Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the Lord empty: Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee. ~Deuteronomy 16:16-17
A marker is a form of identification. When we lay down a marker, we are telling people about something we have committed to do. It is a firm verification of a present or future performance that is vital to yourself and others. This morning, we are looking at three important occurrences that God placed on the Jewish calendar. These occurrences became markers that were intended to have the Israelites purposely set aside time to remember and celebrate God’s goodness and continuous working in their lives.
We see divine REQUIREMENT.
“Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose… and they shall not appear before the Lord empty.” God required that every male in Israel would appear before the Lord at three feasts. This requirement meant that the man and his immediate family were required to appear before the Lord. These days were appointed and set on the Jewish calendar. In a similar way, there are two inescapable days on God’s calendar where men must appear. First, every sinner will appear before the Great White Throne for final judgment of their sins and rejection of Christ as Savior. It will be the formal day in which every sinner will receive his sentencing for having rejected his opportunity to be saved. Second, every Christian must appear before the judgment seat of Christ to receive the things done in his body, whether good or bad. For the Christian, this is a judgment concerning our works after we are saved. This appearance is for the receiving of rewards. Believers will either receive rewards or nothing at all.
We see the descriptive REPRESENTATIONS.
There were three important dates when every male was to appear before the Lord.
The Feast of the Passover, or of unleavened bread. Unleavened bread speaks of the sinless life of Christ, and in conjunction with the Passover, it speaks of His finished work on the cross for every sinner. This feast is a reminder of our salvation.
The Feast of Pentecost or the Feast of weeks. The Feast of weeks or Pentecost was celebrated beginning on the first day of unleavened bread and would last for fifty days. Pentecost speaks of the coming of the Holy Spirit and the harvesting of souls that would be saved during the church age. Pentecost speaks to us about the gift of the Spirit Who indwells and empowers believers for service.
The Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Tabernacles was a constant reminder of Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage and God’s perpetual security for His people. This feast pointed to the first coming of our Lord as the sinless Son of God Who became a man to die for our sins (John 1:14). It further points to the future when in the New Heaven and New Earth, Jesus tabernacles, or is ever present, with men (Rev. 21:3). The Feast of the Tabernacles speaks to us about our Lord’s coming again and when we shall be forever with the Lord.
We see the devoted RESPONSIBILITIES.
These three feasts represent the work of salvation, the work of the Spirit, and the waiting for His coming. Every man had a responsibility to give as he was able to give. No man was to appear before the Lord empty. Every man was commanded to give according to the blessing or grace dispensed to him. What does this mean to us? It means that God’s abundant gifts and goodness in our lives demands that we live our lives by always giving back. First, we must give of our lives. This represents the dedication of our bodies to the Lord. Second, we must give of our livelihood. This represents our tithe and offerings. Third, we must give of our love. This means we should give to the Lord our best and our all. Fourth, we must give of our lifetime. The remainder of our earthly life must be lived in preparation for life in eternity.
God has given us lifetime markers for godly and responsible living. Be careful of selfishness and worldly goals clouding your judgment and keeping you from giving your best to the Lord.
Have a responsible God Morning!