Feasting… for Whom?

“These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them. In the first month, on the fourteenth day at twilight, is the Lord’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord… You shall present a food offering to the Lord for seven days.

“When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord… a food offering to the Lord with a pleasing aroma…

“You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord…

“In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work…

“Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation… And you shall not do any work on that very day, for it is a Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God…

“On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths to the Lord. On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. For seven days you shall present food offerings to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall hold a holy convocation and present a food offering to the Lord. It is a solemn assembly; you shall not do any ordinary work.

“These are the appointed feasts of the Lord.” Leviticus 23:4-6,8,10-11,13,15-16,24-25,27-28,34-37

The predawn sky was a feast for the eyes, a thick palette of greys giving way to fiery pink orange. Early wind blew smoky tufts along as it wafted an intoxicating scent of gardenias, pungent and regal white. All senses are captivated by beauty, and delicious, and fragrant, and cool breeze, but the repast of sight and soul set out by God are intended for far more than our own pleasure. (Psalm 19:1)

The system of feasts instituted by God- unleavened bread, firstfruits, weeks, trumpets, atonement, booths- points to Him, not us, and the end of each is remembrance, gratitude, and surrender. Each culminates in His delight and honor. God pronounced these feasts vital and significant in the rhythm of Israel’s life, and appointed their celebrations to be continued in order to solemnly remember His name and provision through the years. Each had a cost, a preparation, a careful deliberation, as each composed a pleasing aroma to the Lord of all.

How do we view our calendar of opportunities and bountiful possessions? Is life centered around my regular- even thoughtless- pleasure in food, friendship, and favor, with little attention to their Giver? Have my senses grown accustomed to overload, without appreciation, taking no time to refrain from toil, to rest, remember God, and rejoice? What heavenly delights I would enjoy if I feasted instead on my Lord! (Isaiah 58:13-14; James 1:17)

Lord, keep me relishing the splendor of Your holiness, and offering a continual sacrifice of praise for the bounty You give, and are. (1 Chronicles 16:28-29)

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