The world is in chaos:
Everyday I learn of another crisis, often in the lives of my friends, 5 of whom have lost a child to suicide! Hearing the cries of the pain of such loss, the pain of health issues, the pain of ….well you name it…makes words of comfort empty.
And yet, in the midst of all this pain and confusion, God keeps bringing me back to the subject of His feasts. In my head it makes no sense when there seems to be more important issues I should be addressing.
But God the Spirit keeps pushing me to try to “recover and restore” His appointed times (His feasts) to the church.
The prophet Jeremiah said it first:
This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!” (Lamentations 3:21-24)
And then the writer of the letter to the Hebrews
Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. (Hebrews 6:17-18)
In other words, hope in God is an anchor to our souls (our minds, our emotions and guides our wills.) No wonder God’s first command is:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Dt 6:4-5
So why the feasts?
Because they give us hope.
God designed the feasts as opportunities to:
- Remember His mighty acts of deliverance and His character
- Recognize: Jesus, Yeshua
- Reflect: on the significance of the feasts to our lives, whomever and wherever.
Let me tell you a story:
THE PARABLE OF THE SEA SHELLS
I was living in Tel Aviv, not too far from the Sea. An early morning walk along the shore as the sun was coming up was a morning necessity. One day I became fascinated by the shells. They were an unusual color so my eyes were riveted.
The Lord’s voice broke through my concentration, “Look up” He said.
I lifted my eyes and the undulating movement of the waves caught my attention.
So many times God shows His power through the waves. He challenged Job by asking:
”Who shut in the sea with doors,
When it burst forth and issued from the womb;
When I made the clouds its garment,
And thick darkness its swaddling band;
When I fixed My limit for it,
And set bars and doors;
When I said,
‘This far you may come, but no farther,
And here your proud waves must stop!’ (Job 38:8-11)
The waves also speak of overwhelming pain or anxiety
Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
All Your waves and billows have gone over me. (Ps 42:7)
And the love of God referenced, not the waves, but the sand:
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You. (Ps 139:17-18)
The voice of the Lord broke into my thoughts, “Look up” He commanded.
The beauty of the skies was broken. The sound of horses pawing the air, straining in their eagerness to be released. (Revelation 6) “Father, what are You saying to me?”
“This is a parable” the Lord explained. “The shells represent your daily lives; the simple seemingly insignificant chores of life. Or perhaps a life impacting situation.”
Friends, when facing a major problem, all our attention, rightfully goes to that situation. It doesn’t matter what else is going on, you are focused on the immediate.
The Lord continued, “The waves represent the world around you -your neighbors, community, your country and even other nations.”
- At this moment here in Israel we’re facing an election. Ironically so is America.
- China is fighting a horrifyingly new virus which is infecting thousands and is not only spreading throughout the world, but is impacting financial stability, and as it spreads throughout the world international markets and finances are being impacted.
- Several years ago there was a terrible tsunami in Japan,
- Severe hurricanes, fires, droughts
- Maybe closer to home as a neighbor suddenly dies, or …
Regardless, our attention, even for a moment is off our own problems and our focus, perhaps our money or involvement goes to others.
Our attention bounces from the shells to the waves…back and forth as different issues vie for our attention.
“But Abba, what about the heavens?”
“The heavens are a reflection of Me. My child, you always need to discover my perspective of your life and the world. Don’t let the ‘facts on the ground make you discouraged or confused. My perspective will enable you to rise above all cares and confusion and live in peace.”
Friends, seeing the world through eyes of the all knowing, all powerful, all loving God gives us hope. The same God who parted the Red Sea and delivered Israel is the same God who can deliver you from whatever challenges you are facing.
Because His character never changes, when we align ourselves with His perspective, we can rejoice regardless of our circumstances and rest in His plan for our future.
THAT’s why God appointed times. Sure these special times revolved around God’s mighty acts of deliverance for Israel…that’s because God chose Israel to be His witness to show the rest of the world His character: His mercy, grace, holiness, justice, power, goodness, covenant-keeping love.
There was a mantra when I was growing up and learning how to cross streets:
This is a good description of God’s special times.
We are to stop, bring our cares and concerns to Him and leave them at His feet
Look up from our cares and concerns and find God’s perspective
Listen to His voice.
And let me add: Rejoice and rest!
Remembering, rejoicing and resting are what the biblical feasts are all about.
Celebrating Jesus through the biblical feasts are anchors for our souls.