February 25

Read Numbers 28 -- 29

In Today 's Reading:

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

The Israelites' civil year began in the fall with the Festival of Trumpets: The first day of the seventh month will be a sacred assembly for you; do not do any regular (daily) work. It will be a day for you to sound the horn (blow the trumpets) (Numbers 29:1). This joyous day of blowing the trumpets was followed 10 days later by the solemn Day of Atonement. This was followed by the Festival of Tabernacles (Booths), which was also called the Festival 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 through the 21st of Tishri (September/October) (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 Festival of Tabernacles, was not a part of that festival for the people no longer lived in "booths."

The Festival of Tabernacles was the last festival of the religious year. For seven days, all the residents of Israel dwelt in temporary booths (tabernacles, shelters) as an annual reminder of the time when they dwelt in tents during the 40 years in the wilderness. The trees used for these temporary dwellings also had symbolic meanings. The trees provided shade as well as reminded the people of the Lord's protection and provision. The palm tree was the emblem of victory and the olive tree was a symbol of peace and God's presence (Nehemiah 8:15). The willow tree of the brook signified a thriving and blessed people, a reminder that he is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers (Psalms 1:3).

The life of a Christian is a journey much like that of the Israelites through the wilderness. It should be a great adventure of going on with the Lord into deeper experiences and greater faith. With the apostle Paul, let us each say: I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).

Christ Revealed:

By the tabernacles (booths) (Numbers 29:12-39; Leviticus 23:34). The Word (Christ) became flesh and took up residence among us (John 1:14). The Greek word translated "dwelt" means to "tabernacle or live in a tent temporarily."

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. James Barcia (MI) · Country: San Marino (25,000) inside north-central Italy · Major language: Italian · Religious freedom · 95% Roman Catholic; 5% Atheist · Prayer Suggestion: Your prayer should always be to please the Lord (Psalms 73:25).

Optional Reading: Luke 12

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:11