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As far back as the Garden of Eden, wefind the LORD God (
)walking “in the cool of the day” andcalling for Adam (Gen. 3:8-9). It hadevidently become customary for theLord and Adam to take a stroll togeth-er through
during the earlyevening hours of each day.God wanted to be with these people Hehad created. It’s hard for us to under-stand because we know that God iscomplete within Himself. He has nei-ther inadequacies nor emptiness. SoHe doesn’t “need” us in any ordinarysense of that word. Nonetheless, He
us. That’s why He made us.So He set seven appointments through-out the year to meet with His people,Israel. These were specific times dur-ing the spring and fall of the year whenthe people of Israel would gather inJerusalem to do the following things:
They came together topraise the Lord and to express theirgratitude for His goodness. Again,it’s not that He needs our praise orthanks; He formed us from the dustof the ground and He knows this iswhat we were created to do. Praiseand worship complete us and con-nect us with our Creator in waysthat nothing else can.
As we said earlier,this is one of the meanings of
(“memorial” or “remembrance”). Asbelievers, it’s important not to for-get how God brought us to where weare. When we’re in the midst of tri-als, we need to remember how God,historically, has brought His peoplethrough the hardest of times.
God doesn’t need our moneyor other gifts; after all, He ownseverything anyway. Nonetheless, Heknows it’s good for us to give some-thing back to Him. When we give,we are acknowledging His lordshipin our lives. It shows we understandthat everything we have—includ-ing every breath of air that fillsour lungs—ultimately comes fromGod. In ancient Israel, there was asophisticated system of sacrificesand offerings so God’s people couldcome before Him (in the Tabernacleor Temple) for various purposes.
Coming before the Lordon a regular basis is a good way tomake us accountable to Him. Theseseven occasions during the year pro-vided an opportunity for everyone toevaluate their priorities and iden-tify areas of their lives that neededimprovement.Traveling from remote areas of Israelto Jerusalem could take up to a week ormore each way. That’s why only threeof the annual feasts were obligatory— Passover, the Feast of Weeks, and theFeast of Booths. These were the onlytimes during the year when all adultmales were required to present them-selves at the Temple in Jerusalem.Many people call these observances“the feasts of Israel.” Amazon.com cur-rently lists more than 100 books thatinclude that phrase in the title. How-ever, the Bible never calls them “thefeasts of Israel”; rather, they are “thefeasts of the LORD” (Lev. 23:2, 4, 37,44; 2 Chron. 2:4; Ezra 3:5). God him-self said, “These are My feasts” (Lev.23:2).It’s true that the feasts were given
OT Israel (2 Chron. 2:4); however, thatdoesn’t mean they can’t also be
NTbelievers. (The same thing could be saidabout the Ten Commandments or anyother part of the Torah.)
Of course, thefeasts are not binding on us today as alegal requirement. But they can teachus a great deal about our relationshipto God—and about where we’ve beenand where we’re going.
Prophecy in the Feasts
Taking them in chronological order,the first four of these observances wereheld in the spring and the last threetook place in the fall. That’s why werefer to them as the “Spring Feasts”and the “Fall Feasts.”Each of these seven observances hadan immediate application in Moses’day, but they also pointed to far-off pro-phetic events. Prophetically speaking,all seven feasts pointed to events thatwere still in the future when Moseswrote the Torah.With the advantage of 21
-centuryhindsight, we can see that the fourSpring Feasts pointed to Yeshua’s firstcoming. The three Fall Feasts contin-ue to point us to the future and Mes-siah’s Second Coming. A long time haselapsed since His first coming (just asthere’s a relatively long time betweenthe spring and fall feasts on the Jew-ish calendar); however, the Fall Feasts