February 25

Read Numbers 28 -- 29

In Today's Reading:

You will be fascinated with the details that portray the many aspects of Christ's sacrificial love revealed in Israel's appointed feasts. The second generation prepares to enter the land promised to Abraham and his descendants about 500 years earlier. God does keep His promises.

Verse for Today:

On the fifteenth day of the seventh month . . . you shall keep a feast to the Lord seven days (Numbers 29:12).

Highlight:

The daily and weekly offerings (sacrifices), Sabbath and monthly offerings (sacrifices), and the offerings (sacrifices) at the appointed feasts.

God commanded the Israelites to be holy, for I am holy (Leviticus 11:44-45). To make this possible, laws were given for worship and religious ceremonies, as well as laws to regulate all aspects of life.

The Israelites' New Year's Day (civil year) began in the Fall with the Feast of Trumpets: On the first day of the seventh month . . . you shall do no servile (daily) work (Numbers 29:1). This joyous day of blowing the trumpets was followed 10 days later by the solemn Day of Atonement with the confession and atoning for their sins of the past year. This was followed by the Feast of Tabernacles (Booths), which was also called the Feast of Ingathering because the work in the fields was finished and the time had come for the people to rest from their labors. It was a time of great rejoicing and lasted for seven days, from the 15th to the 21st of Tishri (Sept/Oct) (Exodus 23:16; 34:22; Leviticus 23:33-44). It was followed by an eighth day of holy convocation on the 22nd which, though closely connected with the Feast of Tabernacles, was not a part of that feast.

Every man of Israel was required to attend the three great annual feasts before the Lord. The Feast of Ingathering (Feast of Tabernacles or Booths) was the last of the annual festivals. For seven days, all the residents of Israel dwelt in temporary booths (shelters) as an annual reminder of the time when they dwelt in tents during the 40 years in the wilderness.

It was during this observance of the Feast of Tabernacles many years later that Jesus pointed out to the people that He was the fulfillment of this Feast. While the sacrifices for this day were being prepared at the Temple, a priest, accompanied by music and a procession of worshipers, went down to the Pool of Siloam. There the priest filled a golden pitcher with water, which he brought back to the Temple and poured into a silver bowl. Gold is symbolic of God and silver is symbolic of truth. The people knew that this ceremony foreshadowed the coming of the promised Messiah (the Son of David). At that very moment of pouring, two thousand years later on the last day, that great day of the Feast, Jesus turned the thoughts of the people away from the ritual water to Himself, the Living Water, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to Me, and drink. He that believes on Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly (inmost being) shall flow rivers of living water (John 7:37-38).

A Thought from Proverbs: Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivers from death (11:4).

Christ Revealed:

Through the Peace Offering -- sometimes called fellowship offerings (Numbers 29:39). We have peace (and fellowship) with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (see Romans 5:1).

Word Studies:

28:18 convocation = assembly or gathering; servile work = physical labor; 29:6 month = new moon; 29:7 you shall afflict your souls = you shall have a day of no work but a day of personal soul searching, repentance of all known sin, fasting, and prayer; 29:35 solemn = sacred.

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Rep. James Barcia (MI) · Pray for one another · Country: St. Lucia (154,000) in the eastern Caribbean · Major languages: English and French patois · Religious freedom · 83% Roman Catholic; 13% Protestant; 2% spirit worship · Prayer Suggestion: Call upon the Lord and He will save you (Psalms 55:16).

Optional Reading: Luke 12

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:11