of revival and renewals internationally, we are quickened to celebrate and expect renewal in ourselves. The witness that was promised to go to the ends of the earth has gone there, and is now returning with a multiple harvest of souls in its wake. Even as this is a harvest of first fruits physically, it is also a harvest of souls spiritually. Even as this feast remembers the first fruits from the Dead (Yeshua), we anticipate the winter of our own souls melting before the action of the Holy Spirit as He brings His tongues of fire to bear on us!!
As we commemorate the fact that God thundered forth His commandments from Mt. Sinai many years ago, let us also rejoice that it is indeed possible now to obey them, not through our human grit, but through the power of His indwelling Spirit which appeared on the exact day of Pentecost in the upper room to 120 disciples.