Reason for Celebration
by Lonnie Lane
Shavuot or Pentecost is upon us as I write this. Shavuot is the celebration of the giving of the Torah at Sinai. It is when God set Israel apart from other nations of the world. Many other people had been enslaved by Egypt, the most powerful nation on the earth at the time. But only Israel’s God came and got them in such a miraculous deliverance, defying all of Egypt’s gods, one by one, setting His people free in order that they might worship Him!
The issue was not only about the devil enslaving Abraham’s children whom He had set apart for Himself, it was about having them being in a society in which demons were worshipped. The Egyptians worshipped by ascribing god-like power to, among other things, insects, frogs, the Nile River, and the sun. Pharaoh was the human manifestation of the sun god “Ra” and was generally the first-born son of the marriage of the previous Pharaoh to his sister! [It occurs to me that the word “ra” in Hebrew means everything bad or evil. I wonder if that’s a coincidence.]
God revealed that He alone is to be worshipped and not Egypt’s objects of worship. In the words of Yul Bryner who played Pharaoh in the famous movie Exodus, in talking about Moses’ God said, “His God is God!” Well, amen to that.
But then, once Israel is out of Egypt, God must, as the old saying goes, take Egypt out of them. They must become the community of God by learning to be God conscious, to think like God, to be like God. Wasn’t that what Adam was to be in the first place?
Consider that when God created Adam He took earth-clay-dirt and formed a man and then breathed life into Adam and He became a living soul. The first Face Adam saw was God’s, the first consciousness he had was of God, the first sense of ‘being’ was in the presence of Almighty God. It was out of God that his reality was birthed and in that paradigm he was to live always. When God fashioned Eve from Adam’s side, it says that God “brought her to Adam,” which says to me that the first Face she saw was not Adam’s but God’s and her first consciousness was also of God. Father God in all His loving Majesty and Father-ness was how they were introduced to life.
The personification of Father God in the earth was to be Adam and Eve and every generation to come was to be as they were, God conscious, God-loving, God-adoring (for to know Him as He is, is to adore Him.) Adam would be a father too as God was to him, and so would each generation after him, Eve being the counterpart of a mother. The word for Spirit is Ruach which is a feminine singular noun so in God there is the feminine qualities of God. Remember that both Adam and Eve were made in God’s image. (see quote above). They would reproduce according to their seed, as would everything else in creation. In other words, their children would be as they were. Adam was made in God’s image; his children were also to be in God’s image.
However, as we know, a devious plan to displace God as God brought about the Fall of Adam and Eve from the image of God to the moral image of the Deceiver and they became like ha satan, which means “the adversary” of God. Whereas Adam was created “in the image of God,” when his children were born after the Fall, the Bible tell us that they were born “in Adam’s image,” not God’s, for they were no longer God-like and were separated from Him in character and nature. But did God disappear and walk away? Never did! He’s still here with us today, working to restore the earth and mankind to His original intention. To paraphrase another line from the movie Exodus, “So as it has been written, so let it be done.” Amen again
Generations later God has singled out one man whom He found faithful. His name is Abram though God changes it to incorporate His own Father-ness and adds His own name changing Abram’s name to Abraham, which now means “father of many nations.” God chooses Abraham because He knows Abraham will teach his son to love God, to be God-conscious, to be like God in the earth. The issue of fatherhood is always a primary one with God.
But let’s fast-forward to Abraham’s descendents who are now freed by God’s awesome power from slavery and are now like parentless children on the desert with no idea of how to live as the family of God. Slavery is not a good environment for people to learn to think responsibly and to have well-thought out plans. God must teach them that He is God on a daily basis, and is not just good for overpowering the Egyptians to release them from slavery. There’s a different kind of slavery He must release them from, that of the Fall. He must now teach them to think like the people of God through Moses, whom He has raised up to be as a father to Israel.
And so, with a great demonstration of His power and unchallengeable authority He descends upon the mountain to which Moses, at God’s direction, brought them. The mountain begins to rumble and quake, the sound of a ram’s horn grows “louder and louder” till likely its deafening since it’s an archangel who is blowing it. Fire blazes on top of the mountain and smoke pours from it, while thick darkness surrounds the mountain. (See Exodus 20.) It makes me want to cry, “Holy, holy, holy!!” God dwells in unapproachable fire. And it is into this fire that God calls Moses.
I asked God once how Moses could possibly have walked into all that and was immediately reminded of the burning bush by which God first attracted Moses’ attention. Upon noticing the bush, “Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight--why the bush does not burn up.” (Ex.3:3) I used to picture a medium size bush with nicely flickering fire, or even a Cecil B. DeMille version of the bush until I considered the fire of God on the mountain. It does say Moses decided to “go over” to see the bush indicating he had to walk at least a short distance, but more likely it was enough of a distance that it was “over” there! In other words, a large bush and a raging fire.
Because Moses saw that the bush did not burn despite this raging fire within or on it, he knew that God was able to keep him from burning up even if he walked into the fire on the mountain. I can understand why God later called Moses “the most humble man on earth,” for surely it would take unprecedented humility before God to be so yielded to Him and trusting of Him that he would obey and climb up the burning mountain.
It is in that entirely “other” environment that God presents Moses with Ten Commandments or rather “instructions” which would set the children of Israel apart from all other peoples in the earth. Later Moses would write the additional 603 instructions which taught them the specifics of how to live out the Ten Commandments. But the Ten would be the framework for a godly society, for the community of God to think like God, to love each other as God loves them, and in loving each other and living in the peace that those “Instructions” provided, they would appreciate and love and worship God who loved them and set them free and who has blessed them above all other peoples in the earth.
As they observed the whole of Torah, of His instructions to them, their crops did not fail, their children were blessed, harmony existed among them, justice prevailed and provision for any poor among them was met. Yeshua summed it up years later by saying all of Torah could be encapsulated in the word “love,” love for God, for one another and for ones self. And so, on the anniversary of the day Moses went up the mountain of God and brought down the Instructions, we celebrate Shavuot.
Please note that today this is especially meaningful for we have, as one of Sid’s guests, Peter Whitehouse, has said, “We have exchanged the Ten Commandments for metal detectors in our schools.” It has been pointed out that without the Ten Commandments visible or at least acknowledged, there is no sense of sin, no sense of violating a holy God, and so there is no awareness of the difference between good and evil, of clean and unclean, of godly or demonic.
Fathers and mothers who, either by intention or apathy, have not taught their children that they are to be held accountable to the Ten Commandments and that there are consequences in their lives today and eternally, ultimately raise children who do not know God and who will themselves have children unto their own nature.
It has been said, it is only one generation between a Judeo-Christian nation and an atheist nation. We are seeing that it can happen in America today!! We have had the Ten Commandments taken from us and we let it happen. Without any sense of accountability to God our children are destroying themselves and each other in an unprecedented and greatly alarming measure of teenage abortions, teen suicides and murders, and too many drug-ravaged lives. What kind of parents are these children to become? How many children are fatherless? Or even motherless? They have no standard of holiness or righteousness and no God to go to for forgiveness. Of course, it’s not ALL children.
Many of us cling to God and His Word. But our children are living in a society where they are becoming the minority unless we cry out to God for Him to intervene and restore our nation to Him. “History belongs to the Intercessors!”
The church has for almost 2000 years discounted her Hebrew roots until recently as the One New Man of God emerges. But always in the past the Ten Commandments maintained. It is only recently, in this generation, that even they have been done away with till few can recite them, though they are only ten. Can you?
In this day of darkness Halleluia!! God is moving on His people to bring about the light of His Glory. And how does He seem to be doing it? In large measure it is the restoration of the value of Torah in the lives of Believers in Messiah Yeshua. If you are reading this, you are no doubt one in whom God is stirring a longing to know Him as Yeshua did and as the first century Hebrew Believers knew Him. You likely have a deep yearning for the presence of God, for the reality of God to be yours, and you probably long to see the Face of God. You are no doubt God-conscious to the point of wanting to live your life to hug close to your Father-God that he might be pleased with you and smile when He looks at you.
If that’s the case, then in an age when the “love of many will grow cold” because of “lawlessness,” that is, Torah-lessness for that is the “law” God was talking about, you have cause for great celebration for we still have the Instructions of God to teach us how to live as the “community of God” in His presence!! Shavuot is for you!
But wait! It gets even better. Did you know that when the Spirit of God fell on Pentecost it was on Shavuot, on the celebration of the day that God’s Word first came to Israel? On that same day centuries later, the Spirit of God fell upon the people. This time, flames of fire lit on each one of the 120 disciples waiting for what Yeshua said to wait for the power of God to be His witnesses. This time, because of what Yeshua did in taking our sin which separated us from holy God upon Himself, there was no terror of God’s presence.
This time there was JOY in His presence, so much so that others thought they were drunk they were so joyful. This time, God opened the windows of heaven and came down, not in darkness and great fear and trembling that caused the people to back away in profound awareness that He was holy and they were not.
This time, it was an invitation to come into God’s presence, to be one with God again, because the wrath of God against sin had been meted out upon Yeshua. I never cease to be newly amazed it never gets old for me to think anew, even each day, that God Himself would take on human form that in itself would be enough but that He agreed, even planned to die and suffer the wrath and rage of God His Father against sin in its full weight and entirety that had held all people enslaved to demons and the evil one. I can understand why the angels continually cry “holy, holy, holy” for each time they receive a new revelation of our God, it is awesome beyond comprehension.
Pentecost is the giving of the Holy Spirit to the people of God. Torah taught us how to live with God, the Spirit is God living in us! Reason to celebrate, don’t you think? It is no coincidence that both happened on the same day in the Hebrew calendar. God is telling us that Pentecost is married to Shavuot. Living in the ways of God is now possible because the Spirit of God dwells within us and we are one again with God.
God meant for us to celebrate with great joy that we are His people, that He has made His word and His ways known to us that we might not live in darkness and a fear of Him that makes us withdraw from Him but that we might live in His love, and that we might teach our children His ways so that the earth may be filled with the Glory of God. So I wish you on this holiday of Shavuot/Pentacost, Hag Sameach Happy holi-day, or more properly, Happy holy day. Should you be reading this at a time other than Shavout, it’s still reason to celebrate. Don’t you think?
Lonnie would enjoy hearing your response to this or her other articles. You may send them to LLane@sidroth.org and she will be glad to respond to you. Use this same address to contact Lonnie about speaking engagements. For Lonnie's other articles, go to our Powerful Prayer section on this web site.
Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Lonnie Lane comes from a family of four generations of Jewish believers, being the first one saved in 1975. Lonnie has been in church leadership for many years, and has planted two “one new man” house fellowships one with her brother Michael Lane in the Philadelphia suburbs and the other in Jacksonville, Florida, where she now lives near 6 of her 8 grandchildren. Lonnie is the author of “Because They Never Asked.” She is the Producer of Messianic Vision's radio and TV shows and the International Prayer Co-Coordinator for Messianic Vision's intercessors. Click here to order Lonnie's book, "Because They Never Asked: A Jewish Family's Search for God".