One of the major Jewish feasts occurs during the month of Sivan—the third one on the Hebrew calendar that began on Friday. The very meaning of Sivan—bright—is significant for this event. Seven weeks after the exodus from Egypt, Shavuot (also called the Feast of Weeks) or Pentecost (Greek for fifty) occurred. This celebration marks the completion of the time frame between Passover and Shavuot that is meant to be a time for God's people to prepare for the giving of Torah--a time of refinement through introspection and giving thanks daily (counting the Omer). For me personally, it has been an honor to spend this time between Passover and Pentecost counting the blessings God has poured out upon me. He is truly an awesome God!
When we look upon this time frame we should remember that Shavuot or Pentecost contains three focuses: (1) According to Exodus 34:22 God's people are to celebrate the Feast of Weeks with a firstfruits offering from the wheat harvest. In a non-agrarian society this is done with thanksgiving and by giving a gift to God. In this way, we are giving Him thanks for His physical provision. (2) The Jewish people celebrate Shavuot as the time when God gave Torah or the revelation of His Word to them. On the day that God gave Torah He made a covenant with the people of Israel. He told them, "...Although the whole earth is mine you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." (Exodus 19:5-6) (3) God remembers His covenant with His people and understood how important it would be for Him to help us comprehend the Torah. Messianic believers and Christians celebrate this month as the one when the Holy Spirit (Ruach Ha-Kodesh) was given. This outpouring of the Spirit is for the working of His power as described in Acts 2. On Pentecost God manifested His presence in a tangible way and sealed the covenant He made with His people.
The third month is celebrated as the time of the birth of the Church or the Bride of Messiah. Just as God made a covenant with His Church, promising us His love forever, a bride and groom make covenant with one another. Appropriately, Sivan is known as the wedding or covenant month. In his book, A Time to Advance, Chuck Pierce suggests that we read Song of Solomon. The Lover of our Souls calls us to greater intimacy with Him and draws us into the Holy of Holies. This is the place where God's glory dwells in all of its brilliance. This is truly a month of brightness!
Since this is the month of weddings, it seems like the right time to share a personal thanksgiving with you. The Lord has seen fit to bring an amazing, godly man into my life. We have been growing in our love for one another and have taken the first step in making a life-long covenant with one another. Jac and I are to be married in October. I believe it is so fitting that I went to look for a wedding dress and found one on Friday, the first of Sivan. My joy and thanksgiving to the Lord are overflowing!
God wants us to remember that He is always with us to bring physical provision, revelation of His Word and the power of the Holy Spirit. More than this, remember that He is a covenant-keeping God. Jesus gave His disciples a way to remember His covenant. He told them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." (Luke 22:15) Today this Passover meal is what we call Communion. "And He took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them saying, 'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way, after the supper He took the cup saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.'" (Luke 22:19-20) We are heirs of the covenant of God--an unbreakable and irrevocable one! All the praise and honor belongs to Him!
Joan E. Mathias