An ancient story in Church history tells of the apostle John. He would constantly repeat the words, "Little children, love one another." And his disciples became weary of the phrase. Finally, in his old age, as John was being carried to their assembly, the disciples asked him, "Why do you always repeat these same words?" "Because friends," John replied, "it is the Lord's commandment — and if only this one were fulfilled, it would be enough."
As we close out the fall feasts here in Israel I’m meditating on the deeper significance of this season. I’m realizing how God’s ordering of the festivals contains a deeper meaning than one might see at first glance. It’s not just about apples and honey and building tabernacles. The Lord gave the Jewish people these feasts as a beautiful picture of His ultimate plan; repentance, faith, atonement, forgiveness and joy. He carefully ordered these feasts to call us to a profound internal reflection designed to lead us from sin and alienation to reconciliation, fellowship, freedom and great joy.
Tonight begins the Biblical feast of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) throughout the world! Roughly 2500 years ago, there was a special Sukkot celebration in Jerusalem. The people of Israel were exiled and dispersed all across the Babylonian empire. Later, they were given the right to return and start construction on the 2nd temple of Israel. Nehemiah 8 speaks of the special celebration that happened at that time. We read how Ezra taught the people out of the book of the law and how they responded in weeping and repentance before the God of Israel.
1 Thes. 5:16-18 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. In her book “The Hiding Place” Corrie ten Boom relates an incident that taught her always to be thankful. She and her sister Betsy had just been transferred to the […]
Psalm 3:8 Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Jesus told His disciples to go into the deep waters and let down their nets for fish. When they did, their nets were filled up with fish to the point of breaking. Being fishermen and businessmen, they may have been tempted to […]
The Lord is quoted in this scripture in Matthew and it contains an important principle which I think we sometimes tend to overlook. Many believe and even teach that if someone acquires much material prosperity, then God has surely given them favor, and that if someone is undergoing extreme trial, it must be because they have sinned or that they lack faith. But the Lord says that the sun rises and the rain falls on both the righteous and the unrighteous alike. A life of good circumstances does not necessarily mean that God is with us. And likewise, a life of trial and suffering does not mean that God is not with us!
The Lord quotes this scripture in Matthew. It contains an important principle which believers sometimes tend to overlook. Many believe and even teach that if you're blessed, your life will be filled with material prosperity, and that if you are undergoing extreme trial, it must be because you have sinned or that you lack faith. The Lord says that the sun rises and the rain falls on both the righteous and the unrighteous alike.
Returning from their 'mission' trip, the 72 disciples of Yeshua (Jesus) were filled with joy. "Even the devils are subject to us through your name", they exulted. Yeshua responded that He saw Satan fall like lightening from Heaven and that He had given them authority to trample snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy.
There is an important lesson here and in other places of God's Word, namely that humility and gladness go together. What do the humble and the joyous have in common? They both look up. The humble are those who don't look down on anyone. The truly humble look up all the time. They have to look up, because their eyes are on God, and He's above them. The joyous are always looking up as well, otherwise they wouldn't be rejoicing. The joyous are believing the Good News, so they rejoice!
In December 1903, after many attempts, the Wright brothers were successful in getting their “flying machine” off the ground. Thrilled, they telegraphed this message to their sister Katherine: “We have actually flown 120 feet. Will be home for Christmas.” Katherine hurried to the editor of the local newspaper and showed him the message. He glanced at it and said, “How nice. The boys will be home for Christmas.”
Sukkot is known as "The Feast" in which God commands us to rejoice. As we conclude this feast of rejoicing today, I think it is only fitting that we commit ourselves to a life of joy. "But how?" you say. We need to make a choice — a choice to rejoice! Wow, I’m a poet and didn’t know it, lol! Let's reflect on what the Lord has done for us this year and commit to live above our current circumstances and look ahead toward what He is going to do for us in the future!
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Sukkot is known as "The Feast" in which God commands us to rejoice. As we […]
Matthew 5:11-12 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. An ancient story is told of the […]