Page 6 - June 2022 - Truth & Tidings
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Introduction                          ian society, and there were no feasts at the
          This series about the Feasts of the Lord   height of the season when the fields were
        will be simple, a primer for those who are   in need of attention. Yes, these feasts made
        approaching the theme for the first time.   great demands on the people, but as ever,
        We do not anticipate an in-depth study for   “his commandments are not grievous”
        Bible students, but if that is your status,   (1Jn 5:3).
        be kind enough to keep on reading and   As stated, the gatherings were for God’s
        regard the series as a refresher course!  pleasure, hence the designation “the feasts
          Our core passage is Leviticus 23. The   of the Lord,” “my feasts.” By the time the
        feasts are mentioned elsewhere, especially   Lord Jesus was here, the focus had shifted
                                              from honoring God to mere ritualistic
        in Deuteronomy 16, where there is an em-  activity, and so the Spirit of God describes
        phasis on the location for these gatherings,   them as feasts “of the Jews” (e.g., Joh
        “the place which the Lord shall choose to   5:1). Be guarded, lest biblical activities in
        place his name there” (v2).  They are feasts   connection with the assembly degenerate
        in the sense of festivals, and in fact, one   into events that are simply routine. There
        of them, the Day of Atonement, was more   can be the whirr of religious machinery
        like a fast than a feast!             without the warmth of heartfelt devotion.
        Descriptions                            The second description of the feasts is
          There are two general descriptions of   “holy convocations,” for while they were
        the feasts in Leviticus 23:2. First, they   primarily for God’s pleasure, there was a
        are called “the feasts of the Lord.” Most   benefit for His people in being together
        translations insert the word “set,” the set   in fellowship with each other. Human
        feasts of the Lord, or some use the term   beings are social creatures, and even men
        “the appointed seasons.” They were ap-  of the world see mental and emotional
        pointed by God, with the timing very   advantages in companionship, hence the
        precise for various reasons, not least in   multitude of clubs, lodges and organiza-
        expressing His care for His people. The   tions that allow people with common
        seven feasts involved three annual visits to   interests to associate and interact with
        Jerusalem in the months that more or less   each other. The feasts of Jehovah created a
        approximate to what we call March, May   spiritual atmosphere in which those with
        and September. This schedule expresses   a common loyalty to Him could associ-
        the goodness of God in two ways. First,   ate to honor Him, and they were clearly
        every male in Israel was obliged to at-  occasions that were anticipated with joy
        tend, for it was all for God’s pleasure, but   and engaged in with pleasure. A song that
        there was nothing arranged for the winter   they would have sung en route to Zion
        months when travel would be challenging   was Psalm 122: “I was glad when they
        because of the frost and snow. Second, He   said unto me, Let us go into the house of
        took into account that this was an agrar-  the Lord. Our feet shall stand within thy
        ¹ All Scripture quotations in this article are from   gates, O Jerusalem” (vv1-2).
        the KJV.                                Today, the prospect of being with the

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