Shavuot is a time of when we celebrate the gift of the Torah, or instruction. Shavuot marks the end of the 50 days following Passover. It was at this time when the Lord gave instruction to His people at Mount Sinai and made them their own nation.
The Giving of the Torah
Although the term Shavuot is not mentioned in the Bible, the giving of the Torah is spoken about beginning in Exodus 19…
“In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. For they had departed from Rephidim, had come to the Wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness. So Israel camped there before the mountain.
“And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.’
“So Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the Lord commanded him. Then all the people answered together and said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do.’ So Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord. And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Behold, I come to you in the thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever.’ So Moses told the words of the people to the Lord.”—Exodus 19:1-9
How did the Jews celebrate Shavuot?
The time between Passover and Shavuot is known as the Feast of Weeks. Shavuot means ‘weeks’ in Hebrew. It is also known as the Counting Down of the Omer. Historically, Shavuot centered around the agrarian culture of the Jewish people living in Israel.
It was one of three feasts that the Jewish males went to Jerusalem to attend and offer sacrifices. The Jews offered firstfruits offerings of the seven species: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates. This offering expressed thanksgiving for all that God had provided and would continue to provide.
Not only did Shavuot offerings symbolize what was to come for those who offered, but also instruction for providing for the poor and the stranger. The Lord instructed His nation to display His character of loving and caring for those in need.
The Feast of Weeks in the Bible
- “Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord.”—Leviticus 23:16
- The Lord’s instruction for when Shavuot was to take place.
- “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed.”—Deuteronomy 16:16
- The Lord’s instruction for how to observe Shavuot.
- “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the Lord your God.”—Leviticus 23:22
- The Lord’s instruction to provide for those in need.
How can Believers celebrate Shavuot?
Shavuot is often celebrated by reading the book of Ruth. Not only is this story centered around the harvest season, but it is a love story that symbolically represents our marriage covenant with God.
During this time, Believers take a moment to examine their hearts and ask the Holy Spirit to renew their minds and focus on the meaning of their covenant relationship with the Lord.
This renewal flows over from our minds to our attitudes. It is a time of purging the old and preparing for renewed instruction and revelation.
Just as the Jews went to the temple and offered firstfruits and thanked God for what He had done and what He would do, we can do the same. The same Fire of the Holy Spirit that burned the Ten Commandments into the tablets of stone has written His law into our hearts and minds. There is a call to renew it!
“But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”—Jeremiah 31:33
It’s a remembrance of instruction at Mount Sinai as well of a celebration of the Church!
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”—Acts 2:1-4
Some ask, “Why is it important for the Church to celebrate Shavuot?” The answer is to gain a better understanding your spiritual inheritance and to experience a deeper relationship with the Lord.
Did you know…
That the Jewish roots of the faith have been removed over the course of time? At the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE the Church abandoned the biblical calendar that God provided in scripture and adopted a fixed solar calendar of 365 days.
In the Bible, God set festivals, events, and times according to the lunar calendar of 354 days. God’s timetable meant that these events didn’t line up to MAN’S way, but HIS. Man wants a fixed and predictable timetable. But God says, “Trust Me and My timing.”
- “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”—Ecclesiastes 3:11
- “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”—2 Peter 3:8
When we attempt to dismiss God’s appointed time, we miss out on the blessings that goes hand-in-hand with trusting Him.
- “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”—Lamentations 3:25-26
As we prepare to enter this season of self-reflection and celebration, we encourage you to seek the Father’s heart. We would love for you to join us for our Shavuot/Shabbat Celebration Service on Friday, May 18, 208 at 7:45 p.m. CT, and also for our Shavuot Service on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. CT. Check our Events Page to find out more! If you are not able to join us in person, you can join our online community LIVE!
Trust the Lord to expose any areas of fear that have kept you from developing a closer, more intimate relationship with Him. He is always faithful, and the Holy Spirit is patient and equips you with what He has called you to do.