G-d’s calendar vs My Plan (1 week until Passover!)
As I reviewed the festival dates for the year, I noticed that several of God’s holy days fall in the middle of the week. Yes, it would indeed be “more convenient” if they fell on the weekend.
But, you know what? God didn’t ask me when He should have His holy days. The question is do I want to celebrate them on His day?
It was very easy to celebrate each His festivals and Shabbat, when we lived in Israel. As a whole, the Israeli society observes His days: schools are not in session, shops are closed, special meals or foods are eaten, etc. It is similar to the US celebration of Thanksgiving or our independence (the 4th of July. Regardless of what day of the week it falls, many businesses are not open on the 4th of July. Thanksgiving is always the 4th Thursday of November – most schools and many businesses celebrate it with a four-day weekend. Our American society has been molded around these American holidays.
But what about God’s calendar? What should we do when one of His holy days falls on a not-so-convenient- day for-us? Perhaps, the best place to look is at His Word.
How interesting it is to note that 5 times in the 44 verses of Leviticus 23, the LORD states that these are His appointed festivals. In verse 2 of this chapter, He reinforces the point twice: He says these are “My appointed festivals” and immediately thereafter He adds “the appointed festivals of the LORD” (Lev 23:2: “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the LORD, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.)
To a Believer, when the Word says something once, we pay attention. But when a point is restated FIVE times in one chapter and TWICE in one verse, it is very important that we hear the message and pay attention. G-d said it – we need to do it!
Now, let us look at the Scriptures about G-d’s seven Festivals:
“These are the Lord’s appointed festivals, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times” Lev 23:4
Passover, Unleavened Bread, & First Fruits: “Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance,” Exodus 12:14 NASB. (Also, it is mentioned in Lev 23:4-14; Ex 12:15-28, 23:15; Num 9:13; Eze 45:21; Luke 22:15; 1Cor 5:7; etc.) Passover is mentioned 57 times in the Old and New Testaments.
Shavuot (aka Pentecost or Feast of Weeks): “You shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks, that is, the first fruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year,” Exodus 34:22 NASB (also mentioned in Deut 16:10,16; 2 Chronicles 8:13; Num 28:26; Acts 2:1, etc.) The Feast of Weeks is mentioned 5 times in Old Testament, and Pentecost, 3 times in the NT.Yom Teru’ah (aka Rosh haShanah or Feast of Trumpets): “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no regular work, but present a food offering to the Lord,’” Lev 23:24-5. (Also, it is mentioned in Num 10:10, 29:1-6.)
Rosh haShanah (aka Feast of Trumpets): “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no regular work, but present a food offering to the LORD,’” Lev 23:24-5. (Also, it is mentioned in Num 10:10, 29:1-6.)
Yom Kippur (aka the Day of Atonement): “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present a food offering to the LORD. Do not do any work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the LORD your God,” Lev 23:27-8. (Also, it is mentioned in verses 16:29-34, 23:27-32, 25:9; Num 29:7; Heb 9:11-14, 22-24, 10:1-25.)
Sukkot (aka Feast of Booths or Tabernacles): “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD’s Festival of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work,” Lev 23:34-5. (Also, it is mentioned in verses 36-44; Num 29:12; Deut 16:13-15; Zech 14:16-19 – consequences for not celebrating the festival; and John 7:2-52.)
Question: When have we ever ‘sacrificed’ our personal agendas for His that He does not flood us with His blessings? These include Peace. Peace from knowing that we are doing what He requests. His peace is beyond comparison.
CHALLENGE: Will we set our plans aside to honor Him and His calendar? Yes, to do this will entail our planning ahead, just as we have to for vacation, doctor’s appointments, etc., because our society doesn’t observing His holy days.
“Ancient of Days, You have given us so much! You have given us Your calendar and You have invited us to share in Your holy days. Help us to put our own agendas aside and follow Your decrees. Protect the persecuted church. Bless our soldiers, protect them; keep them out of harm’s way; protect their families. Bring revival to our land and to Israel. Keep her safe. We pray a special blessing on each of them. We glorify You, our King. In Yeshua’s Name, we pray.”
IMMEDIATE Prayer Requests:
- Pray for Israel!
- Don’s family: his mother passed away this week
- Norman & Pamela: traveling mercies
- Protection for pastors
- HEALING and PEACE for all!!!
- PJ: tumor
- Rhonda & Aunt (Norman George’s): healing!
- Olsens: wisdom & peace
- Tere & Deb: healing!!!
- 2-year old Grandson (Mary & Joe Benton): Please pray little Joshua’s healing.
- April (Betty & Harold Olson’s daughter): diagnosed with cancer. Payer for healing and restoration.
- Sa’ed (the Iranian-American pastor who was recently released from Iranian prison) and his wife: their marriage. And unity of their family.
- Marsha (Rhonda’s friend): friend’s husband has end stage renal failure. Encouragement and peace.
- Shar (Lori and Les’a’s friend): peace and physical and emotional strength
- Pray: for ISIS to be stopped; protection of believers
- Pray: for victims of terror and their families
- Pray: for those who are in financial or emotional difficulties.
- Pray for America.
- Paul & Lynn Mann: total restoration.
- Jessica (Lori & Jim’s daughter): return to the God of her youth – the God of her parents.
Read all He is doing through prayer!
- Oxana’s grandbaby, even after struggle with birth, born healthy!
- 3 other babies born healthy!!
- David Davis (pastor of Kehilat haCarmel in Haifa) has completed his extensive treatment in Mexico and has returned to Haifa!
- April: good report from doctor!
- Tracy’s infection didn’t spread to her bones!
- Shar (Les’a’s friend): house sold!!!
- Peace has returned to Don’s mom!!!
- Pamela’s miracle at work.
- Mary and Joe Benton’s son is now in Tucson! Grandson’s blood counts remained steady through the trip.
- April (Betty & Harold’s daughter): scan came back showing no cancer in her brain!!