The title of this piece is derived from the New King James translation of Leviticus 23:16: “Count fifty days …”. This verse addresses the fifty days between Passover and Pentecost.
There is a clear scriptural tie between those two Holy Day seasons. In ancient times the Holy Land’s grain harvest would occur in the spring, beginning at Passover time and would last for these fifty days, beginning with the barley harvest and ending with the harvest of wheat.
In the story of the Exodus, this period of time marked the interval between the departure from Egypt and the event on Mt. Sinai, where the nation of Israel met God.
And in the New Testament this period spans the time between the resurrection of Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit.
These fifty days did not just pass like any other fifty days. Important things got done. Bringing in a harvest is hard, productive work. The time between Egypt and Sinai was a period of education and learning to trust in God’s protection and provision. The Red Sea, the manna in the wilderness, the water from the rock, and the gift of the Sabbath all came to them before Sinai. And at the same time they were able to reorganize themselves at the suggestion of Jethro.
The disciples during those fifty days grew from despair to hope, doubt to belief, and discouragement to faith. They received the commission to go into all the world, and when some of them turned tail and ran back to Galilee to pursue once again their fishing business, Jesus pulled them back to the business of fishing for men. During those those fifty days they, like the Israelites, reorganized themselves with the election of a replacement for Judas.
The point is to avoid wasting these fifty days. Take the Fifty Day Challenge. Use the time to get closer to God. Do the hard work necessary to bring in a spiritual harvest. Pray more. Study the Word more. As Israel prepared to meet their God and as the church prepared to meet the Holy Spirit, at the end of this fifty days prepare for a blessing beyond your imagination to receive it.