Bible Study Tools / Holidays And Holy Days

Fifty Days and Counting

by Anthony Wasilkoff
Photo by Eric Rothermel on Unsplash

Prior to returning to Heaven, Jesus instructed His followers not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father. Promises are important. There are those who make promises but often fail to keep them. There are those who make promises they never intend to keep. We know of a few rare individuals who, when they make a promise, do everything in their power to keep each promise they make. For this reason they make very few promises but when they do, they work very hard to ensure they deliver.

The Holy Bible is replete with promises. As early as 1 Kings 8:56 we read: “Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.” The God we serve is One who issues promises to His people. Then when conditions are met, He is pleased to follow through on those promises. His word is sure and He impresses upon His servants that His word is something His followers can depend on.

To wait for something we really want or need is not an easy thing to do. Delayed gratification is a mark of maturity. Children typically abhor waiting and prefer for something promised to be delivered with decisive immediacy. Adults can have the same desire. However, sometimes we aren’t ready for something right away. A preparation process might be needed so that we are able to handle whatever it is we are hoping to receive. You may remember the promise of your very first transportation device. Perhaps it was a tricycle, a scooter or a bicycle. You may have had to grow into it. Perhaps your dad had to attach wooden blocks to your tricycle pedals so that you wouldn’t have to wait quite so long to ride it!

Another benefit of waiting is that it heightens appreciation. As we wait for the day when we can finally receive our very first something, we imagine how wonderful it will be when the realization finally occurs. There are the sweet anticipatory thoughts of what it will be like to finally receive the object of our affection. Memories may take you back to fond thoughts you had about someday being given your very own room, your very own bed or your very own bicycle. Or, you might have thought about what it would be like to have your very first pet to care for and be special friends with.

The people of Israel at the time of Christ’s first coming anticipated His arrival with growing ardor. In The Day Christ Died (by Jim Bishop) we read: “The Messiah was a sweet national obsession. It was ecstasy beyond happiness, joy beyond comprehension; it was balm to a weary farmer’s bones as he lay with his family waiting for sleep; it was the single last hope of the aged, the thing a child looked to a mountain of snowy clouds to see; it was the hope of Judea in chains; the Messiah was always the promise of tomorrow morning. This solemn surge of singing in the heart of every good Jew was the core of Judea at the time of Jesus. This was the topmost stone in the climb toward eternity.”

We know from Acts 2 that the promised Holy Spirit is described as a very special ‘gift’. That is, there is nothing we can ever do to earn it. There is nothing we can do to obligate God to give it to us. Even so, there are conditions we must meet, such as repentance, so that we may receive it. James 1:17 assures us that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

Not long ago we observed the Passover, the Night to Be Much Observed and the Feast of Unleavened Bread – giving due emphasis to the annual high Holy Days. Now we are on a countdown to the Feast of Pentecost when we will observe the next remarkable festival in God’s Holy Day calendar. More than ever, we appreciate the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit and the opportunity to rehearse and review God’s plan of salvation and the confidence we can have in each promise made by our Heavenly Father and His Son.

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