From the Depths of Slavery to a Kingdom of Priests
YHVH’s command for us to count the omer as a countdown to the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot (or Pentecost, Lev 23:15–16 and Acts 2:1) memorializes the Israelites journey from spiritual babyhood to adulthood. During this 49-day count, Israel ascended from out of the depths of slavery and suffering in Egypt, was baptized in the Red Sea, and then arrived at Mount Sinai—a place of a spiritual standing before YHVH as a kingdom of priests (Exod 19:6). It was there that YHVH gave them his instructions in righteousness—the Torah on Shavuot. This time period represents Israel’s passage from slavery to freedom. They came out of slavery permeated with the leaven—the sins, values, and pagan concepts—of Egypt leaving it all behind as pictured by the Feast of Unleavened Bread. YHVH gave Israel 49 days to overcome and to get rid of the impurities of Egypt, and to become the nation Israel—a holy priesthood (Exod 19:6) and the bride of YHVH (Ezek 16:8; Jer 2:2; 31:32). There, at the foot of Mount Sinai, YHVH wanted them to become his ambassadors to this world of his heavenly kingdom and truths.
The counting of the omer is the story of our lives also. It pictures our going from bondage to the world, the flesh and the devil and coming to a place of spiritual standing before YHVH, so that we can be used of him to advance his kingdom. It’s a process ordained of YHVH and it’s his pattern that we must follow. There is no escape if we are to be groomed and prepared for use in YHVH’s service.
Why Fifty Days Between the Wave Sheaf Offering and Shavuot?
Fifty is the number of complete redemption or liberty. In ancient Israel, all debts were forgiven every seven years. This was called the seven-year cycle. Each seven years one had to let their land rest—no crops were planted. This was called the land Sabbath. Seven seven-year cycles equaled 49 years. In the Scriptures, we see that seven is the number YHVH uses to signify completion or perfection. Therefore, seven sevens, or 49 years, signified total completion. Seven Sabbaths represents redemption, liberty or rest in its fullest or ultimate sense. The fiftieth year was therefore the year of jubilee when all slaves were set free, all land was returned to its original owners and when all debts were forgiven. If Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread signified deliverance from sin (Egypt), then Shavuot, occurring 50 days after the wave sheaf offering during the week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, symbolizes total redemption, deliverance and victory over sin. How? For us, this occurs through the divine gift and glorious power of the indwelling presence of the Ruach HaKodesh (the Set-Apart Spirit), which Yeshua poured out upon his disciples on the day of Pentecost.
We must recognize this YHVH-ordained process, submit to it and realize what he wants to accomplish in our lives as a result. As we are going through the process, we must keep our eyes on the end goal and keep heading in that direction.
The 49 Days Represent a Time of Overcoming and Spiritual Development
When Israel left Egypt, she was immersed or baptized in the Red Sea. This represents the redeemed believer’s being baptized for the remission of sins at the time of their conversion, and their receiving the Spirit of Elohim. The gift of YHVH’s Spirit is for the purpose of producing within us YHVH’s divine nature.
Divine Empowerment for Kingdom Advancement
Upon conclusion of the 49 days we arrive at the 50th day—Mattan Torah, or the Giving of the Torah. After we have achieved all we can accomplish through our own initiative, we must then be willing to receive a divine gift (‘mattan’ in Hebrew) from above—YHVH’s Torah written on our hearts by his Paracletos or Comforter. The Spirit of Elohim is the One who comes along side of us to aid, help, strengthen and succour us in walking out the Torah. With divine help, we receive that which we could not achieve with our own limited faculties. We receive the gift of true freedom from the world, the flesh and the devil through the gift of the Spirit of Elohim indwelling us, writing his Torah in our hearts, and empowering us to live at a spiritual level beyond what is otherwise impossible solely through our own human initiative; it is the divine empowerment and the ability to transcend our human limitations and touch the divine!
The count of the omer represents 49 days (7 times 7) to come into perfect completion in the fruits of the spirit, so that we will be ready to be empowered by the gifts of the spirit (on Pentecost) so that we can fulfill Yeshua’s command in Acts 1:8.
We need a time of removing the spiritual leaven from our lives, of overcoming and rising above the flesh—a period of spiritual cleansing and refinement before YHVH can properly use us without our being a spiritual liability as spiritual babes.
During the counting of the omer, we learn disciplines how to overcome the world, the flesh and devil progressively and continually as we ascend spiritually. If we choose to submit to YHVH’s plan, we will continue through this process spiraling ever upward toward heaven until the day we die.
Walking Together in One Accord
Learning to walk together and in one accord didn’t just happen on the day of Pentecost in the upper room (Acts 2:1). It started in the years, months, weeks, and days prior to that momentous event. One accordance was not something that miraculously dropped down on YHVH’s people in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. It started in the lives of the people as they were walking out the fruits of the Spirit in their homes, with their families, in their communities, on their jobs. It started with their relationships with their wives and children and radiated like rays of the sun out from there into a cold and dark world. Walking in the fruits of the Spirit is a process that involves little-by-little overcoming the flesh nature, and allowing YHVH’s will to permeate our every thought, word and deed every step of the way, every moment of the day. Then when people who are doing this come together, they will be in one accord with the Spirit of Elohim.
Pentecost-type experiences with YHVH pouring out the gift of his Holy Spirit will happen again and again, as it did several more times as recorded in the Book of Acts (Acts 2:46; 4:22–24; 31–32; 5:12; 8:6).