Happy Days

Take delight in the Lord. Psalm 37:4

Greetings fellow sojourners!

Even though God gave over 600 rules to the Israelites, he did not want them to merely do his bidding. He wanted them to enjoy him ~ like family. So God set up festivals for his people; a break from routine in order to reflect on all he had done for them. These were happy, holy days.

Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement was so serious that everyone fasted in preparation for it (Leviticus 16:1). On this Day, the high priest sacrificed a bull for his and his family’s sin before sacrificing a goat for the sins of God’s people. The Day of Atonement showed both the holiness of God and the mercy of God. All people need to have their sin forgiven. Jesus, the ultimate high priest, “entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:12).

Feast of Booths. Five days after the Day of Atonement, God wanted his people to celebrate for seven days (Exodus 23:16, 17; 34:22). During these days, the Israelites camped out in huts made from tree branches (Leviticus 23:33-44). The Feast of Booths was a time to recall how God had taken care of his people for the forty years they had lived in tents in the wilderness (Leviticus 23:43). Eventually, this celebration included a water-pouring ceremony, which pictured how God had provided water for his people in the wilderness. In John’s Gospel, Jesus stood up on the seventh day of the Feasts of Booths and announced that God has again provided life-giving water for his people. He says, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. Now, this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive.” (John 7:37-39

Passover. The Passover celebrated the time when God rescued his people from Egypt. For this feast, families sacrificed a perfect lamb (Leviticus 23:5) and painted its blood on the top and sides of the doorway to their house (Exodus 12:22). During the week following Passover, Israel celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This feast reminded them of the kind of bread God’s people ate on the night they were delivered from slavery in Egypt. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ sacrificed his life as the ultimate Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7). By giving his life, he rescued his people from eternal death.

Pentecost. This feast occurred seven weeks after Passover and celebrated the crops harvested at the end of the barley harvest (Leviticus 23:15; Deuteronomy 16:16). The focus of this feast was thanking God for generously providing a bountiful harvest. God’s people also expressed their thanksgiving by providing for those in need (Deuteronomy 16:9-12). The New Testatment teaches that at Pentacost, fifty days after Jesus’s resurrection, God once again provided for his people. He didn’t provide just a harvest of grain to gather into barns, but a harvest of men and women gathered into his kingdom by his Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-11, 41).

May we all remember the wonderful works of the Lord and His amazing provision in our lives. When my natural eyes refuse to see, help me visualize the bountiful harvest You indeed have allotted me. Your provision always meets my every need.

May the Lord direct our heart to God’s love and Christ’s endurance,


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