Week 7 of the Counting of the Omer - A Reflective Study
If you are feeling amazed that almost 7 weeks of counting have flown by, you are in good company! Imagine if we counted each day of our lives with such intention, taking stock of our thinking, where our time is spent and our responses in and to this world. What would we all look like in the spiritual realm? I would hazard a guess and say we would all be a few years ahead of ourselves right now. I have considered my life up until now and there are many places where I cringe at the lack of maturity or discipline, what if I had been taught to take stock sooner? Would I have taken the opportunity with both hands and chosen to reflect within, to make the changes and live a life more focused on what HaShem wanted for me? The truth is, we cannot dwell on what was and our lack of insight years ago – we must press forward towards the goal, to win the prize for which HaShem has called us heavenward in Messiah, Yeshua. (Philippians 3:14)
Let us reflect on these days of the Counting of the Omer as we step up into Shavuot.
Day 7 – Hashem creates rest
The 7 Days of Creation were works of the Spirit to create a framework for man to live within. This framework created boundaries for our flesh to live in perfect harmony with our Creator. Many people look at the Torah and they feel a deep resistance to the boundaries written within each mitzvah (instruction) and when they hear the word boundaries or commandments, they immediately associate it with the “burdensome law” that many teachings say we have been set free from. When I was younger, I too had been taught that the Sabbath was a terrible thing for us to keep and that it was a marker of those who were under the heaviness of the 'old covenant', that those who kept this dreary day would somehow one day be set free of the burden of this day and be free to carry on with their work!
Can you see the huge irony in that thinking?
How could rest ever be a burden?
How could giving the created world a reprieve from labour be a burdensome thing?
Why would the old covenant represent bondage to anyone when in fact it is what set the glory of redemption in motion?
We have been so duped. We have been taught to despise the beauty and divine design for a set of manmade standards in many ways. We have ignored the call to rest for centuries and we wonder why the word at large is about to implode.
The rest that HaShem set aside for us is such a gift. Adam did absolutely nothing to deserve this gift, he was simply created and then stepped into the rest given to him by his Creator.
Mark 2:27-28 “Then he said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.'”
HaShem created this day for us to pause – to stop demanding of this world, to the Creation and to stop demanding of ourselves and each other. On this day, we are called to let go of our burdens and to follow in our Creator's steps of rest from all works. This is not an easy step in the beginning but once you surrender to this gift it starts becoming your natural response and you become extremely protective over this day with your Heavenly Father.
Consider your favourite, most precious possession… would you allow it to be taken from you and discarded as something useless and burdensome?
- Are you resting in HaShem’s time or your own?
- Do you need to review HaShem's focus on the Sabbath day?
- Are you keeping Shabbat or are your resisting it?
- If you feel uncofortable with Shabbat and keeping this day holy, have you considered why you feel this way? Are your opinions based on HaShem's word or on man's?
- What do you need to shift?
The manifestation of the Spirit of Fear would be a deep and reverential awe of our Creator, YHVH. This reverential fear will lead to a humble and surrendered heart towards our Heavenly Father.
“Humility inspires gratefulness for the works of Creation, an undeserved gift to man. Gratefulness encourages obedience to the instructions for maintaining goodness within the individual and the Earth.” Alwine, H (2017). The Creation Gospel Workbook 1, pg.91
We can take our cue from Adam and Chava (Eve) in the garden. We can see the exact moment that they lost their reverence for HaShem. They knew they has sinned and instead of coming before Him in repentance, they instead were filled with new fear and they hid from Him.
“They became more conscious of them themselves and one another’s errors than that of God and His righteous works.” Alwine, H (2017). The Creation Gospel Workbook 1, pg.91
Being in this space is what often leads to self-gratification and criticism of others. When we lose reverence for HaShem we step into fear and fear will keep us from trusting and worshipping Him in Spirit and in truth. This is the wrong kind of fear and it becomes a barrier to intimacy with our Maker. For the “fear of God is the beginning of all wisdom.” Proverbs 9:10
- Do you truly revere your Adonai Elohim or are you afraid of Him?
- How can you move away from fear of HaShem and His punishment to revering Him as an act of worship?
- How can reverence for HaShem lead you into a life of obedience and blessing?
Moedim – Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles
The festival of Sukkot is all about the ingathering of the nations, the bringing of the first fruits and the bridal feast with our King, Yeshua.
The Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot (or Feast of Booths) is a week-long festival commemorating the 40-year journey of the Israelites in the wilderness. Along with Passover and the Festival of Weeks, Sukkot is one of three great pilgrimage feasts recorded in the Bible when all Jewish males were required to appear before HaShem in the Temple inof Jerusalem.
This time is all about thanksgiving and the first fruits – the fullness of the land, the threshing floors, fruits, oil and livestock – all to be enjoyed before HaShem. This is a moedim where we are called to share with the both family and strangers, widows, orphans and aliens. No-one in Israel is denied entrance to this celebration. As the Sabbath represents the fullness of completion of Creation, Sukkot signifies the fullness of the nations and the completion of our journey with HaShem. This is the time when we will sup with our King Yeshua, the Heavenly Bridegroom when He returns for His Bride. The booth or the sukkah represents the coverings as the cherubim's wings covered (sakak) the mercy seat. Just like this, Shabbat is a covering that we step into each week and this moed is the prophetic picture of the time when we finally are gathered unto our Meshiach in the fullness of His promised glory and under His tallit!
- Is your heart surrendered to the rule and reign of your Heavenly Bridegroom?
- Do you step outside of His covering for the sake of the things of the world?
- What will your first fruits be this year?
- How can you present these to HaShem?
7 Churches – Laodicea
The church of Laodicea were the k’hal that were neither hot not cold. This lukewarm attitude made them unbearable to Yeshua. There were no great deeds mentioned for this body of believers. Their focus was on what they had accumulated on the earth and so they felt they had no need for HaShem. They were self sufficient but wretched, miserable, poor and naked in the spirit. This sounds so familiar to me as I look around me at this time on earth.
Yeshua was calling Laodiceans to buy refined gold from Him – to die to the comforts of their flesh and this world and to be focused on the riches of His Kingdom and to instead walk in His ways. Refinement will be tough, it will be painful and it will increase our discomfort but this is what will produce fruit in abundance, this is what will cover our nakedness and bring sight to our blinded eyes.
This door that Yeshua was knocking at was not the door of an unbelieving community but it was to the believing community of Laodicea. What a sobering reminder to each of us that we could easily become complacent and comfortable in our flesh without seeing it – let us have an ear to hear what the spirit is saying!
- Have you become lukewarm in your faith?
- Have you begun to compromise your walk with HaShem and begun to justify your comfort in the spiritual realm?
- Have you become complacent in your seeking to live a life that glroifies HaShem?
- How can you buy gold refined by fire from Yeshua?
- Can others see Yeshua's glory refected in your life?
- What is your focus for this Shavuot?
- How can you become more focused on living according to His Spirit and under HaShem's covering over your life?
Abba Father, I thank You for Your covering over my life. Thank you for the blessing of the Sabbath rest, designed for me and to give me the fullness of your rest, to be made complete in You. I ask that You will walk with me in this time, that You will show me areas in my life where I have become complacent and lukewarm and show me how to bring my life and my deeds back into alignment with Your Word and Your desire for my life.
May I be clothed in garments of righteousness, may I walk in Your rest and be covered by Your Shabbat. May my eyes be opened and my ears hear the call of Your still, Small Voice so that I may walk in Your ways and to be ready to dine with You at the banqueting table of the Bride!
In the precious name of your son, Yeshua, Amein.
Thank you for joining me on this journey through the counting of the Omer. I pray that this forms just the beginning of a daily and weekly count of every step directed towards the throne of your King. Keep reflecting on His ways for your life and keep seeking after His heart for your days, that you may be a reflection of His everlasting glory!
Visit www.thecreationgospel.com for a detailed study of the Creation days, the Spirits of Adonai, the Appointed seasons and the 7 Churches.