May 19, 2016
Today, we past the half-way point in counting the omer for 50 days. As we reflect on this season, there are some things to notice about the biblical feasts. They center around harvesting.
There are three pilgrimage feasts, when all adult males were to appear before the Lord in Jerusalem, to bring their offerings into the temple. It says in Exodus 23:14-17 — “Three times in the year you shall keep a feast to me. You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. None shall appear before me empty-handed. You shall keep the Feast of Harvest, of the firstfruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. You shall keep the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor. Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord God.”
There are three harvests. The first is barley. The second is wheat. The third harvest is a celebration of the pressing of the grapes, and the final threshing of the wheat.
Scripture offers us many lessons about seedtime and harvest, and sowing and reaping. In fact, Yeshua said that the parable of the sower was the key to understanding ALL the parables! (Mark 4:13 — “And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?”)
So what can we learn about these three harvests? Yeshua was resurrected at the beginning of the barley harvest, on the very day that the Israelites were to wave their sheaf offerings, which contained their first bundle of barley from their fields. He was the first fruit of many resurrections that took place over the next few days. (Matthew 27:52-53 — “The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.”).
During the 50 days of counting the omer, Yeshua appeared to many individuals and to large crowds. He was demonstrating the barley harvest!
The second harvest day was Shavuot, which is also known as Pentecost. This was a celebration of the wheat harvest. It was the day, historically, that Moses was given the Torah, and then, on the same day centuries later, it was the day that Yeshua gave us the Spirit. There was a harvest that day too. First, the Spirit was poured out on the Jewish disciples who were gathered together for Shavuot. Their display of power and boldness, and speaking in many tongues, brought in an immediate harvest of 3000 new believers.
Is is possible that the wheat is symbolic of the church? Yeshua taught so many parables about wheat, and these parables were directed at the church, and the lessons we need to know.
The first and second harvest were only 50 days apart from each other. Then there is a period of six months before the next harvest.
The third harvest was also about wheat, but only at the final threshing. Perhaps this is representative of the end of the age — the FINAL harvest, after the church has been tried and tested and proven worthy.
But notice that the third harvest is also a celebration of the pressing of the grapes. When Yeshua attended the wedding at Cana, he turned water into wine, and the guests said that he saved the best wine for the LAST. Could this wine be representative of the Jewish people? The grapes are not freshly cut from the vine, but rather, they are at their final pressing.
In the first two harvests, we celebrate barley and wheat that have not been processed into food yet. In the third harvest, the wheat and grapes have been processed into a usable product.
Could this be the message of the three harvests? Is this the season that we are currently in — the final harvest, of Gentiles and Jews, both being pressed, to become ready for the Master’s use?