Daily Devotional

Make Every Day Count

April 29, 2014 - 5:00 am

This Devotional's Hebrew Word


“From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the LORD.” — Leviticus 23:15–16

The Torah portion for this week is Emor, which means “speak,” from Leviticus 21:1–24:23, and the Haftorah is from Ezekiel 44:15–31.

This week’s Torah portion contains the basic framework for the yearly cycle of holidays on the Jewish calendar. Included in these holidays is a time period between Passover and Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, during which we are required to count off the 49 days between these two holidays. The Sages explain the source of this ritual counting. When the children of Israel were freed from Egypt, they knew that they would receive God’s Word seven weeks later. The Sages teach that the Israelites were even more excited about the coming revelation than they were about their freedom. In anticipation of that great day, they counted the days until they reached the day of revelation on Mount Sinai.

We can all relate to counting down the days toward an exciting event. Who hasn’t at one time or another counted down the days until the end of school, or an upcoming wedding, the next vacation, or even a holiday? However, in the case of the Israelites counting the days until they reached Mount Sinai, they counted up, not down. Similarly, the commandment in our Torah portion commands us to begin at one and end with 49 when counting the days between Passover and Shavuot. Wouldn’t it make more sense to count down the days until this important event?

While it’s true that counting down the days to an anticipated event increases the value of the coming day, it decreases the value of all the days in between. If day 10 is just a day that I have to make it through in order to reach day 25, then I have robbed day 10 of its intrinsic value. How many days do we waste by mistaking them for stepping stones toward another day without appreciating the unique surroundings of every place and time? This is why we count up toward the seminal event of God’s revelation on Mount Sinai. It evokes our excitement for the coming attraction without diminishing the opportunities afforded to us each and every day.

When we count up toward receiving the Word of God, we make every day count. Each day is not just one day closer to experiencing God, it’s one more day to become worthy of that amazing day. Each and every day is an opportunity for growth and self-development. Every day is a chance to be kind and bring more joy to the world. Every day is a day that we will never have back. We must cherish and enjoy it. As we read in Psalm 118:24 (NLT): “This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

God has given us this day full of blessings. How will you make it count?


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