Leviticus 23

In this chapter we see the eight different special days or events that God meticulously lays out for the people to follow.  Some are weekly, but most are done each year.  There are specific lengths of time and activities that are to be associated with each.  We see these also mentioned in other parts of scripture – primarily in Exodus and Numbers.  Here is a basic chart that describes them:

Calendar Event Time on Calendar Reference
Sabbath 7th day of each week Lev 23:2-3
Passover first month, on the fourteenth day Lev 23:5
Unleavened Bread 7 days after Passover Lev 23:6
First Harvest During the week of unleavened bread Lev 23:9-14
Second Harvest 50 days after Passover Lev 23:15-22
Day of Trumpets seventh month, on the first day of the month Lev 23:23-25
Day of Atonement 9 days after the day of trumpets Lev 23:26-32
Final Harvest fifteenth day of the seventh month Lev 23:33-43


Let’s face it, you’d need a system to keep track of all these things.  But the truth is that they quickly become part of the routine of life and the people knew when they were, and what they were required to do.  Some of these were for a day, some for a week.  They did know how to stop and move their focus from self to God.  We all need things that help us do that.  As we live our day to day chaotic lives, we can tend to get pretty self-centered.  We may go for days and not even think about God.

Sabbath day was set aside to try and break that cycle.  One day a week the routine is to stop and the focus is to be placed on God.  “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work”.  I don’t want to get into a legalistic discussion of the Sabbath and what day it should be celebrated or what activities it should contain.  I do want to emphasize that as people created in God’s image, we all need a Sabbath and we have to make sure we are making time to get away from our own focus on self and move to a focus on God.

Far too many people treat the Sabbath as a catch up day.  They might go to church, but then it is time to be used for whatever we didn’t have time to get to last week.  I’m guilty of that some weeks.  God’s intent is to use the day to refresh us and allow us to have time to really get centered again in Him.  We need to guard that time and use it in the way He designed it.  It isn’t our own free time.  It is His time with an intended purpose in His plan for our well-being.  We need to seek His guidance for how we should use it each week!

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