Moses was still busy listening to God’s instructions about the Covenant He was creating with Israel. God had covered a lot of information in this long conversation, but there were still more instructions for Moses to take to the people about how God desired for them to live under this agreement.
In Exodus 34:22 we read: “Celebrate the Festival of Weeks with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, and the Festival of Ingathering at the turn of the year.”
Thank you for joining our once a week Thursday Bible Study called COME AS A CHILD. This week we continue studying in Exodus Chapter 34. If you missed last week’s lesson you may find it here: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/sign-of-the-sabbath/
THE FESTIVAL OF WEEKS
Just what did God mean when He told Moses to celebrate The Festival of Weeks?
God was referring to the time of Pentecost.
For the ancient people this meant the time of giving their firstfruit offerings up to God after each harvest. The harvest at Pentecost was the wheat harvest. It was a sacred day set aside to worship God and to offer the first of the wheat crop. Two sheaves of bread (the only time allowed to use yeast in the bread) were waved before God. This bread was made from the finest flour that came from the first portions of the current wheat harvest. Much later worshipers came to realize that the two waved loaves represented two people groups; the Jews and the Gentiles. Both people groups were sinful; but when offered up to God could become clean because of the Early First Fruits offering – Jesus Christ.
In the beginning this festival was simply a harvest festival and a time to come before God to offer your best offering from the first of your livelihood. More often people were farmers with crops to offer. They grew their own food from tilling the ground and from raising flocks. When the people were living in the wilderness; there were no crops! Everything that they had God provided for them. It was still a significant time for them to come before God and offer THEMSELVES, as living sacrifices to do God’s will and to obey and keep His commandments. It was on this very day, the Day of Pentecost that God gave Moses the commandments that instructed them to become the type of people who could accomplish such a feat.
It was only much later in time that we could begin to see the whole picture that God wanted His people to grasp. As time developed and the plan of God for mankind progressed and unfolded, Jesus was crucified as our “Passover Lamb.” This was during the time of the Early First Fruits offerings, at Passover, during the days of Unleavened Bread on Early Firstfruits. Jesus rose from the grave at the time of Early First Fruits during Passover Week. He spent the next 40 days teaching the disciples, then He ascended into heaven. Exactly 50 days after His resurrection Jesus sent God’s Holy Spirit to dwell inside God’s people. This was the promised comforter who would empower them for service, to be a witness of God and to enable them to conduct The Kingdom of Heaven’s ministry.
On this important day in history the church was gathered in Jerusalem where some 3,000 people heard Peter present the gospel. Those who heard and believed were filled with God’s Holy Spirit. It was the beginning of the gospel growing into God’s people to form The Church who would become The Bride of Christ. It was the beginning of God’s spiritual harvest.
This is often the way God teaches us. First we have a physical reminder; the time of the harvest of physical crops. Then we see events that lead us to believe in a spiritual reminder; the Day of Pentecost that resulted in the beginning of God’s spiritual harvest of the souls of mankind.
One day this spiritual harvest will be used of God to bring Israel into their spiritual harvest. The Jews and the Gentiles will (in the fullness of time) come together to form one body prepared to become The Bride of Christ.
If you wish to read more about the Holy Day of God called Pentecost; you may find a good review here: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/pentecost/
FESTIVAL OF INGATHERING
So the next thing that God mentioned was The Festival of Ingathering. What festival was this and why did God mention it specifically?
The Festival of Ingathering was another way of saying The Feast of Tabernacles. This was the third time each year that God commanded for men to appear before Him with an offering. They came on Passover (which took place during the week of Unleavened Bread) and Pentecost and The Feast of Tabernacles. These three days were very important in God’s calendar and were not to be missed; especially if you were the head of a home.
For the ancients the Feast of Tabernacles was yet another harvest time; the last of the season. In this harvest the olives and the grapes were brought forth as firstfruits offerings to God.
As we noted for Pentecost; during the days of the time of Israel in the wilderness; there was no harvest to bring. The people were to offer themselves and they thought of their tents as little tabernacles, or little sanctuaries. Each home would set aside a whole week to worship God and to dream of the days of God’s fulfillment of the promise of a new land full of milk and honey.
In the present time, much like the time of the Israelites who thought of their homes as temporary dwelling places; we think of our bodies as temporary dwelling places and we celebrate the coming days when God will give us everlasting life with Him forever.
We went into great depth to teach The Feast of Tabernacles in a previous lesson. You may review that lesson here: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/feast-of-tabernacles-christian-sukkot/.
So now we can see that God was reminding Moses of the three times in the year that all males were to come before The Lord with an offering. We discussed the first time; The Feast of Unleavened Bread during Passover Week, in a previous week’s lesson. You may review it here: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/unleavened-bread/.
The keeping of Unleavened Bread/Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles mattered greatly to God. He wanted Moses to remind the people of this. God had set aside sacred times to share with us. These were days that had been observed since the beginning of time before Israel became slaves to Egypt; and they were things that God was implementing once again into the culture and lives of His people. This was not a request – it was a requirement for everyone that was head of any household that had a heart for obeying God.