Today is June 6, 2019, or Sivan 3 on the Hebrew Calendar. Why is this day significant? To understand this, we have to go back to the days when Moses led God’s people out of Egypt. Remember, it was on the 15th of Nisan, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when Moses led God’s people out of Egypt. The Israelites had been enslaved by the Egyptian Pharaoh in Egypt for about 430 years.
God heard the cries of his people for deliverance and freedom and demanded that Pharaoh free His people. Because of Pharaoh’s stubborn and hard heart, he refused to release the Israelites from slavery. God sent a series of 10 plagues to convince Pharaoh to release His people.
The plagues began more as a severe nuisance and gradually increased in severity culminating in the 10th plague, the plague of death. At first the plagues affected both the Israelites and the Egyptians, but by the 4th Plague God made a very clear distinction between who belonged to HIM and who did not.
To avoid the final and most painful plague, the plague of death, the Israelites were instructed to kill a lamb and spread its blood over their doorposts and lintels. When the plague of death came, God would “Pass over” all homes who had been obedient and had spread the blood of the lamb over their doorposts and lintels. Though this seems extremely strange to us living in the 21st century, God was showing a spiritual truth that eventually He would send His Christ, His Messiah to be the Sacrificial Lamb of God. There is a plague of Spiritual death coming that no person can avoid UNLESS they have applied the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus the Christ, over the doorposts and lintels of their hearts.
After the plague of death passed over the Israelites homes, stunning the Egyptians who lost many of their family members and livestock, the Israelites prepared to leave Egypt. They left Egypt on the 15th of Nisan (the first month on the Hebrew agricultural calendar).
Pharaoh’s army pursued them to the Red Sea, where God made a way for the Israelites to cross over on dry land. God makes a way where there seems to be no way. God literally parted the red sea so that the Israelites could cross over. The Egyptian army pursued them into the sea; however, God then released the waters and all of Pharaoh’s army drowned in the sea.
Sivan 1 – Arrive at Mt. Sinai
After crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites were led to Mt. Sinai, a very significant mountain. They arrived at Mt. Sinai On the first day of Sivan (the 3rd Hebrew month). The Hebrew calendar is a lunar calendar that begins each month with the 1st sighting of the moon.
Exodus 19: In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day they came into the wilderness of Sinai.2 When they set out from Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and camped in the wilderness; and there Israel camped in front of the mountain.
It was at this Mountain that the Lord YHWH would enter into the Mosaic Covenant with the Israelites. God told the Israelites, through Moses the Prophet, that He had chosen them over all the peoples of the earth to be His Holy People. They were to be “set apart” (Holy) from the peoples of the earth, meaning they were to live differently. Why did God choose the Israelites over all the peoples of the earth? Although this isn’t specifically mentioned in the Bible, it really has to do with the Covenant that God had made with Abraham over two hundred years earlier. God promised Abraham that He would make Abraham’s descendants “a Great Nation”. The Abrahamic Covenant was unconditional, meaning that nothing was required of Abraham, except faith and belief. The Mosaic Covenant that God made with the Israelites was different than the Abrahamic Covenant in that it was conditional. God promised the Israelites that He would protect them, provide for them, that they would be fertile, their land would be fertile, their livestock would be fertile, their enemies would be defeated if they obeyed His Commandments. If they disobeyed, then the opposite would happen, and ultimately they would be exiled from the land that He had promised them. HIS story tells us that, like all mankind, the Israelites disobeyed, worshiped other gods, and were exiled from the land. The Mosaic Covenant was written on Tablets of stone, representing the stony coldness of the Israelites’ hardened hearts. Though they were in Covenant with YHWH, they WOULD NOT yield their own desires to the desires of God. They often worshiped other gods. Their hearts were hard.
Exodus 19: “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. 5 Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”
Exodus 19:10: The Lord also said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; 11 and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, ‘Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through; whether beast or man, he shall not live.’
Sivan 2 – Wash and consecrate
On Sivan 2, the people were instructed to wash themselves, consecrate themselves, and prepare themselves for the 3rd day. On the 3rd Day, God would come down on Mt. Sinai, and speak with the people. What does it mean to be washed and consecrated? The Israelites were told to clean themselves up. God is Holy, He is Righteous, no unclean person can be in His presence. They were told to physically clean themselves, but obviously there is more here than that. What does it mean to be consecrated? To consecrate means to be set apart, made ready to be exclusively used for a particular purpose, made sacred or Holy. Moses told the people that they must wash themselves so they could be consecrated and used by God. This, again, is a Physical representation of a spiritual truth. The Christian is washed clean and consecrated (set apart as Holy) by the blood of Jesus.
1 John 1:7: but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Ephesians 5:25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
Our sins are completely forgiven the moment we believe that Jesus is God’s Son, our Messiah who takes away the sins of the world. The blood of Jesus cleanses us completely from our sins, past, present, and future and sets us apart for His Holy use and purpose. Once Saved and Sanctified through Jesus’ shed blood, Jesus then purifies and renews us daily through the “washing of the water of the Word” so that we can be presented to Him as a Bride without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:25-26). We have received God’s Word in two forms, His Written Word, and His Living Word. Jesus is the Living Word of God, the Word of God made flesh. Jesus, the Living Word of God, dwells within each believer via His Holy Spirit. This is why God says that the Christian’s body is now the Temple of God, making our bodies Holy. When we defile ourselves through our sin, we should repent and turn back to God because we are defiling His Temple. Jesus’ shed blood covers all of our sins; however, the more we yield ourselves to God, denying our own selfish and sinful desires and goals, and allowing His Holy Spirit to flow through us, the more that God will use us for His Divine purposes.
Romans 12:1: Therefore I urge you, brothers, on account of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
Romans 6:19: I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to escalating wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.
Sivan 3 – Set a boundary, prepare
On Sivan 3, which in 2019 is today 6/6, the Israelites were instructed to set a boundary around the mountain lest they die. Why? Because our God is so Holy that no human flesh dare approach Him (unless He makes special provisions for them the way that He did Moses). Our sinful, human flesh will burn up in the presence of Almighty God.
Exodus 19: 18 Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. 19 When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder. 20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. 21 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go down, warn the people, so that they do not break through to the Lord to gaze, and many of them perish. 22 Also let the priests who come near to the Lord consecrate themselves, or else the Lord will break out against them.”23 Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for You warned us, saying, ‘Set bounds about the mountain and consecrate it.’”
This was serious business. God warned the people to set a boundary around the Mountain, and not attempt to approach even the base of the Mountain where the Lord was coming down. With the whole mountain smoking, quaking, the sound of a Trumpet growing louder and louder, do you think the Israelites wanted to go near the Mountain? No way! They begged Moses to intercede for them. This is something that we need to remember today. Yes, Jesus IS LOVE; and yes, Jesus LOVES all people, but HE is still God, and HE is Holy. Jesus IS very approachable; however, we should not wrap ourselves in sin, be proud of our sin while refusing to be renewed by the washing of the water of the Word, and expect Him to Receive us. It is true that all Christians are are washed completely clean by the blood of Jesus, but God’s Grace came at a very high cost that we all need to remember. Did Jesus follow His own path, His own way? Jesus totally yielded His own Will to the Will of the Father. We should be thankful for this because Jesus could have easily decided “Nope, I don’t think I want to go through with this. But Jesus always placed the Will of the Father over His own Will.
John 12:49: For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.
Luke 22:41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, 42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”
Notice what Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before He was arrested, beaten, scourged, and crucified. Jesus asked the Father if there was ANY OTHER WAY, to take the CUP from Him...meaning that if there was any other way to save mankind, would GOD please not ask HIM to go through this horrible, excruciatingly painful death! Let’s face it, Jesus was fully God, but He was also fully human. Did the Father NOT LOVE Jesus? Of course the Father LOVED His Son! Yes! But the Father had a BIG PLAN in mind to save mankind, one that required His Son’s absolute obedience, even unto death. Let’s think about this when we consider what God has asked us to give up. God asks us to turn from sin and receive the forgiveness offered through His Son. Is that too much to ask? Is it too much to ask that we turn from idolatry, from adultery, from fornication, from homosexuality, from hatred, anger, selfishness, unforgiveness, drunkenness? Can we continue loving these things, refusing to ever repent, and say we love God? Shouldn’t we TRY to be obedient? Jesus was obedient. Jesus was obedient even unto death. What about us? Yes, Jesus was fully God, but He was also fully human, sharing in all of our sorrow, pain, rejection, and suffering. Shouldn’t we TRY to follow Jesus?
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.
On this 3rd day of Sivan, we need to remember that boundaries do need to be set around God. Yes, God made a way for us to approach Him fully and completely through His Son Jesus, but we should NOT trample on the Grace of God. Jesus paid a very high price for us to have the ability to go safely, freely, and boldly before the Throne of God’s Grace.
Hebrews 4:15: For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin. 16: Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Today is a good day to reflect on what God has done for us, how He has made a way for us to approach His Throne of Grace, on the obedience of our Savior unto death. Jesus is now calling us to “follow HIM”, to become “living sacrifices” where we sacrifice our own selfish ambitions, sins, and ideas and live according to His ways (as best as we possibly can). Although we are only made of dust and will NEVER meet God’s standard of Righteousness on our own (which is why we NEED our Savior), Jesus does not want His Followers to be willfully and blatantly, and HAPPILY LAWLESS, with no regard for His Sacrifice. Jesus was showing us the best example of what our response should be to God’s love and Grace….a totally surrendered life.
Three days after Jesus Crucifixion, Jesus ROSE …IN GLORY! Jesus is now seated at the Right hand of the Father, in Glory, and power, and victory. Because of Jesus’ obedience to the Father, because of His excruciatingly painful death on the Cross, He offered SALVATION to ALL MANKIND! Jesus gave mankind a CHANCE! He made a way where there was NO WAY! Why did He do it? Because Jesus is building a FAMILY. He’s building a FAMILY because His Love is so great, He desires to have MORE PEOPLE to LOVE! Jesus wants a GREAT BIG FAMILY! You see, Jesus’ obedience to His Father set the stage for so much to be accomplished BY the FATHER! The enemy has been defeated! Death has been defeated!
This earth is not our final destination. We seem to think that THIS LIFE is the “be all”, “end all” of everything…but it’s NOT! The Kingdom of God is our final destination, EARTH is just our training ground. Earth is our PREPARATION for the KINGDOM OF GOD! Though God calls Christians, those who love His Son Jesus, to be consecrated, set apart, different from the world, IN RETURN, HE offers us an ETERNITY of JOY that we cannot comprehend. Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, nor has it even entered into the HEART of man the things that GOD has PREPARED for those who LOVE HIM. Better than Christmas? Oh yes! Better than Vacation…Yes! Better than winning a million dollars…YES!!! Better than any Paradise of happiness that you or I could even dream up? YES! Believe me, whatever we give up for Jesus on this earth will be SO WORTH IT in the end. If we sacrifice our own selfish ambitions and DECIDE to FOLLOW HIM..then HE can fully use us for HIS Divine purposes, meaning that we will ACCOMPLISH HIS PURPOSE for our life! If we do this, then we will be REWARDED BIG TIME in the age to come. And Believe me, that AGE comes QUICKLY!
The Israelites were told to set a boundary for in 3 days, they should PREPARE to meet their God. What happened in 3 days? The Mountain shook, it smoked, there was lightning and thunder, and there was an EXCEEDINGLY LOUD TRUMPET. God came down the Mountain and delivered to the Israelites the ten commandments. This was like a marriage ceremony between Israel and YHWH. The Jewish people call this day Shavuot, and it is the 50th day of the Counting of the Omer. The number 50 represents JUBILEE, FREEDOM from SLAVERY, and JOY! During the days of Jesus, 50 days after the Resurrection (ON SHAVUOT), the Disciples received the HOLY SPIRIT, God’s Spirit that literally dwelled within them. This was the beginning of the “MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH”, that God Almighty was going to spread HIS MESSAGE of SALVATION, the GOSPEL of JESUS CHRIST, to the GENTILES! Though this was at first SHOCKING to the Disciples, they soon learned that God was calling not only Jews to Holiness, consecration, and SALVATION, but also the GENTILES! This day, called Shavuot by the Jews, is also called PENTECOST by the Gentile Church. It is a very special day. Jew and Gentile, one in Messiah! https://dyingworld.org/2018/10/08/feast-of-pentecost/