(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 23:35 (KJV) – “On the first day [shall be] an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work [therein].”
Leviticus 23:35 (ESV) – “On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.”
“On the first day [shall be] an holy convocation:
The Feast of Tabernacles was a seven day feast (vs 34). On the first day of the feast observance, the Jews were to hold a “holy convocation” or a “sanctified assembly”. In other words, they were to come together and hold an assembly that is set apart for the use of their Lord.
What a wonderful way to start this period of remembrance, appreciation and service. They were to meet together with the Lord’s people rejoicing as we remember the wonderful workings of the Lord in their nation, families and individual lives.
Psalms 42:4 KJV – “When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.”
ye shall do no servile work [therein].”
On the first day of this celebration, they were to dedicate the entire day to the Lord and remembering His blessings upon them. They were to do no manual labor or personal pursuits on that day, which allows for all of their attention to be placed upon the Lord and His past acts of goodness to them.
Psalms 105:1-6 KJV – “O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen.”
Folks in our devotional text this morning we can learn two very important truths….
First, our Thanksgiving time of appreciation for the works of the Lord should not simple be a personal experience that changes us within. It should be an experience that affects the lives of others in at least two ways…
1. As the Lord develops an appreciative heart within us, we are to tell others of His wondrous works that He has done for us. Share with others the blessings of the Lord!
2. Also we should help others to recall His blessings as well. Share with them how you have seen the Lord bless in their life. Many times, Satan can blind us to the blessings of God in our own lives, perhaps we see a blessing in the lives of those around us that have never recognized as a blessing prior to our revealing it to them.
Secondly, taking time to remember the Lord’s many benefits is a very important task that requires, and deserves, all of our attention. Certainly, there are many times that we get bogged down with the concerns of this world and need to take care of the issues of this physical life.
However, we should always be willing to find some time to stop and reflect upon the Lord’s grace displayed in our lives.
May we all take time during this season to place our attention solely on the Lord and remember all His gracious works he has done for us throughout our lives and then share these blessings with others and help them to recognize His blessings in their lives as well!
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