NEW SERIES: LET’S SLOW DOWN & CELEBRATE THE AUTUMN
Starting today, the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot, is being celebrated; one of the three great festivals commanded in the Law [Leviticus 23:33,34; Numbers 29: 12-39; Deuteronomy 16:13-17].
While Christians are not required to observe these occasions [Colossians 2:16,17], we need to pay attention as they point to the profound realities found in Christ.
As the great Festival of Ingathering after the harvest, one of the main biblical themes of Tabernacles was provision. Israel was commanded to build temporary shelters to live in during the seven days of the festival as a reminder of their ‘camps’ in the wilderness. They were to remember the time when they were nomads, when, as a formally enslaved generation, they learned to trust the God who had delivered them to provide for their basic needs.
But the wilderness was temporary; their destination was a land ‘flowing with milk and honey’.
For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land – a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills;
a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig-trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey;
a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing;
a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hill.
When you have eaten and are satisfied,
praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.
The Feast of Tabernacles was to be the celebration of the amazing, abundant provision of God, embodied in the great harvests from a land watered by ‘rain from heaven’—while remembering His faithfulness during their training period.
Sometimes we live with a permanent desert mentality, the belief that the wilderness is our natural habitat, rather than a passing-through experience, for training and discipline.
For many years I was influenced by a strand of Christian teaching which said we should only pray for, and expect God to give us, ‘just enough to get by’—that anything more was excess, and ‘carnal’. (And not surprisingly, that’s what we received, and so for a long time we lived hand-to-mouth.) But over the years as I have looked into Scripture, I have discovered a different God, one who blesses abundantly; the God of More Than Enough.
Think of the blessings for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; the favour poured out on the Patriarchs, on David and Solomon, on Daniel and Hezekiah, and a host of others.
Think of Jesus supplying wine for the marriage feast; multiplying so many loaves and fishes that there were baskets-full left over; blessing a commercial fishing operation so they had to call for help to bring it in…
We need to change our way of thinking (the core meaning of ‘repentance’) and stop entertaining thoughts about God that are not worthy of Him. Whether it is our present experience or not--we live in a fallen world whose prince is out to use our circumstances to destroy us--we worship a God who delights in pouring out His blessing and grace on us. If we continue to trust Him in our desert places, we will find that we come into a place of abundant supply of whatever grace we need. We cannot earn it; we will never deserve it; instead we put our trust in Jesus who has fulfilled every requirement of the Law, and opened up the way for us to inherit the promises of God.
And God’s abundant supply is our place of rest.
The webpage GOD’S PROMISE OF PROVISION gives more thoughts on this topic.
And for more on the Feast of Tabernacles see the HOME PAGE
My Autumn Gift for You...
The Foundations and New Mindsets sections of this website,
with additional material, and questions for personal or group reflection, study and discussion are available in Paperback and Kindle format.
In keeping with celebrating this season of fruitfulness I would love this material to benefit as many people as possible, both those who want to dig deeper in their faith, and those who are not-yet-Christians.
So, until 15th October, I am offering this book in paperback and kindle format at the lowest prices Amazon will allow me to.
NEXT WEEK: CELEBRATE THE LAW-KEEPER WITHIN
Something better than the written Law...
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[Photo credits: Aedrian (log shelter); Jacopo Maia (fruit & veg); Jon Tyson (your story) @ Unsplash, with thanks]
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