Day 30 | Why Count the Omer

Leviticus 23: 9-22
9 Adonai spoke to Moses saying:

10 “Speak to Bnei-Yisrael and tell them: When you have come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you are to bring the Omer of the firstfruits of your harvest to the kohen.

11 He is to wave the omer before Adonai, to be accepted for you. On the morrow after the Shabbat, the kohen is to wave it.

12 On the day when you wave the omer you are to offer a male lamb without blemish, one year old, as a burnt offering to Adonai.
13 The grain offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil—an offering made by fire to Adonai for a soothing aroma. Its drink offering with it shall be a quarter of a gallon of wine.

14 You are not to eat bread, roasted grain, or fresh grain until this same day—until you have brought the offering of your God. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

15 “Then you are to count from the morrow after the Shabbat, from the day that you brought the omer of the wave offering, seven complete Shabbatot.
16 Until the morrow after the seventh Shabbat you are to count fifty days, and then present a new grain offering to Adonai.

17 You are to bring out of your houses two loaves of bread for a wave offering, made of two tenths of an ephah of fine flour. They are to be baked with hametz as firstfruits to Adonai.
18 You are to present, along with the bread, seven one-year-old lambs without blemish, one young bull, and two rams. They will become a burnt offering to Adonai, with their meal offering, and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to Adonai.

19 Also you are to offer one male goat for a sin offering and a pair of year-old male lambs for a sacrifice of fellowship offerings.
20 The kohen is to wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before Adonai, with the two lambs. They should be holy to Adonai for the kohen.
21 You are to make a proclamation on the same day that there is to be a holy convocation, and you shall do no regular work. This is a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
22 “Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you are not to reap to the furthest corners of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Rather you are to leave them for the poor and for the outsider. I am Adonai your God.

REFLECT

Why should we count the Omer?  This Jewish holiday is planted in the calendar between Passover and the Fall Festivals for a very specific reason: all Israel was to rejoice over the harvest of the good things God had given them in the Land He had promised to their forefathers.  It is a time of celebration for the year’s harvest and recounting God’s past faithfulness.  Along with thanking the Lord for the first fruits of the harvest, the people were to take care to remember the poor and the foreigner among them.  When God provides us with abundance, we must take care to remember to show compassion to others.  James 1:27 reflects this: “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world”.  The Father wants us to be a blessing to those who are in need. When we do this, we are honoring God and truly aligning ourselves with the desire of His heart: to care and provide for others just as He does for us.

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