Counting the Omer
49 Days Countdown to Shavuot
Secret of Counting the Omer to Shavuot/Pentecost!
What is all this business about “counting the omer,” the wave sheaf offering, and counting the days to Pentecost? Most churches are thoroughly confused on this issue, and totally miss the point of this COMMANDMENT of YEHOVAH!
What is the truth? What is the hidden mystery of the omer? What is an “omer,” anyway, and why should we be concerned about it? Here is vital new truth which is a KEY to spiritual overcoming and enduring to the end!
One of the most potent and powerful keys to being an “overcomer” and enduring to the end is overlooked by the majority of Believer because of rejection of the Old Testament and rejection of the Torah of YEHOVAH in favor of pagan superstitions. Most churches forget that YESHUA said that man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceeds out of the mouth of YEHOVAH, (Matt.4:4; Luke 4:4).
YESHUA said the scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35). Paul said all scripture is given by inspiration of YAH and is profitable for doctrine, instruction, reproof, correction that the man of GOD may become perfect thoroughly furnished unto good works (II Timothy 3:16-17).
One of these overlooked commands of YEHOVAH is to count 50 days (7 complete weeks) “for yourselves,” starting on the second day of Passover – the day the wave sheaf is brought to the priest for the Omer offering on Nisan 16. Churches are even confused over what day this count should begin, are ignorant of its true spiritual meaning, and fail to observe it at all!
“You Shall COUNT…”
YEHOVAH declares, “You shall then COUNT seven complete weeks after the day following the Passover holy day when you brought the Omer as a wave offering” (Lev.23:15).
According to Jewish understanding, “Sefirat Ha’Omer” – counting the Omer – refers to the forty-nine days from the second day of the Passover festival, and recounts the journey of the Israelites from Egypt, through the desert wastes, to the revelation of ELOHIM at Mount Sinai, when the Commandments of YEHOVAH were set forth from Heaven, and YEHOVAH made a Covenant with His people Israel, and “married” His bride.
This step-by-step journey through the wilderness was a time of trial and testing. YEHOVAH revealed to His people the Sabbath day (Exo.16), and satisfied their hunger with manna from heaven. When they complained of thirst, He caused water to spring forth. When the Amalekites attacked, He intervened for them and helped them fight off the vicious hordes.
Each day the Israelites are commanded to count the Omer, as they experienced their journey from captivity (Egypt) to freedom (Sinai).
Notice that there are actually TWO commands in counting the Omer! First, we are commanded to “count off” the weeks, week by week. Then we are commanded to count off the DAYS, till we come to fifty – the fiftieth day being Pentecost!
The Testimony of Josephus
Josephus was a noted Jewish historian of the first century, who was himself a priest, a famous general in the war against the Romans in 70 A.D., and a Pharisee as well. He writes about Pentecost: “But on the second day of unleavened bread, which is the sixteenth day of the month, they first partake of the fruits of the earth, for before that day they do not touch them . . . . They also at this participation of the first fruits of the earth sacrifice a lamb, as a burnt offering to YEHOVAH.
“When a week of weeks has passed over after this sacrifice, (which weeks contain forty and nine days,) on the fiftieth day, which is Pentecost SHAVUOT. . . they bring to YEHOVAH a loaf made of wheat flour”
Observing this day was the customary practice of the Jews in the time of YESHUA.
WHY Count the Omer?
I could answer, simply, “Because YEHOVAH says to do it!” Would that be sufficient? It is a simple, clear-cut, direct commandment of YEHOVAH. If we fail to obey Him, we bring upon ourselves the curses for disobedience, and SIN – and the wages of sin lead to DEATH (Rom.6:23).
Therefore, because YEHOVAH commands us to count the days from Passover to Pentecost, we should acknowledge that it is a LAW OF YEHOVAH, one that we must obey, if we are to reap the spiritual benefits and avoid the consequences of disobedience!
Defilement and Contamination
When Israel left Egypt, they left behind hundreds of years during which they had become contaminated by Egyptian influence, idolatry, and had developed the mentality of slaves, as they were oppressed and driven by harsh taskmasters. They had sunk to new spiritual lows. But at their extremity of suffering, YEHOVAH sent Moses to bring them out of their bondage and suffering, and to lead them to freedom and sovereignty.
They left Egypt on the day of Passover, Nisan 15, after the night when the first born of Egypt were all put to death supernaturally (Exodus 12:29).
“the seven-day periods in the laws of uncleanness and purity as periods during which the individual strives to bring uncleanness to a close in order to enter a state of purity on the eighth day.
“Thus, a sevenfold counting of seven-day periods, that is, a counting of forty-nine days, would symbolize the complete elimination of uncleanness, namely, of bondage, to our senses. The fiftieth day Pentecost/ Shavuot would mark our final entry into purity, that is, into the realm of moral freedom. The Omer count thus symbolizes the idea that we can acquire moral freedom only through sevenfold intensive work on ourselves”
A Spiritual TYPE
How does this apply to YEHOVAH people, today?
This journey through the wilderness is a TYPE of the Believers life of overcoming – from baptism and leaving sin behind (Egypt), marching and struggling through the spiritual wilderness this evil world, and our human nature, until we reach the Kingdom of GOD.
As we go through our Believers’ lives, we meet obstacles, encounter problems, face trials and difficulties. All these are reflected in the “counting of the Omer,” a task which identifies with our progress in “overcoming” our sins, faults, and human nature, putting sin out of our lives, and developing the holy attributes of YEHOVAH, from the moment of conversion and baptism, until that final time when we are changed into spirit beings, the sons and daughters of the FATHER YEHOVAH, and inherit the promises of the New Covenant, at the coming of the Messiah!
There is a lot of confusion on this issue. The truth is very plain to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear and those to whom YEHOVAH opens their minds to perceive the truth. Let’s see what the word of YEHOVAH has to say about the “omer” and its incredible spiritual meaning and significance!
The Original Command
YEHOVAH commands His people, “When you come into the land which I give you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before YAH to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the Sabbath [Passover/annual Sabbath] the priest shall wave it before YEHOVAH” (Lev.23:10-11).
This was in the spring obviously. The first crop to be reaped in the spring is the barley crop (harvest). Verse 11 goes on, “wave the sheaf the day after the Sabbath”. What Sabbath? We are going to see that it is the Passover, an annual Sabbath and the first Day of Unleavened Bread. The sheaf is waved the day after Passover, first day of Unleavened Bread.
Verse 14 declares: “You shall not eat bread, parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that you have brought an offering unto your GOD; it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.” Verse 15 goes on, “you shall count for yourself (unto you), from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete.”
In the Tanakh this word “Sabbath” is translated as “WEEKS”. Many other translations agree it is weeks. We will see why the translation of weeks is the proper translation and understanding. Notice, seven weeks shall be completed, not partial weeks.
What is meant by seven complete Sabbaths? How do you count seven complete Sabbaths? A Sabbath is from sunset to sunset. In Deuteronomy 16: 9 we read: “you shall count seven weeks.” The Hebrew word here is shavua and means “week” and shavuot is the plural form, denoting “weeks.”
This is a commandment we are to do for our own benefit for ourselves. The Omer Count begins from the time you put the sickle to the grain (firstfruits). Then after the seven weeks are counted, we read, “you shall keep the Feast of Weeks /Shavuot”.
“from one full month – new moon” to another, and from one full week “Sabbath” to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith YEHOVAH.”
However, the Hebrew word – tam – also means Complete “portion” or “cycle” in addition to “complete.” Therefore, its plural form t’miymot can mean “portions,” “cycles,” or “levels.” Now the passage begins to become more interesting.
What is YEHOVAH telling us here?
By using the word shabbatot for “weeks” or “periods ending with a rest” WITH the word t’miymot meaning “periods” or “cycles” or “levels,” we have a description of a PROCESS OF OVERCOMING, DELINEATED BY “SEVEN STAGES,” or “SEVEN LEVELS”of spiritual growth and development, each stage “complete” in itself!
Thus, we have YEHOVAH showing us that we must OVERCOME the SEVEN complete aspects of HUMAN NATURE which will tend to drag us down, and keep us from entering His Kingdom! We must GROW in the SEVEN COMPLETE ATTRIBUTES OF YAH’S DIVINE CHARACTER, as revealed to men!
These seven areas of human nature we must overcome are the seven categories of human nature which the apostle Paul refers to as the “works of the flesh” (Galatians 5:19-21).
The seven aspects of ELOHIM’s divine nature are listed by Peter, when he writes: “Giving all diligence ADD to your faith virtue spiritual power, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self- control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren [useless, margin] nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our LORD YESHUA THE MESSIAH. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins” (II Pet.1:5-9).
We need to be working on developing these qualities daily.
“When the Israelites had come into the land to be given them by YEHOVAH, and has reaped the harvest, they were to bring a sheaf as first-fruits of their harvest to the priest, that he might wave it before YEHOVAH on the day after the Sabbath, after the first day of Mazzoth.
Nevertheless, the controversy still rages and many churches reject the Jewish interpretation and follow their own reasoning, refusing to take seriously YEHOVAH’s command to “count the omer.”
“These are the festivals for YEHOVAH — holy, set days, which you shall proclaim in their set times. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between
the two evenings, is the Passover for YEHOVAH. And on the fifteenth day of this month beginneth the festival of unleavened bread for YEHOVAH. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. Now the FIRST DAY shall be a holy, set day for you. You shall do no sacrificial service, but offer whole burnt offerings to YEHOVAH seven days, and the SEVENTH DAY shall be a holy set day for you. You shall do no sacrificial service.
“Moreover spoke YEHOVAH to Moses, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say unto them, When you are come into the land which I give you, and are about to reap the harvest thereof, you shall bring a sheaf, as the first fruits of your harvest, to the priest, and he shall offer up the sheaf before YEHOVAH, to be accepted for you ON THE MORROW AFTER THE FIRST DAY, the priest shall offer this up” (Lev. 23:4-11).
How interesting and plain this makes this controversial verse of Leviticus 23:11, which some claim tells us to offer the wave sheaf on the day after the weekly Sabbath. NOT SO! The Septuagint very plainly says, “on the morrow after the FIRST DAY,” and there is no way you can interpret the “first day” to ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE FIRST DAY OF THE FEAST! It clearly does not refer to the weekly Sabbath – the weekly Sabbath is the “SEVENTH DAY,” by its own definition!
The Awesome Significance of the Omer
The “counting of the Omer” from Pesach Passover to Shavuot Pentecost is a process – a daily task – that reflects like a mirror our spiritual lives. If we are not counting the Omer as YEHOVAH tells us to do, it is reflective of the fact that we are not overcoming sin and temptations and distractions in our lives. If we fail to count one day, but repent, and begin counting from that time, then YEHOVAH forgives us, and we go onward and forward. But it is better if we are faithful from beginning to end.
The Omer count is a reflection of our spirituality. Are we developing the attributes of YEHOVAH & YESHUA and the RUACH HAKODESH in our lives? Are we growing daily, constantly, in love – joy – peace – longsuffering patience – gentleness – goodness – faith – meekness – moderation self control?
Each day of the forty-nine day Omer count is like a building block to salvation. It is a tool to develop and grow in spiritual maturity, so that we are ready when YESHUA comes, so that we will be a pure and perfect “Bride” for the KING of the Universe!
Think about such a high calling! Are you faithfully “counting the Omer”?
Even more, the Omer count is a pattern – a template – to TEACH us what we should be doing EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES – “COUNTING THE OMER” AND DEVELOPING THE TRAITS OF YEHOVAH’S RUACH HAKODESH IN OUR LIVES – EVERY DAY – DAY-BY-DAY – TILL THE YESHUA THE MESSIAH, RETURNS FOR HIS BRIDE!
Each and every day should be an “Omer count” day in our journey to spiritual perfection. Each day we should “number the days,” and “count the days,” as we journey onward and upward to that thrilling time when YESHUA will come again, bringing the Kingdom of GOD with Him!
The “Omer count” then is a physical “type” of a spiritual reality –in the believers life process. It represents the spiritual journey of our lives, as we go through the wilderness, overcome obstacles, and root out the negative attributes of the flesh, and develop and strengthen the positive manifestations of YEHOVAH’s Spirit in our lives. We are on a great spiritual Quest. Each day counts. Each week is significant. Every month is a unit of time which ought to be devoted to overcoming, growing, and strengthening the Spirit of YEHOVAH within us. Every year brings us that much closer to MESSIAH YESHUA!
At Passover we begin the march to freedom with YEHOVAH delivering us through supernatural miracles by the hand of YEHOVAH. It took Israel 50 days to march to Mt. Sinai. Shavuot then is the conclusion of the march to freedom. It is the concluding feast of liberty with the marriage of Israel to YEHOVAH in a covenant vow where Israel becomes His people and one with YESHUA. That is true freedom. It begins with Passover and ends with Shavuot/Pentecost.
How can we be free unless we are connected to YEHOVAH? It is vital to our freedom. This is why counting the Omer beginning the second day of Passover is very vital to arriving at Pentecost. And “counting the omer”, becoming more and more “connected” to YEHOVAH, from the moment of our conversion and acceptance of YESHUA as our Saviour till the coming of YESHUA, is VITAL to our entrance into the Kingdom of GOD!
The Meaning of the Omer Itself
In Leviticus 23 we read,
“And YEHOVAH spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a SHEAF of the FIRSTFRUITS of your harvest unto the priest: and he shall WAVE THE SHEAF before YEHOVAH, to be ACCEPTED FOR YOU: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
“And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf and a lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto YEHOVAH” (Lev.23:l0-l2).
What is this “wave sheaf” offering? What does it symbolize and represent? Notice that it is a sheaf of the “first fruits,” and it is offered to YEHOVAH before the Israelites can harvest the spring harvest. YEHOVAH commands, “And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears” – that is, produce from the new harvest – “until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your GOD: it shall be a STATUTE FOR EVER throughout your generations in all your dwellings” (Lev.23:l4).
In the book of Romans, Paul writes to believers , saying, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the FIRSTFRUITS OF THE SPIRIT, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Rom.8:23).
Believers, those called of YEHOVAH during this lifetime to serve and obey Him, out of every nation, are likened to “firstfruits” of YEHOVAH. We have the “firstfruits of the Spirit” of YEHOVAH as a downpayment, or earnest (Eph.l:4-l4) of our inheritance, as we are the ones who “should be to the praise of his glory, who FIRST trusted in YESHUA”. Paul says of them, “Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the FIRSTFRUITS of Achaia unto YESHUA” (Rom.16:5). In the book of James we read: “of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a KIND OF FIRSTFRUITS of his creation” (James 1:18). Also, in Revelation YEHOVAH speaks of the members of the true assembly of YEHOVAH as those who “were redeemed from among men, being FIRSTFRUITS to YEHOVAH and to the Lamb” (Rev.14:1-4).
In the book of Romans, Paul addresses our calling – which is special, and unique, in the sight of YEHOVAH. Of all people on earth, we are the few who have been given the Spirit of YEHOVAH, indwelling within us – a priceless heritage and gift! Therefore “the love of YEHOVAH is shed abroad in our hearts by the RUACH HAKODESH which is given unto us” (Rom.5:5). “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in YESHUA THE MESSIAH, who walk not after the flesh, but after the RUACH/Spirit. . . But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of YEHOVAH DWELL in you. Now if any man have not the SPIRIT of YESHUA, he is none of his” (Rom.8:1- 9).
1) the sacrifice of YESHUA on Nisan 14, late afternoon;
2) the holy day of Passover – (Nisan 15)
3) the next evening, as Nisan 16 began, a sheaf (bundle) of grain is selected from the field across the Kidron valley, east of Jerusalem, and cut and bundled;
4) the next morning, Nisan 16, it is prepared and waved before YEHOVAH and accepted of Him as “THE FIRSTFRUITS” of the harvest.
Do you begin to comprehend? Do you see? The wave sheaf offering is an offering which is a BUNDLE OF SEPARATE BARLEY GRAINS, FROM A NUMBER OF PLANTS, AMOUNTING TO AN “OMER” – about five pints, or two and one half quarts. This offering followed the offering of YESHUA, as our Passover lamb, who paid for our sins. It was accompanied by the burnt offering of a lamb – YESHUA.
What then is it?
The Wave Sheaf Offering, composed of MANY individual grains, offered together, made possible by the sacrifice of YESHUA, represents US – TRUE believers– those called of YEHOVAH during this age, as His “FIRSTFRUITS”!
It was offered to the Father AFTER the sacrifice of YESHUA, because there is NO WAY the FATHER could accept us BEFORE our sins were pardoned, and atoned for, and wiped away and washed away by the blood of YESHUA! But since YESHUA became our Saviour, and qualified by living a perfect life, and DIED for us on the stake, this made possible OUR acceptance before the throne of YEHOVAH in Heaven! WE are that WAVE SHEAF OFFERING! We are the “FIRSTFRUITS”!
What could be plainer?
The Preparations of the Bride
YEHOVAH delivered Israel for a purpose: to bring them into union with Him and oneness of spirit THROUGH OBEDIENCE to the Torah His Law. He was their redeemer, provider, protector and defender. This is one of the main reasons for counting the Omer today, because we are looking forward to the marriage to the Lamb of GOD with the assembly those who obey and follow Him when YESHUA returns. Revelation19 talks about the great marriage supper after the bride has made herself ready.
What does the bride have to do “to make her-self ready”?
YEHOVAH commands us to purge out the sin and become pure – to get rid of the selfishness, envy, jealousy, wickedness, disobedience, pride, arrogance, and the lust of the flesh—so we can meet YESHUA at His coming being without blemish and be part of His Bride, the assembly, which will enter into marriage with Him. YESHUA is setting apart and cleansing the assembly, “with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious bride, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Eph 5:25-27).
The Template and Pattern
Counting the Omer is called Sefirat Ha Omer and is derived from the offering of the Omer on that 16th day of Nisan and is a cycle of seven and completion. It symbolizes that we can acquire moral freedom (perfection) only through seven fold intensive work on ourselves.
The various churches and off-shoots of the old Worldwide Church of GOD have rejected the whole process of counting the Omer, today, so they are totally ignorant of this whole process.
This should be an exciting period of time! If you knew that YESHUA was coming to visit your home on a specific day, wouldn’t you be cleaning, sweeping and making everything spotless and orderly before the time He was to arrive?
Genesis 19 tells of Lot’s family who lived in the populous but depraved cities of Sodom and Gomorrah which YEHOVAH was getting ready to destroy. Lot was found to be righteous, so the angels of YEHOVAH came to warn Lot to make haste! GET OUT! As his two daughters, his wife and Lot lingered the angels laid hold upon all their hands and brought them forth and set them outside the city saying, “ESCAPE to the mountain for your life. DO NOT LOOK BEHIND YOU, or stay in any part of the plain, or you will be consumed.”
YEHOVAH granted Lot’s plea to stay in a small city. Then YEHOVAH destroyed those cities, all the plain, all inhabitants of the cities with fire and brimstone from heaven. But Lot’s wife LOOKED BACK – she could not let go of her life in Sodom—and she was turned into a pillar of salt in the fiery destruction which overwhelmed the cities of the plain. Why? Because she did not obey YEHOVAH. She did not have faith. She disobeyed . . . . . . and died.
What about us?
All of YEHOVAH’s servants SERVED HIM in FAITH, even though they did not know everything from the beginning. We are to keep the Omer mitzvah in faith that there will be a blessing. If we obey YEHOVAH’s command to count, there will be a blessing. If we disobey, there will be a curse.
It is for our benefit to help us to become overcomers and develop righteous, Godly character, that GOD gave us this commandment.
The Spiritual Struggle
The believers life is a life of spiritual struggle. We must learn to keep our eyes on the goal. The apostle Paul knew this.
Paul understood that we must endure to the end – that we must be FAITHFUL till our dying day, or till YESHUA returns . Paul wrote, of his own spiritual battle: “Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? RUN in such a way that you may WIN it. Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreathe, but we an imperishable one. So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air; but I punish my body and enslave it, so that after proclaiming to others I myself should not be disqualified” (I Cor.9:24-27, NRSV).
Notice this in the Amplified Parallel Bible: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So RUN [your race] so that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours. . .
“Therefore I do not run uncertainly (without definite aim). I do not box like one beating the air and striking without an adversary. But I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I MYSELF SHOULD BECOME UNFIT [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].”
Seven Weeks of Concentrated Overcoming
It is a remarkable fact that there are “seven weeks” that we count the Omer. These provide us seven optimal weeks to work on ourselves – seven weeks of concentrated, distilled “overcoming.”
Paul also wrote about this battle in the second letter to the Corinthians. He declared, “For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of our WARFARE are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before YEHOVAH for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the true knowledge of YEHOVAH; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the OBEDIENCE of YESHUA the Messiah, the Anointed One, being in readiness to punish every disobedience, when your own submission and OBEDIENCE are fully secure and complete” (II Cor.10:3-6).
Notice! We are not yet “fully secure and complete.”
Rather, as Paul himself wrote to the Philippians, again quoting the Amplified Parallel Bible, “[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually TRANSFORMED [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] that IF POSSIBLE I may attain to the [personal and moral] RESURRECTION . . . Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I PRESS ON TO LAY HOLD OF (GRASP) and make my own, that for which YESHUA the Messiah has laid hold of me and made me His own.” (Phil.3:10-12).
Notice Paul’s attitude! He did not believe or claim to already have salvation, but sought to progressively GROW up into the likeness of YESHUA, so that “IF POSSIBLE” he may attain to the resurrection of the righteous dead, or salvation!
Paul goes on, saying, “I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I PRESS ON TOWARD THE GOAL TO WIN the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which YEHOVAH in YESHUA is calling us upward.” “So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, YEHOVAH will make that clear to you also” (verses 13-15).
Once we begin the believers life, there is a lot of overcoming to do – straining forward to make sure that we will enter the Kingdom of GOD and attain to salvation! We must “PRESS ON,” we must “STRAIN FORWARD,” and make sure that we win the ultimate prize!
Since counting the Omer pictures overcoming sin and developing the righteous-ness and character of YEHOVAH in our lives, and becoming more and more like YESHUA (see Gal.4:19), we should use these days to pray about overcoming and growing in YEHOVAH’s holiness and righteous character.
Each day it is helpful to pray that day especially about the characteristic of YEHOVAH which we are working on developing in our lives, pertinent to that day. For example, the Jews derive seven major characteristics of YEHOVAH which are mentioned in the Old Testament, which can be applied to the Omer count. These seven attributes are also characteristic of the “seven patriarchs” mentioned in the Scriptures – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph, and David. The characteristics are:
Abraham Isaac Jacob Moses Aaron Joseph David
Developing Positive Godly Character Traits
We can also use each day to work on one of the attributes of RUACH HAKODESH in our lives. these plain and instructive words: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are YESHUA’s have crucified the flesh. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another” (Galatians 5:22-26).
Yesod Foundation Malkut Sovereignty
Strength, Power Harmony, Peace Victory, Triumph Glory, Majesty
meekness, which go together, and faith and self-control temperance, then we have seven combinations of Divine Attributes. The apostle Paul lists them in Galatians 5:19-20.
Meekness, Self Control
Counting the Omer, for forty-nine days, till Pentecost, helps us to concentrate during this period and focus our minds on overcoming our sins and weaknesses and developing the attributes of YEHOVAH in our lives. This helps us to have a PLAN of overcoming! It is Biblically- based! And it will help you to be a true overcomer in your life!
To make the most of the Omer season, and the days of counting the Omer, it is vital to spend extra time in earnest, heartfelt prayer every day, to put your heart into your prayers for spiritual growth and overcoming. As Jeremiah wrote, “Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches, pour out your heart like water before the presence of YEHOVAH!” (Lamentations 2:19). Become the embodiment of prayer like David who wrote, “I am all prayer” (Psalm 109:4,). The apostle James wrote, “The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective” (James 5:16,).
The Seven Sefirot and Fruits of the Spirit
Chesed – loving-kindness. This is also known as Ahavah (love). This quality is associated with Abraham, the father of the faithful, who loved GOD so much he was willing to sacrifice Isaac, his true son, if YEHOVAH so required it. Abraham was also noted for his hospitality. This quality refers to unconditional acceptance and love of others – out-going concern and care.
Love is also the first of the fruits of RUACH HAKODESH! Love is the bedrock of the Law of YEHOVAH – the first great commandment is to love YEHOVAH, and the second is to love our neighbor. “For this is the love of YEHOVAH, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (I John 5:3). “Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom.13:10).
Gevurah – Strength. This quality is also known as Yirah – awe or fear. This quality is connected with Isaac. It refers to strength that comes from containment, the power to contain and hold the energy of love. It is the power of inhibition, the power of discrimination and judgment that allows one to make wise, right choices. Isaac’s name means “laughter.”
Joy is the second fruit of the SPIRIT of YEHOVAH – unbounded laughter and happiness. YEHOVAH’s Word says, “The joy of YEHOVAH is your strength” (Neh.8:10). Thus true joy is a source of strength – gevurah. “Rejoice in YEHOVAH alway,” “and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known to all men” (Phil.4:4-5).
Tiferet – Beauty. This quality is also known as Rachamim – mercifulness. “It is also a symbol of PEACE because it represents the perfect BALANCING of the left and right sides,
integrating love and containment . . . Tiferet is associated with Jacob”
Peace – is the third attribute of YEHOVAH’s Spirit! YESHUA said, “In me ye shall have peace” (John 16:33). “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). Paul also wrote: “And the peace of YEHOVAH, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through YESHUA” (Phil.4:7). Jacob was a man of peace. He was noted as a peace-maker.
Netzach – Victory, Triumph. This begins the second triad of the Sefirot. This quality is associated with Moses, who triumphantly led Israel out of Egypt “with a high hand.” This quality translates chesed, gevurah, and tefirat into bold action and accomplishment with power, energy, planning, and activity.
Gentleness and meekness are two of the fruits of the Spirit of YEHOVAH which seem to fit together. These also are defining characteristics of Moses. Why did Moses achieve such netzach – such victory and success? Because he was a man YEHOVAH could use and work with, a man to whom “success” would not “go to his head” and cause him to swell up like a puffed balloon. We read of Moses: “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth” (Num.12:3). And David writes of the quality of gentleness, speaking of GOD Himself, “Thy gentleness hath made me great” (Psalm 18:35). He wrote, “It is GOD that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect” (Psa.18:32).
The apostle James tells us: “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality /favoritism, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (James 3:17-18).
Hod – Glory. This is the quality that lights up a person’s face, the inner strength that causes the face to “glow” with confidence, peacefulness, serenity, dignity, honor, and majesty. It is associated with Aaron, the brother of Moses. Aaron was noted as a “peace” maker, and a man of honor. Sometimes he went too far in seeking to be a “peace-maker,” as when he molded the golden calf for the rebellious Israelites. He sought to preserve the people in unity, so he fell into a spiritual trap. Nevertheless, he was a noteworthy man of YEHOVAH, and a man of wisdom and inner strength. YEHOVAH’s word says of such a man, “Who is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? a man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the BOLDNESS /strength of his face shall be changed” (Eccl.8:1).
YEHOVAH also says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in UNITY! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments” (Psa.133:1-2). A key part of true “glory” is humility, meekness – otherwise hod becomes puffed up pride and false glory – vanity!
Goodness – is the sixth fruit of the Spirit of YEHOVAH. This also was a strong quality in Aaron, and a quality we must strive to inculcate into our innermost character. David writes, “Good and upright is YEHOVAH: therefore will he teach sinners in the way” (Psa.25:8). YESHUA declared, “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things” (Matt.12:35). “For we are his workmanship, created unto GOOD WORKS, which YEHOVAH had before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph.2:10).
Yesod – Foundation. This quality is the integration of both netzach and hod, and is the balance between power and presence. Joseph, the son of Jacob, became the prime minister of Egypt, and virtual ruler of the world, after suffering slavery as a teenager, and imprisonment for a crime he never committed. Yet after these harrowing trials he rose by YEHOVAH’s miraculous deliverance to an exalted governmental position. He is the embodiment of this characteristic. Joseph by his suffering and continual growth and strength through contact with YEHOVAH, and His Spirit, became the foundation of the world, delivering the whole earth from the ravages of the most terrible famine mankind had seen up to that time. His wisdom and planning and spiritual strength provided a way to save his own family, and millions of others.
Long suffering is the fourth fruit of the Spirit of YEHOVAH. Certainly, this characteristic was well-illustrated in the life of Joseph. Despite his trials and tests, tribulations and suffering, Joseph remained faithful to YEHOVAH and worshiped Him through it all. His long-suffering and patience and endurance in well-doing finally led to his exaltation to high office where he could serve in a much greater capacity. “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of PATIENCE, that after ye have done the will of YEHOVAH, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry” (Heb.10:35-37). , “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations trials, sufferings; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:2-4).
Connected with this trait is the quality of “self control” – self mastery – which is also one of the fruits of RUACH HAKODESH. Self-control and long-suffering go together. They are two aspects of the same quality – endurance – and constitute a “foundation” for true achievement!
Malchut – Kingdom, kingship, royalty, sovereignty. This quality represents manifestation, the translation of energy into action and activity – and means literally “KINGDOM.” Malchut is associated with the Shekinah – the “Presence” – of RUACH HAKODESH. King David is connected to this Sefirah as he is the one whom YEHOVAH used to bring the Kingdom of GOD to fruition and accomplishment as a type, in his day. He was himself a type of the Messianic King, YESHUA – and the promised Messiah was to be born of his descendants, of his royal lineage.
These powerful Seven Sefirot of GOD – these SEVEN manifestations of the RUACH HAKODESH – are mighty vehicles to spiritual growth and becoming in he’s likeness. If we will meditate on these attributes of YEHOVAH, and ponder them, and reflect upon them, and study them in the Scriptures, and spend time thinking about them, and considering HOW we might express them more fully and completely in our own daily lives – these divine spiritual energies will provide us a powerful tool to use to become the true SONS OF GOD in actual spiritual image and character likeness.
What a glorious destiny YEHOVAH has in store for those who serve Him, obey Him, count the omer and make the omer count in character growth and development! One day soon, YEHOVAH willing, we will shine like the sun in its glory, and endure like the sun, as masters of eternity, ever-ruling sons in the expanding family of YEHOVAH, forever and ever!
As you “count the omer,” make the omer counting practice really COUNT – for you! Enter into the dazzling, radiant JOY of “counting the omer” faithfully, and you will be blessed!
Joyful Counting The Omer From Torah Keeper.