“These are the appointed feasts of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations…
“Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath [to the Lord] of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work…
“In the first month, on the fourteenth day… is the Lord’s Passover. On the fifteenth day… is the Feast of Unleavened Bread… On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. 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… On the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb… as a burnt offering to the Lord. And the grain offering with it shall be… a food offering to the Lord with a pleasing aroma, and the drink offering… And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh… until you have brought the offering of your God...
“On the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation… a Sabbath of solemn rest.” Leviticus 24:2-3,5-8,10b,12-14,27a,32a
The Lord established feasts and regular practices that would keep Him front and center in Israel’s new land. His daily, weekly, and monthly rhythms would plant in their minds and actions a needful reverence and reminding that it was He who had saved, He who dispensed, and He who deserved praise. Any other focus would be fruitless.
By practicing these rituals, His people acknowledged that they were merely stewards of what the Lord had given. Their families, work, belongings, and common duties were all consecrated to their heavenly Sovereign. His greatness was woven through their industry, His generosity through their offerings, His perfection in the careful regularity of rituals, His grace in their Sabbath rest. They could not plow without prayer, reap without thanks, eat without acknowledging God’s supply. Their rest on the Day of Atonement was a loud proclamation that God’s work, not theirs, won their righteousness and freedom.
We’ve come a long way from burning sacrifices, yet our motivations and living are still to offer pleasing aroma to our Maker. The world would have us do everything but, tempting us with selfish ease and pomp, alien affections, pushing to get ahead, and procuring what we deserve. But God’s way is not ours, and His is higher and better. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
How many efforts and objects do we prioritize before the Lord instead of consecrating to Him? We idolize our children, hinging life plans and resources on them as supreme. We indulge -aholic mentality, attaching work, food, drink, exercise, ‘self-care,’ or entertainment to holy detriment. While responsibilities are vital, our worship, marriages, and ministries wobble lopsided when we operate around the wrong hub and fail to consecrate all to Jesus.
Is the Lord receiving only our leftover attention, adoration, and resources? What need we do to reorient our beginnings to establish Him as first and foremost?
Good Father, infuse my thinking and direct my doing with delight in who You are and all You’ve done. Make every moment a holy convocation, my days centered around You alone to be an offering and blessing to Your glory. (Leviticus 23:40-43)