(2015 SIH Thanksgiving 12-Part Devotional Series)
INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:
Leviticus 23:33-44 gives us a condensed version of God’s instructions about the Jewish “Feast of Booths” (also referred to as “The Feast Of Tabernacles”). This wonderful Jewish feast will be the subject for this Thanksgiving devotional series.
You might be wondering why this feast is a good subject for a Thanksgiving series. It is because the two main goals of this feast are the exact same goals that every Christian should strive to attain during their Thanksgiving Day celebration…
1. To cause a remembrance of the Lord’s gracious workings.
2. To develop an attitude of appreciation in these workings.
By our Lord’s grace, during the course of this study our hearts will be pointed towards accomplishing both of these goals during this Thanksgiving holiday series.
(Please note: If you are interested in a fuller study of this feast, refer to Numbers 29:12-38 for more details. For this devotional series, due to its length, we will only be looking at the shorter text on this subject found in Leviticus 23:33-44)
Leviticus 23:34 (KJV) – “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.”
Leviticus 23:34 (ESV) – “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths to the LORD.”
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying,
As the Lord delivered His Word to Moses, He directed Moses to share this information with all the physical nation of Israel. This feast only applied to them, as it only referred to a series of past events that their nation had experienced.
This feast was created for them to remember a specific event from their history, recognize it as a blessing from their Lord, and appreciate Him for performing it on their behalf.
The fifteenth day of this seventh month [shall be]
This feast was to begin to be observed on the 15th day of the seventh month (the month of Tishri on the Jewish calendar…. This equates to the end of Sept – beginning of Oct on our calendar). This takes place 5 days after the Day of Atonement which follows the end of the harvest season.
the feast of tabernacles
This feast is called “the Feast of Tabernacles” in the Bible. This title simply means “the Feast of Booths” or “the Feast of Cottages”. This is because during this feast the Jews were to make, and live in booths made of branches…
Nehemiah 8:14 KJV – “And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month:”
The title of this feast, and the specifics of its observance, reminded the Israelites of one of the most miraculous event that took place in the history of their nation… the wilderness wanderings when the Jews dwelled in booths as they traveled from Egypt to the Promised Land…
Leviticus 23:43 KJV – “That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.”
The remembrance and appreciation of this event was the purpose behind the observance of “the Feast of Tabernacles”. Every time the people observed this feast, it would bring back to their mind three basic miracles that were performed on behalf of the Israelites…
1. Their deliverance and liberation from the Egyptian bondage (the miracle beginning of their wilderness wanderings)
2. Their protection and sustenance during the wilderness wanderings (the miracles during their wilderness wanderings)
3. Their entrance into the Promised Land (the miracle that brought their wilderness wanderings to an end)
[for] seven days unto the LORD.”
This feast was to last one full week and was to be done “unto the Lord”. In other words, it was to be dedicated to the Lord’s glory and honor, and was to be done with His supervision, authority and approval.
Folks, how many times has the Lord worked great blessings into our lives, only to be slowly forgotten over the years?
By giving us a record of the Jewish “Feast of Tabernacles” we are given a Scriptural reminder of the need for each one of us to periodically stop and recall His wondrous workings on our behalf that we have experienced throughout our life on earth.
Folks, the ideal time for us to stop and remember His blessings is during the Thanksgiving holiday season. Although it may be a busy time for all of us, we should always take the time to stop and remember all He has done for us in our personal lives, families, churches and nation. Then we are to allow these acts to enter our hearts and stir within us an attitude of appreciation and acts that praise and honor Him for all He has done.
Following this, we are to share accounts of His blessings with those around us, reminding them of His great grace in their lives.
By doing this, we are making this time of year truly a Thanksgiving experience for us all.
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