Thursday, 30 May 2019
Can you believe we're already counting the 40th day of the omer? Anybody want to tell me why the 40th day is so special? After all, the number 40 has a prominent role in Scripture. Want some examples?
* God caused it to rain for 40 days and 40 nights while He kept Noah and company safe in the Ark.
* Isaac was 40 when he married Rebekah.
* Moses' life is broken up into 3 periods of 40 years.
* Moses was on the mountain for 40 days, twice.
* Jonah warned Nineve for 40 days.
* God was (the Hebrew word A'qut is best translated as loathing) angry with the generation that came out of Egypt and made them wander (and die) in the desert for 40 years.
I could go on. The number 40 is used significantly in the Bible 146 times. (I read it on the internet, it must be true.) So, have you figured it out yet? Why is the first 40 days of counting the omer so significant?
Yes, in the year of the crucifixion, Yeshua was resurrected on the 3rd day and taught the disciples about the kingdom of God for 40 days before His ascension (on the 40th day of the counting of the omer). Yes, today also marks the anniversary of His ascension.
It also marks 10 days until the giving of the Holy Spirit on the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost), the 50th day.
Rabbi Trail: Speaking of the 50th day, we will have a special congregational Shavuot worship service (10:30am, Sunday, June 9th, in the synagogue) together with Grace and Glory Fellowship, followed by both congregations picnicking at nearby Holston River Park. Please bring a side or dessert. The meat, buns, condiments and drinks will be provided. End RT.
On the opposite side of the calendar, there is the month of Elul (29 days) that is the lead up to Rosh Hashanah (the 1st of Tishre). Another 10 days takes us to Yom Kippur (the 39th day from the 1st of Elul). Add 10 days to that (making a total of 49 days) and you get to the end of Chol HaMoed (the middle days of Sukkot). Then we have the grand finale, the 7th day of Sukkot, the 50th day from the 1st of Elul (Hoshana Raba), Shemini Atzeret (the next day) and Simchat Torah (the day after that).
Did you get all that? Good! There will be a test later. I have good news, all of God's tests are open book, and the book is the Bible.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,