11/04/W – Pentecost

2 Samuel 21:1-22; Acts 2:1-21; Psalms 121:1-4; Proverbs 27:1-2

NT: “When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated and rested on each one of them. Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were Jews staying in Jerusalem, devout people from every nation under heaven. When this sound occurred, a crowd came together and was confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language… They were all astounded and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But some sneered and said, “They’re drunk on new wine.” Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed to them, “Fellow Jews and all you residents of Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and pay attention to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it’s only nine in the morning. On the contrary, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: And it will be in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit on all people; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. I will even pour out my Spirit on my servants in those days, both men and women and they will prophesy.” (‭‭Acts‬ ‭2:1-6, 12-18‬ ‭CSB)

Pentecost is the Greek name given to the Hebrew Festival Shavuot. The reason it is name Pentecost is because it occurs 50 (pente) days after Passover (or Easter). Pentecost or Shavuot was one of three festivals where Jewish males were required to make pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. Shavuot was a harvest festival during which the nation of Israel expressed thanks to God for the blessing of that year’s harvest. Jews also believed that Shavuot was the day when God gave the law to Moses on Mount Sinai. It was during this celebration of the harvest and celebration of the giving of the Law that The Father decided to pour out His blessing of the Holy Spirit. Fifty days after being delivered from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, God gave the law. Fifty days after Jesus delivered mankind from the bondage to sin, God gave the Holy Spirit and blessed His people with a great spiritual harvest. Luke’s account of that day doesn’t say that it was only the 11 disciples plus Matthias that were baptized by the Holy Spirit. Luke said that they were all together, and all who were in the house were baptized. We know that there were at least 120 in that upper room… men and women. All were baptized and all began prophesying in other languages as the Holy Spirit gave them the ability. The Holy Spirit didn’t posses their bodies and force them to speak in other languages… He enabled them to speak in other languages. The will to speak came from the overflow of their own hearts. As they began prophesying, the men who had traveled to Jerusalem for the festival from every known nation, heard the words of prophecy in their own native language. Then Peter (the man who had once denied Christ out of fear) under the baptism of the Holy Spirit, stood up with boldness, and by the Holy Spirit spoke with wisdom, clarity, and conviction. What a difference the Holy Spirit makes!

Psalms: “I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber. Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭121:1-4‬ ‭CSB)

This psalm is classified as a song of ascent. The songs of ascent were songs that Jews would sing as they ascended into Jerusalem during their pilgrimage to the temple. Prior to that Pentecost festival nearly two thousand years ago, the pilgrims would have been singing this song as they entered Jerusalem. Little did they know, not only would the Lord give them help – He was about to send The Helper, the Holy Spirit who would always be by the side of those who placed their faith in the Maker of heaven and earth.

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