While Christians will celebrate Pentecost Sunday next week on May 23, 2021, at Sundown today, Jews will begin to celebrate this special Holiday associated with Harvests. This year, it is an unusual time as Jews in Israel, especially near Gaza, are under attack, and a barrage of rockets being launched by a few terrorists in Gaza.
But, how fitting that this is happening at this time. It reminds us of God’s heart to bring all of the nations back home and worshipping His Son, the lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Pentecost is about harvest and the Torah (law) and the nations. Last year I wrote about Moses receiving the Torah at the first Pentecost, which occurs fifty days after Passover.
A Time of Harvests
Passover is the first of the feasts and occurs at the beginning of Spring. It marks the first of the year. It begins the agricultural year and is a series of three feasts. It is celebrated at the beginning of the barley harvest and is followed fifty days later with Pentecost, which is at the end of the wheat harvest and start of the fruit harvest.
So, it is a sure bet that God is into celebrating harvests. We see these hints throughout the text, and when we come to Ruth, it is totally centered on the wheat harvest. Ruth was a Moabite woman whose husband had died while the family was in Moab due to a famine.
Naomi was Ruth’s mother-in-law and tried to make her stay in Moab, but Ruth refused. She follows her back to the little town of Bethlehem at about Passover time. Ruth gleans the field of the kinsman-redeemer, Boaz, and in the end, they marry and are the great-grandparents of King David. It was not a common thing to marry a foreign woman, but God had great intentions as He begins to open the door for the nations to start to be grafted in.
Ruth is read in synagogues everywhere at Pentecost, and we Christians need to take note. We focus on the giving of the Holy Spirit, as we should, but we fail to see the Father’s heart in this event. The People gathered at that first Pentecostal outpouring were Jews from other nations. They spoke different languages, and the goal was to take the gospel, with power, back to their nation and spread it.
Not For Just A Few
The story of Ruth gathering the leftovers in the field demonstrates that there is provision for everyone. It shows God’s lengths to gather the nation’s. Ruth, the Moabite, the enemy of Israel, was allowed to do something that required special permission. But, she had been married to an Israeli, and when it came time for her betrothal to Boaz, the closest kinsman turned her down. It wasn’t a rejection, but rather an approval from the one who had to give it that he wasn’t interested, but another man was.
It is such a beautiful story, packed full of shadows and types pointing to the New Covenant and the harvesting of the nations. The best thing about it is that it occurs during the upheaval, known as the period of “Judges” in Israel’s history. That is just like God to set the harvest of nations and a beautiful love story that points to Jesus and His Bride coming from all of the nations amid war, rebellion, sin, apostasy, and repentance, and the raising up of a deliverer known as a Judge.
It sounds like today, and still, it could be the book of Revelation. Wow! What an amazing piece of literature. Israel was fighting the nations that oppressed her, yet God brought one in here or there as a token of the coming days of harvest.
We Need The Holy Spirit More Than Ever
AS you can see, harvest time is set right smack in the middle of chaos, war, peace, and everyday life. To walk in our identity and fulfill the church’s mandate to disciple every nation, we must carry the full anointing of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The book of Ruth demonstrates God’s desire to harvest people from every nation, no matter the cost.
The poor of Israel’s enemy, Moab, was allowed to gather the leftovers as if they were a part of the nation of Israel. This must-have infuriated the Political and Religious leaders of the day. Like the Church of today, we don’t want to reach the poor and down-trodden in our backyard or the nations. We also camp out on our pet doctrines and practices and dissociate with those who disagree with how we worship or pray.
For the nation’s to be harvested, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to fill us so much that we have no choice but to walk in love and unity. That is what the world needs to see, a Church demonstrating the love of Christ. A Church that loves all peoples, tribes, tongues, and ethnicities and lets the Holy Spirit transform them instead of trying to get them to conform to ‘our way.’
We need the Spirit, Word, and Power to come together like never before so that we can prepare the Church, the nations, and Israel for the return of the King, Jesus, Ruth’s descendant.