What the New Testament translates as “Pentecost” comes from the Greek translation of the Jewish festival of “The Feast of Weeks.” In the Christian world, it is remembered as the time when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Disciples who gathered in Jerusalem.
In the time of Moses, the Feast of Weeks was commanded by God as an annual celebration where the people brought in of the first part of their harvest. If you consider the sequence of events, the instructions for the Feast of Weeks was given right after their release from Egypt. The people did not know it at the time, but they would be spending the next 40 years in the wilderness because of their disobedience and unbelief. Imagine what it would have been like to live 40 years in the wilderness and celebrate a feast that represents the start of the season of the harvest and never actually having a harvest to celebrate. There was no harvest in the wilderness. Year after year, as they wandered in the wilderness of disobedience, they never arrived at a place of fruitfulness.
Throughout their time in the wilderness, the children of Israel were not abandoned by God for their disobedience and unbelief. But it did cause that whole generation to never enter into a season of fruitfulness. The apostle Paul warns the believers in Corinth about their own conduct by using the wilderness experience of Israel as an example:
“I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.” (I Cor. 10:1-5)
These things were written as a warning to us who have come to a knowledge of salvation through the work of Jesus. As with the children of Israel, we have been released from the bondage of slavery to sin, and it is God’s purpose to bring us into our inheritance in Him, and a place of fruitfulness. However, if we want to come to the fulfillment of the promises of God, we must make sure that we are walking in obedience and that our conduct does not doom us to the same wilderness of fruitlessness.
The “Feast of Weeks” is celebrated on the same day that God first spoke to the children of Israel from Sinai. We also see that later, on the same day, the church received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. There is a direct link between the revelation of God and our ability to become fruitful. If we receive His Word, are filled with His Spirit, and become obedient, He will bring us to the place beyond the wilderness and into a land where we can celebrate His harvest in our lives.