Feast of Tabernacles

A Lesson In Servitude

  Le 23:34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. 

De 16:11 And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place his name there.   

Feast fever is in the air!  Accommodations have been made.  What exotic location have we planned for this year — Bahamas, Jamaica, Alaska, Hawaii, or maybe even Egypt to view the pyramids? Maybe we have chosen a US site for a weeklong family recreational wonderland.  Perhaps we have chosen our site because of the exquisite dining and nightly entertainment. Perhaps we chose our site because of the awesome shopping mall, those which will cause women’s heart to race and skip. 😉  To top that off, when we’ve shopped till we dropped, we can spend the night in the most extravagant hotel that we can afford with maybe a Jacuzzi or heated swimming pool.  For the gentlemen, of course, we could have a sports bar, bowling alley or golf course, whatever your heart desires.  Certainly, we can’t forget maid service for the ladies. 

 After all, God says,” Rejoice before the Lord for seven days.”       

Yet, I feel that with all this “rejoicing” and “lusting after” we’re missing the meaning of celebrating this feast. We focus on ourselves and not on the purpose of the feast. Do we view the feast as one gigantic party?  If we do then the feast will be like another vacation, only we have more riches to spend!   Is that our attitude?

  Keeping the World Out of The Feast

Mark 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful   

 Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath (orge – as a reaching forth, or excitement of the mind), even as others.   

  1Jo 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

We travel to the Feast to celebrate a coming out of the world.  We stay in temporary dwellings; this teaches us that we are strangers and pilgrims in the world.

Heb 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

1Pe 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

  We are to be different, but we have a major problem in the affluent countries.  Our desires for pleasure cloud our vision of the coming Kingdom of God.  Where there is no vision, the people perish!  Christ made it plain to the Pharisees what the Kingdom of God entailed:

Lu 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is among  you.

Christ is King.  His example of love and servitude was readily apparent.  He healed the blind, the lame, and those with various illnesses.  He fed those who were hungry.  He promised living water to those who thirsted.  He even raised Lazarus from the dead.   Isn’t that what the millennium is about?   He fed them, He cared for them.  He even set the example of “laying down his life for his brother.”

1Jo 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

It is part of the world’s culture, pleasing ourselves and not involving those who are in need.  But God says to include them during the feast.  If we don’t, then how does this picture the coming Kingdom?  Is this how we will rule — one gigantic party to please oneself?

What does the festival picture? 

The Spirit of God will influence people to willingly and enthusiastically obey God from their hearts. People will begin to place the interests of others before their own. They will start thinking of others as “better than themselves” (Philippians 2:3, KJV). Instead of exclusive self-concern, their goal will be to help their fellow human beings.”  

God will heal physical infirmities. Isaiah 35:5-6 prophesies of this time during which “the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer and the tongue of the dumb sing . . .” 

Of even greater importance will be the spiritual healing that will take place. Isaiah prophesied that Jesus Christ will complete the healing He began during His ministry on earth: “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion . . .” (Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:18-19).

The accumulated results of generations of people following Satan’s sinful ways will begin to be reversed. 1  

What will we be doing during the 1,000 year reign of Christ? We will walk behind a person saying, “This is the way, walk you in it.”  We will be serving in many many ways.

Re 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

During the feast, we should be rejoicing because of the physical healings as well as spiritual healings that will take place. We are picturing a world that will be at peace for 1,000 years. We should also be rejoicing because our God will become the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  This is cause to celebrate!

Servants to the Crown

How Will We Rule?

What will our rule be like? We certainly won’t be like the other rulers living down through the centuries. We will have to rule like Jesus Christ.  He didn’t think of himself first.  His hearts desire was to be a servant, even to the point of death,  so that we might have life.  He gives us instruction about what we are to be like, preparing us for that office:   

Mt 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 

Mt 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister.

 Mt 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.   

This feast represents Christ’s reign on earth.  He is coming to bring the governments of this world under his dominion and here is how He will rule.   

Ps 68:4 “Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rides upon the heavens by his name, and rejoice before him.”  

Ps 68:5 “A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.” 

Ps 68:6 “God sets the solitary in families: he brings out those which are bound with chains.”

Everything we do during the feast should be centered on why we are rejoicing.  It is not for our own pleasure but for the joy that the world will finally realize; our King will come to reign.  There will be an abundance of food for everyone.  No longer will men’s government neglect to feed their people, or to enslave them, or even go so far as to murder them.

We will assist Christ as he heals the sick and infirmed just as Christ’s disciples assisted Him in times gone by. He will heal the world that has been blinded through sin from the beginning of time. It will truly be a glorious time.

Mt 15:30 And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them.

The Kingdom of God was among men back then and it will be with us again!!

Are we ready to follow in the footsteps of Christ?

Holding A Feast

 

  De 14:26 “And with the money get whatever you have a desire for, oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your soul’s desire may be: and make a feast there before the Lord your God, and be glad, you and your entire house.” 

What does God say you are to spend your money on in this verse? It would seem that He requests that we use it to feast (eating to the full) with and to celebrate for all the plenty in the rich harvest that the Lord has given you.  He does not say, go spend your money in the neighborhood casino or chariot races.  This is God’s blessing, what is your Christian desire?

De 14:22  Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed that the field bringeth forth year by year.

De 14:23 And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always.

De 14:24 And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee:

De 14:25 Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose:

Will those who had to carry their firstfruits for feasting lose out because they have no money for entertainment? I think not!  That wasn’t the purpose of the feast – the feast was for feasting!

We are celebrating the 2nd harvest, where the whole world will be feasting together with us, the poor  who will have what he needs, the lame who has been healed, the starving, those he will provide for. We will be sharing the plenty that the Lord has blessed us with with all people.

De 14:6 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul desires, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household.

  How does God say to keep a feast?

Invite those who are poor and physically handicapped to join you in your feasting. Don’t forget the fatherless and the widow.  If we do this we are showing God what kind of steward we will be in his Kingdom.  If we take all the monetary blessings God has given us and only think of ourselves, we are missing the point. Will He give us power if we don’t learn to share in this lifetime?

Lu 16:11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon (money), who will commit to your trust the true riches?

Lu 14:12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee again, and recompense be made thee.

Lu 14:13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:

Lu 14:11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

God gives us clear instructions on how we should become like Him. We are to include the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow in our feasts.

De 16:11 And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place his name there.

Consider taking some of these people on an outing with you. It would be a good example of service for our children to learn from.

Here are some ways we can include others:

Remember those who are shut-ins, those who are ill and can’t make it to the feast.  Buy or prepare cards to send.  Alot of congregations have lists of addresses of those who cannot make it to the feast.  Buy stamps ahead of time, be ready to serve! 

 Involve your children! Teach them that they are to become kings and priests in the millennium, teach them that this is the way of life God wants them to serve.  One way I taught my children was to give them some of the feast money so they could buy candy and little toys. They made up Ziploc bags to pass out to the children at the feast. This helps them to learn how to give as God does.

At times we would buy stuffed animals to give away also. One year, we asked the feast coordinator if we couldn’t have the whole church go out and buy stuffed animals for a local Children’s Hospital to give to them. The whole stage was so filled, that they had no more room to put them. Those who wanted to could go to the hospital and visit with the children. They had a long line of people, so many that they had to turn some down.  They took turns visiting the children, spending time with the children.

Every year, my grandkids and I go to the grocery store and buy cans of food to give to the hungry in the area.  They have fun filling the basket knowing that it will fill someone’s stomach.  I teach  them that when we feed the poor that it makes God happy.  We teach them what the Kingdom will be like. All people will have plenty. 

A recent activity was to ask my sister, who is a quilter to make lap quilts, so that the children could pass them out to those in wheelchairs at the feast.  They found a lot of joy in doing so.  We explain to them, that these members will be healed and able to walk in the Kingdom. 

 When we go out to eat, we talk about the Kingdom, talk about growing to become like Christ and learning to listen to others who are struggling.  Invite those who have come to the feast alone, those you do not know, those who are handicapped, widows (including spiritual), elderly, those who just look lost among us. Involve your children in service like picking up songbooks or helping in the parking lot.  Serving others is a great way to learn about God’s heart and mind.

 I feel we need to get back to the reason for the season. We can get caught up in our own pleasures more than purpose we rejoice.   I feel that to the degree we give up the self and reach out, the churches will heal and unite accordingly.  Let’s make this feast a healing feast.   I feel there is a special lesson we can learn this time of year, one that will prepare us to reign with Christ 1,000 years.  The lesson is servitude. 

http://www.ucg.org/commentary/harvestfestival.htm  

 2 http://www.ucg.org/booklets/HD/alltheearth.asp

 

 

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Published in: on July 16, 2010 at 6:55 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. A wonderful article. It’s a joy to find a focus on God’s feast such as this one.


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