Thursday, May 6, 2010

Reasons for Christians to Count the Omer

By Brenda Cathcart

When God gives the Israelites instructions for observing His feasts, he tells them to count the days from the Feast of Firstfruits to the Feast of Weeks.

Leviticus 23:15-16 NKJV 15 'And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. 16 'Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD.

Deuteronomy calls this day of the new grain offering the Feast of Weeks. The seventh Sabbath would be day 49 and the next day, the fiftieth day is the Feast Day.

Deuteronomy 16:9-10 NKJV 9 "You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain. 10 "Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the LORD your God blesses you.

The New Testament uses the Greek word Pentecost meaning fiftieth to describe the Feast. The countdown is actually a count up starting with one on the Feast of Firstfruits and concluding with fifty on the Feast of Weeks. The Jewish people call this period the Counting of the Omer. The Hebrew word Omer means sheaf. Literally, we are talking about sheaves of grain. Metaphorically, we are talking about the harvest of people. In Genesis 37 Joseph has a dream in which the sheaves of his brothers bow down to his sheaf establishing the precedent of sheaves representing people. Jesus represents the very first sheaf of barley harvested specifically for the Feast of Firstfruits. Paul calls him the firstfruits of the resurrection.

1 Corinthians 15:20 KJV 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

We can think of the counting of the Omer as counting the sheaves that will be harvested. On the Feast of Weeks when the Holy Spirit falls, the harvest of those sheaves begins. On that day alone, 3000 people believed.

Acts 2:41 KJV 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Although no one has of yet fully attained the promise of the resurrection, the Holy Spirit is our down payment.

Ephesians 1:13-14 NKJV 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

Christians can participate in Counting the Omer by preparing ourselves anew for a renewing of the gift of the Holy Spirit who gives us power to accomplish the harvest of souls. Peter and the apostles were preparing themselves for this gift. After Jesus ascended into heaven, the apostles returned to Jerusalem where they appointed a man to replace Judas.

Acts 1:21-22 NKJV 21 "Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 "beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection."

Peter was getting ready to receive the gift that Jesus told them to expect. He, along with all the apostles, was getting ready to witness to Jesus’ resurrection because Jesus told them that they would be witnesses!

John 15:26-27 NKJV 26 "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 "And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

We can spend the time like the disciples did, in prayer and praise blessing God.

שלום ברוך
Shalom and Be Blessed
Dan & Brenda Cathcart

Brenda and I are going to Israel June 19th to 30th.  It is not too late to join us in the land promised to Abraham for this special tour where you will see the promised Messiah of Israel like you have never seen Him before!  We will visit places off the beaten path and follow in the foot steps of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Join us as we also explore the people, culture, politics and conflict that is today’s Israel and a special Sabbath day in Jerusalem.  For details on the tour visit

No comments:

Post a Comment

You must include your name, city and state at the end of your comment. I do not accept comments from any one who identifies themselves as anonymous. All comments are moderated prior to appearing on this blog.