Counting of the Omer

Year: 2016/5776

Baruch atah Adonai, Elohenynu melech ha-olam, asher kidshanu
b’mitzvo-tav v’tzivanu al sefirat ha’omer.

Blessed are You, O L-RD our G-d, King of the Universe, who has set us apart by Your commandments and commanded us to count the omer. (See Lev. 23:15-16)

Week 7

Day 43 – June 4 (sundown)/June 5: 2

Tim. 4:3-5  “For the time will come when they will not put up with sound instruction, but they will pile up for themselves teachers in keeping with their own desires, to have their ears tickled. And they will turn away from hearing the truth and wander off to myths. You, however, keep a clear mind in all things, withstand hardship, do the work of proclaiming the Good News, and fulfill your service.” “In his first letter to Timothy, Paul warns that ‘the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons’ (1Tim 4:1). The ‘doctrines of demons’ taught by cults and false religions have their origin in the “deceitful spirits” that in Ephesians Paul calls ‘rulers, … powers, … world forces of this darkness, … [and] spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places’ (6:12). These false schemes of Satan can be successfully confronted (and defeated!) only with the truth of the Word of God.” (Grace to You. 10/30/2014, emphasis mine.) As we have seen over the last year, it is not just cults and false religions, it is also leaders within the faith that have turned away from the truth of G-D. No one is immune! Truth is a choice.

Day 44 – 3 John 2-4

“Loved ones, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul. For I was overjoyed when some brethren came and testified of the truth in you—how you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than this—to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” We are to pray that our physical or spiritual offspring would be steadfast in their walk of truth.

Day 45 – 1 John 3: 18-19

“Children, let us not love with word or talk, but in deed and truth! By this we shall know that we are of the truth, and set our heart at rest before Him.” “Aletheia (truth) can also refer to the attitude of truthfulness. It represents not only the accuracy of specific truths but the quality of truthfulness. It is the mark of the sincere believer who forsakes hypocrisy and sham.” (Grace to You; 10/30/2014; emphasis mine.) The quality of our desire to walk in truth is expressed in our desire to love by our words and our actions. There is a rest that comes with that attitude!

Day 46 – 2 Cor. 4:1-3

“For this reason, since we have this ministry, just as we received mercy, we do not lose heart. Instead, we renounced the hidden shameful ways—not walking in deception or distorting the word of God, but commending ourselves before God to everyone’s conscience by the open proclamation of the truth.” I have often heard it said that there are too many “undercover believers,” too many who are “secret agents.” We are to openly proclaim the truth: we are to BE Kol Emet.

Day 47 – 1 Cor. 13:5-7

“[Love] does not behave inappropriately, it does not seek its own way, it is not provoked, it keeps no account of wrong, it does not rejoice over injustice but rejoices in the truth; it bears all things,it believes all things,it hopes all things,it endures all things.” Love speaks for itself.

Day 48 – John 18:37

“Yeshua answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world, so that I might testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’” If we are to be like Yeshua, is the reason we came into this world that we might testify to the truth?

Day 49 – REJOICE IN SHABBAT!

Reflect on the goodness of G-D in the land of the living!

Day 50 – Shavu’ot

Week 6

Day 36 – May 28 (sundown)/May 29 John 8:31-33

Then Yeshua said to the Judeans who had trusted Him, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!” Abiding in Yeshua’s word means accepting and acting in accordance with His words. “Real talmidim (disciples) obey Yeshua, which is more than mentally acknowledging who He is. The truth setting us free is conditional on obeying what Yeshua says.” (Jewish New Testament Commentary, D. Stern)

Day 37 –  John 14:6

“Yeshua said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life! No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” Not only is Yeshua the truth in terms of salvation, but His Words and His life are the embodiment of truth. HE is what truth looks like and sounds like.

Day 38 – John 16:12-14

(Yeshua speaking to His talmidim:) “I still have much more to tell you, but you cannot handle it just now. But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; but whatever He hears, He will tell you. And He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you.” Another name for Ruach haKodesh is Spirit of truth. An aspect of the ministry of the Ruach is to guide us into ALL the truth.

Day 39 -Heb. 10:26-27

“For if we keep on sinning willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but only a terrifying expectation of judgment and a fury of fire about to devour the enemies of God.” Through the grace of Yeshua and the power of His Spirit, we are able to resist all temptation to continue in sin; but we must make the choice (the will) to walk in victory over sin every moment of every day.

Day 40 – Eph. 4:14-16

“As a result, we are no longer to be like children, tossed around by the waves and blown all over by every wind of teaching, by the trickery of men with cunning in deceitful scheming.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all ways into Messiah, who is the Head.” We have pondered other Scriptures that command us to speak the truth; this verse tells us HOW to speak the truth: in love.

Day 41 – Eph. 6:13-15

“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist when the times are evil, and after you have done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm then! Buckle the belt of truth around your waist…” or “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth.” Truth is the first weapon in our armor! “‘Girding the loins’ was a mark of preparedness, and the soldier who was serious about fighting was sure to secure his tunic with his belt. Truth is the belt that girds the armor of God securely together and demonstrates the believer’s readiness for war… The content of God’s truth is absolutely essential for the believer in his battle against the schemes of Satan… Without knowledge of biblical teaching, the believer is subject to being ‘carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming’ (see reading for Day 40: Eph. 4:14)” (Grace to You; 10/30/2014)

Day 42 – REJOICE IN SHABBAT!

Reflect on the goodness of G-D in the land of the living!

Week 5

KOL EMET: The Voice of Truth
As the voices of truth in our day, we are to be true to our word. Keep in mind as you meditate on the verses for this week, how am I declaring and living out the TRUTH daily? How am I a visible and verbal disciple of Yeshua and His truth?

Day 29 – May 21 (sundown)/May 22 1

Kings 22:15-16:

“Then he (the prophet Micaiah) came to the king;(Ahab) and the king said to him, ‘Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall we refrain?’ And he answered him, ‘Go and prosper, for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king!’  So the king said to him, ‘How many times shall I make you swear that you tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?‘ Ever wonder where the statement required before giving testimony in a court of law came from? “”I solemnly swear to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.” Sounds vaguely similar to 1 Kings 22:16! The oath has now been changed, so as not to offend atheists and others, but had been the standard oath for many years. Before we open our mouths, should we silently take that oath?

Day 30 – Prov. 12:22:

“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.” Any untruth, however minute, is an abomination to the L-RD. But those who speak the truth and are committed to acting in truth bring delight to G-D. Let’s choose to bring delight to G-D!

Day 31 – Zech. 8:16:

“These are the things that you are to do: speak the truth one to another; administer the judgment of truth and shalom in your gates…” Where or what are your gates? Anywhere you have influence: home, the workplace, your congregation, etc. G-D expects us to be honest with one another in every circumstance, and bring truth and peace into every situation.

Day 32 –

There are 105 occurrences of the Greek word for truth in the B’rit chadashah, the New Testament. By far the most common word for truth is the word aletheia, which means “accuracy, reality, sincerity, accuracy, integrity, truthfulness, dependability.” One definition is “habitual truthfulness.” We find the word “truth” 23 times in the gospel of John (NKJV), occurring more frequently there than in any other book in the B’rit chadashah. John 1:14, 17: “And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. We looked upon His glory, the glory of the one and only from the Father, full of grace and truth…Torah was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Yeshua the Messiah.”

Day 33 –

In Yeshua’s conversation with Nicodemus, He says: “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (John 3:20-21) When our lifestyle reflects the truth of G-D, we are walking in the light of Messiah Yeshua.

Day 34 –

“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24) Our worship of G-D “is in harmony with the nature of G-D, who is Spirit. Worship must also be transparent, sincere, and according to Biblical mandates [truth].” (SFL Bible FN to John 4:23-24) We worship G-D in the way He instructs! Prepare your heart for worship at Shabbat tomorrow. Worship Him in Spirit and in truth!

Day 35 – REJOICE IN SHABBAT!

Reflect on the goodness of G-D in the land of the living!

Week 4

KOL EMET: The Voice of Truth

As the voices of truth in our day, we are to be true to our word. Keep in mind as you meditate on the verses for this week, how am I declaring and living out the TRUTH daily? How am I a visible and verbal disciple of Yeshua and His truth?

Day 22 – May 14(sundown)/May 15

Psalm 86:10-12: “For You are great, and do wondrous things; You alone are God. Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore.”

Day 23 – Ps. 51: 6-7:

“Surely You desire truth in the inner being. Make me know wisdom inwardly. Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” (David’s prayer of repentance)

Day 24 – Ps. 91:4-5:

“He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night…Nor of the arrow that flies by day…”

Day 25 – Ps. 100:4-5:

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.”

Day 26 – Ps. 119:30:

“I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me.”

Day 27 – Ps. 119:159-160:

“Consider how I love Your precepts; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness. The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.”

Day 28 – REJOICE IN SHABBAT!

Reflect on the goodness of G-D in the land of the living!

Week 3

KOL EMET: The Voice of Truth

Day 15 – May 7 (sundown)/May 8

There are 217 occurrences of the word truth emet in the Tanakh (Old Covenant); 105 in the B’rit Chadashah (New Covenant). The first occurrence in the Tanakh is in Genesis when Abraham’s servant is sent to find a wife for Isaac among Abraham’s people. After asking for a specific sign from “the God of my master Abraham,” the servant’s prayer is heard and answered in a miraculous way. The servant responds in this way: ”Then the man bowed down his head and worshiped the Lord. And he said, ‘Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master. As for me, being on the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren.’” (Gen. 24:26-27) G-D is true to His Word. He is true to us, to our children, to our children’s children. As the voices of truth in our day, we are true to our word. Keep in mind as you meditate on the verses for this week, how am I declaring and living out the TRUTH daily? How am I a visible and verbal disciple of Yeshua and His truth?

Day 16

Abraham’s servant declares the faithfulness of the G-D of Abraham as he recounts his story to Laban. He gives glory to the L-RD. “And I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the way of truth to take the daughter of my master’s brother for his son.” (Gen. 24:48) G-D is faithful to lead even those who do not know him personally, who pray to Him because they have seen G-D answer prayer in the lives of others. (See Ps. 25:5 from last week)

Day 17

Moses asks the L-RD to show him His glory. “Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” (Ex. 34:5-7) G-D’s very NAME is truth. In proclaiming His name to Moses, He reveals His nature: merciful, gracious, patient, abounding in goodness, abounding in truth. As bearers of the name of G-D, our nature should reflect His.

Day 18

In Moses’ final message to the children of Israel, he said this: “For I proclaim the name of the Lord: ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He. (Deut. 32:3-4)

Day 19

In Joshua’s farewell address to the children of Israel, he admonished them: “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:14-15)

Day 20

Samuel’s words to the children of Israel after Saul was anointed king: “Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you!” (1 Sam.12:24)

Day 21

REJOICE IN SHABBAT! Reflect on the goodness of G-D in the land of the living!

Week 2

Baruch atah Adonai, Elohenynu melech ha-olam, asher kidshanu
b’mitzvo-tav v’tzivanu al sefirat ha’omer.

Blessed are You, O L-RD our G-d, King of the Universe, who has set us apart by Your commandments and commanded us to count the omer. (See Lev. 23:15-16)

Day 8 – Sundown April 30 (sundown)/May 1

The focus of our Omer this year will be: Kol Emet, the Voice (sound) of Truth. Each day there may be a short commentary or simply a verse to read and ponder. The L-RD gave us this word twice, once for 2015 and again for this year 2016. I sense that by duplicating the Word, G-D is speaking to us the importance of not only standing for truth, but being the voice of truth without wavering and without compromise. You are needed as the Voice of Truth in this season!

“L-RD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart.” Ps. 15:1-2

Day 9 – Psalm 25:5:

“Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the G-D of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.” Truth – Hebrew: emet: (Strong’s #571) certainty, stability, truth, rightness, trustworthiness. Emet derives from the verb aman, meaning “to be firm, permanent and established.” Emet conveys a sense of dependability, firmness, and reliability. Truth is therefore something upon which a person may confidently stake his life. (Word Wealth, Psalm 25:5) Therefore, G-D’s Word, His truth, is that upon which I confidently stake my life.

Day 10: Psalm 25:10

“The paths of the L-RD are mercy and truth, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.” As we desire to keep the covenant of faith we have with G-D, His blessing is to direct us into the paths of revelation of truth and abundant mercy.

Day 11 – Psalm 40:11

“Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O L-RD; Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me.” The definition of preserve is to keep or save from injury, loss, or ruin. This is what G-D’s truth/His Word provides for us.

Day 12 – Mal. 2:6

“The law of truth was in his mouth, and injustice was not found on his lips. He walked with Me in peace and equity, and turned many away from iniquity.” The “he” and “his” that the L-RD is speaking of here is the priesthood of the Old Covenant and what His expectation was from them. Nothing less is expected of us, the modern day priests (1Peter 2:9).

Day 13 – Jer. 10:10

“But the L-RD is the true G-D [or G-D of truth]; He is the living G-D and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations will not be able to endure His indignation.”
Emet is spelled with the first, middle and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet; thus, the rabbis concluded that truth upholds the first and the last of G-D’s creation, and everything in between! (Word Wealth from Ps. 25:5)

Day 7 – REJOICE IN SHABBAT!

Reflect on the goodness of G-D in the land of the living!

Week 1

Day 1 – April 23 (sundown)/April 24

The Feast of Unleavened Bread: Read Ex. 13:3-10.
This week we will be eating only unleavened bread. On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, G-D commanded that all leaven (sin) should be cleaned out of the house. As Believers, our bodies are the dwelling place of G-D, according to 1 Cor. 3:6-7. We are reminded that we were bought at a price (a truth we remember at Passover) and we are to glorify G-D in our bodies, in all that we are, all that we say, all that we do. (1 Cor. 6:19-20) We continue the process of cleaning house. Read Ps. 26:2-3 and Ps. 139:23.

Day 2

We remember during the Passover Seder that the unleavened bread is a symbol of our sinless Messiah.
(“This is my body, which is given for you…” Luke 22:19) It is also a reminder that our goal is to be more like Him every day. As we partake of the matzah each day, let it be a purposeful time to reflect on His life and allow “Messiah in us, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27) to transform us.

Day 3

1 Cor 5:6-8 “Don’t you know the saying, ‘It takes only a little hametz [yeast] to leaven a whole batch of dough?’ Get rid of the old hametz, so that you can be a new batch of dough, because in reality you are unleavened. For our Pesach lamb, the Messiah, has been sacrificed. So let us celebrate the Seder not with leftover hametz, the hametz of wickedness and evil, but with the matzah of purity and truth.” We are reminded that a small amount of yeast will leaven a whole batch of dough. In other words, a “little sin” can destroy our whole life, even our whole body. Are there “little sins” that are keeping us from the victories, breakthroughs, and the inheritance that G-D has for us? Are we willing to give up that sin? Now is the time! “Not by might, not by power, but by MY SPIRIT” says the L-RD!

Day 4

Read Matthew 16:6-12. Yeshua compared leaven with the legalism and doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Are we legalistic in any way? Are there times when we place “doctrine” (a set of beliefs held and taught by a particular group) above the Word of G-D?

Day 5

In Mark 8:15, Yeshua warns the talmidim to beware of the leaven of Herod. Herod was evil and immoral, his life devoted to the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Surely the talmidim would not be guilty of that type of lifestyle that they would need to be warned? The warnings of Yeshua echo down through the centuries to us as we, the redeemed of the L-RD, seek to crucify the desires of the flesh and “Be holy, as He is holy.” Read 1 Peter 1:14-16

Day 6

In Luke12:1-3, Yeshua says, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.  For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.  Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.” He warns us against behavior which does not conform to the Word; words we speak in secret not lining up with what we SAY we believe. “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, of all deceit, hypocrisy and envy, and of all the ways there are of speaking against people;  and be like newborn babies, thirsty for the pure milk of the Word; so that by it, you may grow up into deliverance.  For you have tasted that Adonai is good.” (1 Peter 2:1-3)

Day 7

REJOICE IN SHABBAT! Reflect on the goodness of G-D in the land of the living!