Two more sunsets and we will be into the Feast of Shavuot.
One of the things we will be celebrating, if we are followers of Messiah Yeshua is the giving of the Holy Spirit.
The other thing, in which we join with our Hebrew brethren , the giving at Sinai, of the Torah. This observance is traditional, not a biblical command. The biblical command involves a time of bringing to the temple first fruits, giving thanks and celebrating before God.
Is there a relationship between the giving of Torah and the giving of the Holy Spirit? Could understanding that relationship give an added perspective?
At Sinai, God instructed Moses to take to the people a proposal He prefaces with the words:
“..Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you unto myself…”
Important to consider that preface. It reminds the people of what they had seen God do and by virtue of that they had very good reason to have faith, to trust in Him.
“…Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then…
Ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people; for all the earth ins mine.
And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” Exodus 19:4-6 AKJV
What was Jehovah offering?
Well… the people agreed… knowingly or not… to a covenantal relationship with their Creator and Redeemer, that would be a direct relationship with Him.
It would involve hearing/obeying, with their own ears, “My Voice”.
“…go to the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes, and be ready on the third day; for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai…
When the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount…” Exodus 19:10-11,13 AKJV
“…Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.
And he said unto the people, ‘Be ready on the third day: come not near your wives…’” Exodus 19:14-15 AKJV
All this so that the people could go up onto the mountain and receive from the Lord… a rebirth from above maybe… direct encounter with God maybe… Torah, the Word, inscribed upon their hearts by the finger of God, not on stone and parchment…the Spirit of God to indwell… maybe?
The third day came.
“…there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount and the voice of the trumpet exceedingly loud, so that…
All the people that were in the camp trembled…
…And when the sound of the trumpet sounded long, and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice…and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up…” Exodus 19:16, 19-20 AKJV
What just happened?
Why did just Moses go up after the trumpet sounded long.
Why did God countermand His first instruction and order Moses to prevent the people from ascending the mountain?
At these physical manifestations of God’s presence, the people trembled, drew back, rejected the continued Voice of God spoken directly to them and demanded, in no uncertain terms Moses act as an intermediary.
When God “came down”, in His foreknowledge and power to know all things, had He seen that the people were not spiritually prepared even though they had followed His instructions for physical preparation? Had he seen their fear and how they reacted by retreating instead of pressing forward and up, in an act of faith, of trusting?
Was this lack of faith the same lack that Paul spoke of when He said that the Gospel had indeed been presented to those at Sinai but it did them no good because of lack of faith?
What did they get out of it?
Certainly they didn’t get that relationship with God where:
“…if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” Exodus 19:5-6 AKJV
Indeed, maybe in fact… spiritually… they had not repented, turned away, cleansed themselves, prepared to meet Him and they knew it. And indeed they did not go up onto the mountain in disobedience to God’s command.
Instead they got an intermediary, not a direct relationship with Jehovah God… a covenant written on stone and parchment, not on their hearts… one in which blood sacrifice would never take away sin and required a consequent wait for the prophet to come through whom Yahweh’s original proposal could be realized… that:
“…ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a people of His own, that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…” 1Peter2:9 AKJV
Maybe what was “given” at Sinai was just one more demonstration in a line of demonstrations… of God’s faithfulness to His word.
The Seed of Abraham continues to multiply, the line of promise continued through to Yeshua, the chosen people bless the nations, the land promised continues to be theirs.
The giving of the promised Holy Spirit in Jerusalem on Pentecost and in the lives of every person who in faith repents and is baptized, is the comforter who guides, illuminates, acquaints us with what is of God and what is not… and with whom we are sealed serving as the:
“…earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession…” Ephesians 1:14 AKJV
How different things might be now if at Sinai the gift God wanted to be received had been received. Maybe at that time the people might have received an indwelling of God’s Spirit… better …
That “The Word” might have dwelt in their hearts by faith…
That they being rooted and grounded in love would have been able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to have known the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, and that they might have been filled with all the fullness of God (paraphrase Ephesians 3:17-19).”
The entire nation might have been priests instead of one tribe, a light to the world.
Interesting to speculate. But as we well know. even now with the advent of Yeshua behind us and in place His better covenant, we are still prone to fall short and surely those that follow us will be able to say “How different it could have been if only they…” when they contemplate how we have lived.
Thanks be to our Father, for His Son and the love that passeth knowledge that They… in oneness… have towards us… and their faithfulness in keeping promise to complete the work in us they have started.
Thank You Father… for the gift of life.
In Yeshua’s name we pray.
May God’s love be in us all.