Monday, May 22, 2023

Waiting!... for Pentecost

"And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father..." (Acts 1:4).

The Day of Pentecost teaches a number of lessons.  It represents the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4).  It represents the start of the New Testament Church of God.  It teaches us the lesson of the first fruits, that the Church in this age is only the early, small spiritual harvest of members of the kingdom of God, in contrast to the great future harvest after Christ returns as represented by the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day.  It may represent the work of the Church of preaching gospel to the world, because it was on Pentecost that the Church of God began to preach the gospel with power and to rapidly increase in numbers (Acts 2:14-42).  

I think Pentecost also teaches us the lesson of waiting for God's blessing.  We are taught to count fifty days to Pentecost (Leviticus 23:15-16).  

This number 50 reminds us of the Jubilee that came every 50 years in ancient Israel, a time when everyone could return to the land of their fathers and would once again own their own land, a great blessing (Leviticus 25:8-13).  

But the Israelites had to wait for it, and 50 years can be a long time.

Likewise, the disciples had to wait for the Day of Pentecost before receiving the promised gift of the Holy Spirit.

Think of it.  Christ promised the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-18, 26).  Then He suffered and died to pay the penalties for our sins so we can be forgiven.  He was also resurrected and went to heaven, making it possible for Him to send the Holy Spirit.  The disciples had already repented.  Yet they had to wait.  They had to wait for the power and love and sound mind that are the fruits of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 1:7).  They also had to wait to preach the gospel.

We also have to sometimes wait for God's promised blessings, yet God is faithful to fulfill His word.  We have to learn to wait and trust in God's faithfulness and promises.  

Pentecost can remind us of that lesson.

Trust in God and wait for Him.

"Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!" (Psalm 27:14).

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