Monday, March 19, 2018

Concerning Shavuot

Shavuot is the Hebrew word for “weeks”, and is celebrated in the Jewish month of Silvan, our month of June. It will be observed in full on Sunday, June 12th. The “weeks” refer to the counting of 49 days or 7 full weeks from the second day of Pesach to harvest, a day before Shavuot. The Day of Pentecost is celebrated on the 50th day.

Typically a festival to celebrate the barley and wheat harvests, its historical and religious significance marks the giving of the Torah to Moses by God on Mount Sinai. To the Jews, it was the sign of a marriage covenant…a covenant they broke. Now, as they celebrate Shavuot, they do so by staying up all night and studying the Torah. They also wear white to signify they are still awaiting their bridegroom, the Torah, and their marriage.

The fact Israel can celebrate this holiday in its own homeland is nothing short of a miracle and the fulfillment of God’s prophecy Jews would one day come back to Eretz Yisroel~the land of Israel, as revealed in Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Isaiah and even by Jesus, Himself. “Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, ‘Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring My sons from far, and My daughters from the ends of the earth.’” (Isaiah 43:4-5)

Since 1948, Israel has been in possession of most of her God-given land.  Parts of Israel was alloted to the Arabs instead of compelling them to accept the original British Mandate, which would have required them to move back to Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, where most of them originated. 

Since their founding as a State, Israelis have known much war and unfair judgment, even with evidence God has moved on their behalf and has given them military victories against every attack. Keep in mind they are a population of seven million, and the population of Arab countries surrounding them is more than 50 times greater…50!! They have met the wishes of US presidents by offering to give up some of their land in exchange for peace with the Arabs. Most of the time, Israel’s painful concessions have resulted in increased bloodshed and the uprooting of Jews from their own homes on their own lands.

This Shavuot, in 2011, marks a time of great joy for Jews, for they have gone forward with building in and around their capital, Jerusalem. For the first time in 2000 years, a Torah scroll was brought to the Mount of Olives by a joyous procession. They began at the Western Wall on Thursday night and proceeded to the new Jewish neighborhood of Maaleh Zeitim in reunified Eastern Jerusalem. The new town overlooks the Temple Mount.

This is very significant in that most of the world is calling for Israel to once again give up her land to the Arabs and divide Jerusalem. God has said in Leviticus 25:23 “ The land shall not be sold forever; for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me.” To divide Jerusalem is to invoke the wrath of God who states in Zechariah 12:3 “… Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: 2 “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. 3 And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.”

 Today, more than ever, we need to stand with Israel. Psalm 122:6 says, “Shalu Shalom Yerushalayim… Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they who love her shall prosper.”

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