When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.
There are several things in Act 2 that I love:
Fire, Feasts and Holidays. Pentecost has all 3 of these. Pentecost or Shavuot is a festival of celebrating God bringing the Israelites out of Egypt and the bringing of the Word to His people on Mount Sinai. This past 12 months has been a time of many celebrations, 200 years since the first sermon in New Zealand, 100 years since the landings of Gallipoli, my birthday your birthday.
On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. 19 And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in 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.
This was the first Shavuot or Pentecost. See the links to Acts 2 – Fire, Noise and God meeting with His people. And in Acts 2 3,000 people were added whereas in the Exodus event 3,000 were subtracted.
But I want focus on the festival side of Pentecost or Shavuot. There they were under instructions to wait in the Upper Room for the Promise of the Father.
God gave us seven main festivals/holidays to remind us of who and what He has done for us. (See Lev 23)
- Sabbath – Shabbat is about creation
- Passover – Pesach – is about Salvation
- Feast of Firstfruits – is about dedication to the Lord
- Feast of Weeks – Shavuot – is remembering the word of God
- Feast of Trumpets – Spiritual preparation
- Day of Atonement – Redemption
- Feast of Tabernacles, Tents or Booths – Sukkot – Joyful remembrance
3 of these are pilgrimage festivals – Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot. God’s purpose in have these festivals is so that we will stop and remember Who He is and what He has done and doing.This past 12 months has been a time of many celebrations, 200 years since the first sermon, 100 years since the landings of Gallipoli, my birthday your birthday. We like to remember past things, some with joy like our birthdays and anniversaries, some with solemnness like Anzac day.
God wants us to remember Him. How quickly our memories can fade, look at the Israelits in Exodus while Moses was up the mountain with Fire and noise the people forgot who he was meeting with and decided to put all their gold earrings into the fire and this golden calf popped up out of it.
God wants us to not forget but He also wants us to share with others.
Joshua 4:1 –
When all the nation had finished passing tover the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2 “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, 3 and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’” 4 Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. 5 And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, 6 that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ 7 then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”
Check out this clip
Memorials are important. Yes they can be about the past as in the Yom Hashoah clip but they are meant to be about the what He has done and what He will do again.
Joshua set up seven memorials.
- Josh4:24 Gilgal to remind us of God’s faithfulness
- Josh7:26 Valley of Achor. Also known as the Door of Hope. A reminder of the consequences of sin
- Josh8:28 King of Ai. A reminder of second chance and restoration.
- Josh 8: 30 Mount Ebal A reminder of God’s word or instruction
- Josh10:27 Gibeon. A reminder of God’s grace
- Josh 22:34 Gilead. A witness to the fact that God is God
- Josh 24:26 Shechem. A reminder to what God has said to us, that His word is true
But its not just about setting up a stone and admiring it, otherwise it just becomes another stone in the pile of stones. We need to tell others the story of the stones, write them down and share so that they become our testimony.
Rev 12:11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony,
Psalm 119: 46 I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame,
Lord we give thanks for who you are in our lives, thank you that you are Jehovah Jireh, El Sahaddai, Jehovah Rapha, Jehovah Ro’i, Jehovah Shalom in our lives. Help me to remember the works you have done in my life, but also help me to share with others your goodness. Give me boldness and courage to tell others about who you are and what you can do for them just as you have done amazing and miraculous things in my life.