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Good Morning.

And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord. (Leviticus 23:15-16)

The day that this count works toward is called, in Hebrew, Shavuot — which means “weeks.” This it is commonly referred to as the Feast of Weeks. Many of you may be more familiar with the term Pentecost from the Greek word that means “fiftieth.” That is because, in the days of the Temple, Pentecost was “fully come” fifty days (or seven weeks) after the first fruits of the barley harvest was presented in the Temple (as we discussed in the previous devotion).

While most of us associate Pentecost with the outpouring of the Spirit as recorded in Acts 2, Judaism primarily associates this day with the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Actually, there are many similarities between what occurred at Sinai and what transpired centuries later in Jerusalem when the Day of Pentecost was fully come. And just as it was in 1st century Jerusalem on that specific Feast of Weeks, the events of Sinai were closely connected to what had happened weeks earlier at the first Passover in Egypt. In fact, Shavuot (Pentecost) is considered to be the atzeret (“conclusion”) of Passover.

In other words, what transpired at Sinai could not have happened had there not been the redemption at Passover. On the flip side of the coin, however, the liberation from bondage that occurred at Passover would have been ineffective if the people had not journeyed to Sinai to receive God’s instructions. The rabbis put it this way — “Liberty (Passover) without instruction (Sinai) ends in anarchy or lawlessness. Frankly, this concept is not exclusive to the Old Testament. Paul made certain to address the need for our liberties in Messiah to be governed by instruction when he said:

“For you brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh” (Galatians 5:13).  

To say we are free in Messiah means we are not in bondage to anything or anyone else. However, that is not to say that we are free to do whatever we wish — there are boundaries. That is what the Word of God is to us, as believers — a definition of the boundaries that He has established for us to walk in. Not so that we may be encumbered and tied to something that is dead, but to walk in liberty and abundant life. Put simply and in the Messiah’s own words: “If you love Me, keep my commandments.” We were set free from sin that we might be servants to Him.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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