Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Counting of the Omer ~ Day 1
Counting of the Omer (or Sefirat HaOmer)
A little background ~ The Counting of the Omer takes place beginning on the second night of Passover and ends seven weeks later on the festival of Shavuot. Shavuot is also known as Festival of Weeks or Pentecost and it takes place on the 6th of Sivan.
It is on the Feast of Shavuot that God gave the law on Mount Sinai. Of course, Passover (which begins on the 15th of Nissan), is the feast marking when God told Israel to placed the blood on their door posts in order that the house which was marked with “the blood” would be passed over. (Just as we have to apply the Blood of Yeshua to our hearts today.)
“And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are” and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial’ and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.” Exodus 12: 13-14
The Omer is counted in the evening, after the sun goes down.
Counting the Omer ~ Day 1
Today is Tuesday, March 30, 2010 or Nissan 16, 5770. It is the second night of Passover, thus the Counting of the Omer begins.
BA-RUCH A-TAH ADO-NAI E-LO-HE-NU ME-LECH HA-OLAM ASHER KID-E-SHA-NU BE-MITZ-VO-TAV VETZI-VA-NU AL SEFI-RAT HA-OMER.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us concerning the counting of the Omer.
For weeks, I have prayed about and thought much about what I would study for this year’s Omer. Then earlier tonight, in a way only the Holy Spirit can lead, it began to come together in my mind ~ the direction this year’s Omer would take.
When the people left Egypt, it took seven weeks to reach Mt. Sinai. Early Rabbis taught these 49 days that connect Passover with Shavuot correspond to the forty-nine drives and traits of the human heart. Each day saw the refinement of one of these sefirot, bringing the people of Israel one step closer to their election as G-d’s chosen people and their receiving of His communication to humanity.
For us today, it is a spiritual journey. A time for remembering all God has done and to recognize what He is doing, as we count the days until Shavuot, which was not only the date that God meet with Moses on Mt. Sinai to give Israel the law, but the date the Holy Spirit was given in the Upper Room.
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” Acts 2: 1-2
And so, as we make this spiritual journey, we prepare our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit (in greater measurer). It is a time for pulling away from the world, in order that we might draw nearer to God.
Just as the early Rabbis believed this was a time for dealing with the traits of the heart, I believe it was a time for getting Egypt out of the hearts of the people. God did a mighty work in bringing His people out of Egypt, but it must have taken even longer to remove Egypt from their individual hearts.
The same is true today, when we receive salvation through Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). God calls us to come out from among them. But how much of the world do we attempt to bring along in our Christian walk?
I have been very upset the last few days and one of the things that has upset me is the manner in which our president treated Netanyahu last week. I cannot fathom the amount of arrogance it would take to send a visiting head of state to their room without dinner. Are you kidding me?! That was not only arrogant it was just plain bad manners and a total lack of respect. (Didn’t his mama teach him anything?)
But because of this little incident, arrogance is a trait I desire totally removed from my life.
I have thought back over the times I have said something that appeared to be arrogant, many times it was something that I said in ignorance rather than arrogance. It would seem the two go hand and hand much of the time, which is just an observation, not an excuse.
So, tonight I pray that our Heavenly Father would forgive me for those times when I have spoken out of (either ignorance or) arrogance. I ask that He help me to learn to listen more and speak less. And that when there are things which I do not understand, may He teach me to bridle my tongue and bring it under submission.