Leviticus 23

Leviticus 23 is about the appointed feasts that God directed Moses to follow.  But before that God made clear a couple other things.  The first was the importance of the Sabbath.  God takes that pretty seriously.  He is all business about resting on the seventh day.  In fact – later in the chapter he says “whoever does any work on that very day, that person I will destroy from among his people”.  God cares about it so much because it is to be a time we reflect on who He is as we rest in Him.  It is not optional.

He also makes it clear that when we generate our wages – in this case the harvest – we are to bring the first fruits to Him.  Not the last 10%, but the first of what we are provided.  “When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest”.  A lot of people struggle to give God His due.  He does not want the leftovers.  He us to recognize that He provided and give Him our tithe.  And I love how he instructs them to do it – don’t eat until we have given.  “And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God”.

Then God goes through a list of feasts and celebrations that they are to celebrate:

–      “the Lord’s Passover

–      the Feast of Unleavened Bread

–      the Day of Atonement

–      the Feast of Booths

Each was on specific days with specific instructions for celebration.  The key though was “that your generations may know…..I am the Lord your God”.  That is the key – that God be exalted and glorified.

Feasts have gone away – but the need to remember and make sure that our generations may know has not.  We need to work hard to be sure that those in our midst remember the Lord our God and keep Him on the throne in His rightful place.  We need to rejoice before the Lord.  He alone is worthy of our praise!

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Brad Kowerchuk on October 11, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Leviticus chapter 23 talks about the Festival of Unfermented Cakes, and this was also the official start to the harvest. All male Israelites were to attend, so who harvested the firstfruits of the barley that were brought to the sanctuary? And, in keeping with Hebrews 10:1, what would this festival foreshadow in the Christian congregation?

    Reply

  2. […] Leviticus 23 (asorensen.wordpress.com) […]

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  3. I was a little startled by your last paragraph. The feasts and festivals have not gone away. Orthodox Jews continue to observe the festivals today. Presently we are in the Festival of Succot, a wonderful festival of erecting booths, taking four species of plants and waving them before G-d, eating and sleeping in the sukkah (booth) as we remember and pass on the story of G-d’s delivering us out of the land of Egypt and making us a people. Your blog is quite informative, and the only error is to suggest that the festivals and feasts have gone away. I hope you have the opportunity to join an observant Jewish family in their sukkah someday to get a flavor of the beauty of our festivals. Otherwise, a very solid, well written post! Thank you.

    Reply

    • Posted by asorensen on October 19, 2011 at 9:36 pm

      Great observation Cecelia. I misspoke on the feasts and festivals being gone. Christian churches do not celebrate them, but our Jewish friends certainly do. I would like to experience and understand those things as I am sure we are missing something special. Thanks for your comments!

      Reply

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