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2020/5/20 Just Why Are These Forty-Nine Days from Passover to Pentecost so Important?

Updated: May 21, 2020

Counting the Omer: Day 41 (Nine More Days to Pentecost)

“But you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:5).

“My praise shall be continually of You.… Let my mouth be filled with your praise and with your glory all the day” (Ps. 71:6,8).

Just Why Are These Forty-Nine Days from Passover to Pentecost so Important?

The forty-nine days between Passover and Pentecost are obviously important, or the Lord would not have required that the Israelites count down each day to Pentecost (Lev. 23:15–16). Passover and its miracles, including the crossing of the Red Sea, delivered them and set them free. They were no longer slaves. But that was just a beginning. God wanted to enter into covenant with them. It would be like a marriage. He would be their God and they would be His people.

So the forty-nine days were like a “courtship,” a time of them getting to know God personally. By the time they arrived at Mt. Sinai forty-nine days later, He wanted them to be fully convinced that He was able to—and would—take care of them. Every time they needed a miracle, He gave it. Unfortunately, they never grew; they never learned. Instead of eagerly looking with faith-filled eyes for His help, they whined, complained, and spoke harshly against Him. God kept forgiving them, and still continued to graciously provide miracles (e.g., the healed waters at Marah [Exod. 15:22–25]; the provision of manna and quail [Exod. 16]; water from the rock [17:1–7]; and victory over the Amalekites [17:8–16]).

But still they never learned. Regardless, God still entered into covenant with them. But right from the start, for most of that first generation that covenant was a sham on their part. Psalm 78:37 recalls, “For their heart was not steadfast with Him, nor were they faithful in His covenant.”

Stepping back, we see the whole entering into covenant at Mt. Sinai on that first Pentecost was actually quite sad. God had set them free, led them through the wilderness, and wanted this covenant. But their hearts weren’t right. When He drew near to speak to them, they actually were afraid and cowered. They told Moses, “You speak with us and we will hear, but let not God speak with us lest we die. … So the people stood afar off” (Exod. 20:19–21.) And then, while Moses was on the mountain alone with God, they lost focus, followed their self-centered desires, and built the golden calf (Exod. 32:1–10).

How horrible! Since covenant is likened to “marriage,” it would be like the bride going off and committing adultery during the honeymoon!

So back to the original question—why are these forty-nine days leading up to Pentecost so important? I think we can look at it as a kind of courtship. Let each day be a time of knowing that God wants us to see how reliable and good He is. The result should be that we have increasingly deeper confidence in His covenant with us. He is our God. We are His people. This is not unlike what the disciples and the 500+ people did with Jesus in the forty days after His resurrection, and then the ten days after He ascended to heaven. Thus, during these remaining nine days to Pentecost, consider the following:

Focus on the Lord. It might be better to say “enjoy” the Lord. It’s one of the reasons the Lord is leading us to sing each day. He wants us to get to know Him afresh and show us how trustworthy He is.

View each crisis/problem as an opportunity to see what the Lord will do.

This should result in us wanting more of Him, wanting a deeper relationship with Him, and loving Him more.

Then He can pour His Spirit upon us in greater measure at Pentecost.

Sing Praises Every Day—Last week, the Lord impressed on us to be sure and sing praises to Him. We, along with hundreds of thousands of other believers around the world, are taking communion daily. Now we feel—at least until Pentecost—led to sing daily as well. So much can be said about praise, but I will mention just one aspect. Psalm 76:2–3 states, “His dwelling place is in Zion [which is the place of praise/worship]. There He broke the arrows of the bow, the shield and sword of battle.” That means when we praise God breaks the weapons and the strength of the enemy. Now connect this with Elisha, who received a prophetic word that brought forth great miracles and deliverance. He received it because “when the musician played, the hand of the Lord came upon him” (2 Kings 3:15).

The results are astounding. When we praise, God can release prophetic words to us that bring miracles and breakthrough! So, why not make it a point to sing daily in our journey toward Pentecost.

Thanks so much for praying!

Ron and Teddy

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