(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 23:39 (KJV) – “Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day [shall be] a sabbath, and on the eighth day [shall be] a sabbath.”
Leviticus 23:39 (ESV) – “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the LORD seven days. On the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest.”
“Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month,
At the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles (Booths)…
when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days:
The feast of Tabernacles was to be observed immediately following the fall harvest. This too, was another blessing of which the Feast of Tabernacles reminded the Jews.
In the next verse (Lev 23:40), we are told that they were to use “the boughs of the goodly trees”, along with other types of branches, to finish the booths. These were the boughs of fruit trees that would be a reminder to them of the Lord meeting their physical needs while wandering in the wilderness and also in the harvest they had just finished.
on the first day [shall be] a sabbath, and on the eighth day [shall be] a sabbath.”
The feast of Tabernacles began with a Sabbath observance and, then, immediately after the feast concluded another Sabbath was to be observed.
Perhaps, the first Sabbath observance was to remind them of the rest from their Egyptian captivity…
Deuteronomy 5:12-15 KJV – “Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.”
While the last Sabbath reminded them of their rest from the wilderness wanderings as they entered the Promised Land…
Hebrews 4:4-6 KJV – “For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:…”
Folks, the blessings of the Lord that come upon us are varied and many. In today’s lesson we saw that the Lord used this feast to remind the Jews of both the temporal and eternal blessings that they have received of Him.
The physical blessings of God of which the Jews were reminded included…
1. the past material needs supplied during their wilderness wanderings
2. the current yearly harvest of their crops in their fields
3. their physical deliverance from Egypt
4. and physical entrance in the Promised Land.
However the symbolism of the feast goes much farther as it pictures the Lord’s spiritual blessings to us and applies to all Christians…
1. the past material needs supplied during their wilderness wanderings ….
pictures the blessings of God given to us during the course of our lives in this sinful world.
2. the current yearly harvest of their crops in their fields ….
pictures the Lord’s many rewards promised to who labor for Him by sowing the seeds of His truth into the fields of this world that are white unto harvest.
3. their physical deliverance from Egypt pictures ….
removal of the Christian from the bonds of sin.
4. and physical entrance in the Promised Land pictures ….
the Christian’s deliverance from this sinful world and our entrance into eternity with our Lord.
During this Thanksgiving season, let’s be sure to give thought to all the Lord has done to us which includes our:
1. material blessings while here on earth
2. promised rewards for faithfulness in eternity
3. deliverance from sin
4. deliverance from this sinful world as being taken into the very presence of our Lord.
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