First Fruits/ New Birth.
The season is the barley harvest, fifty days after Passover, and it's called Shavuot or Pentacost in Greek, meaning fifty.
It is the time when all the Jewish people celebrate the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai or the birth of Judaism, and the traditional birthday of King David is also celebrated in the synagogues at Shavuot.
In Acts 2:1-2 we discover that it was during Shavuot or Pentacost when the followers of Yeshua were gathered together in one place in Jerusalem.
The time when Christians celebrate the birth of the church and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, when 3,000 were born again in one day. (Acts 2:41-42)
In Israel it's a time of joy and new birth, the first fruits of the harvest and it is the most beautiful season, when the trees are covered in blossoms of amazing colours.
It is the story of a love....Stronger than Death
The Song of Songs is read out in the synagogue together with the Book of Ruth during the spring Festival of Shavuot, and the Rabbis call it the Megillah of Kindness and Mercy.
Set me as a seal upon your arm. For love is as strong as death. Jealousy as cruel as the grave. It's flames are flames of fire. A most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love all the wealth of his house it would be utterly despised. (Song of Songs 8:6)
The vows Ruth made to Naomi have been used as part of the Christian marriage ceremony for many centuries throughout the world....many of us saw the Royal wedding at Westminster Abbey in London...and heard Prince William and his bride make these vows to each other saying that they would be faithful..."Until death us do part"
These vows were first made between two women.
"Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me" (Ruth 1:17)
The Book of Ruth like the Song of Songs is the call of God's own heart to His Beloved Bride thetrue church the one who will remain faithful to the end.
It is His desire that His people will love as he loves...especially His people, the nation of Israel, and all the Jewish people still scattered throughout the earth..
To love as He loves in the way Ruth the Moabite loved her bitter, old, religious, Jewish mother in law Naomi...who was not easy to love....Naomi means bitter....but Ruth was a true friend and as God loves Israel the apple of His eye with a love stronger than death.....so Ruth loved Naomi in true faithfulness
John the Baptist was described as a friend of the Bridegroom, (John 3:28-50) and the name Ruth means friend.
Israel is waiting for her bridegroom to come. Each morning in the synagogues here in Israel and throughout the world the rabbis cry out for Messiah to come...soon.... and save His people bringing salvation and redemption to Israel.
John the Baptist was the one who came to prepare the way of the Lord...he was like Elijah...who will prepare for Yeshua ha Mashiach to come again...the Spirit of Elijah...this is why a chair is left empty in every Jewish home on Pesach for Elijah
Will we... you and me be like "the friend that stays closer than a brother" (Prov 18:24) and stand with God's people even when they turn against us and reject us telling us to go home.... as Naomi rejected Ruth three times?
At the moment the religious are making it more and more difficult for Messianic Jews, many here in Israel are being persecuted and many who want to make aliyah are being refused and told that they are not Jews because they believe in Yeshua, and even those who have been living in Israel as Israeli citizens for years are being rejected and turned away...I know personally of a couple who have had their passport renewed for only one year....Isn't this what Naomi did to Ruth...but Ruth continued to love her and served her faithfully
When they reject us will we be ready in love to show them the same mercy that's been shown to us...
To humble ourselves being slow to speak and quick to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying
Some believers will give up...and turn their backs on Israel....some already have....some will be faithful and true until death us do part....and we know it won't be easy.
The time of Jacob's trouble is described in Jeremiah 30:7
"The deliverer will come out of Zion. And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob. For this is my covenant with them. When I take away their sins,
Will we be like John the friend preparing the way for the bridegroom to come and Ruth who was a true friend to her legalistic old Jewish mother in law.Actually Ruth humbled herself and obeyed all the rules that Naomi taught her, serving her faithfully, as Yeshua served His disciples in humility.... by washing their feet.
Or will the church be like Ruth's sister in law Orpah? Thinking we are better than them, boasting against the branches of the true olive tree (Romans 11:18)....and forgetting that they have been blinded for our sakes.
"Look your sister in law has gone back to her people and her gods"
The name Orpah means back of the neck....and she turned her back on Naomi...this is what the church has done to the Jewish people for nearly two thousand years of it's history...through the crusades, the inquisition and leading to the genocide of six million Jews in the Holocaust....instead of showing them the love of Yeshua Ha Mashiach...a love that is stronger than death.....