Have you ever noticed how many holidays God commanded for the Hebrews in the Old Testament? While studying and preaching through the book of Leviticus chapter 23 on the holidays, stood out to me. It is pretty eye-opening and worth your effort to study it. Maybe this post will stimulate you to go deeper on it.
The sheer number of days set aside for a holiday is amazing. The seven main feasts, Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Weeks, Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Booths added to the weekly Sabbath and the monthly new moon celebration represents quite a number of days with no work or limited work, special activities and worship. And when you add the Sabbath year, which happened every seventh year, the number is bigger. If my math is correct, for an 80-year lifetime, that would be a whopping 10,655 days. Get this, that is more than 36% of a person’s life. More than one third of a person’s lifetime God wanted to be a holiday (at least to some extent) specifically for worship and remembering His grace and glory.
That’s pretty amazing!
Our culture has some cool holidays too. And if you get Saturdays and Sundays off work and add those in it adds up to be a lot of days off work too. But it’s not the same as God’s plan for the Hebrews. Days off for them were not just days off to play golf, go fishing, or mow the grass. Their days were filled with graphic worship experiences chalk full of reminders of His massive grace shown to them, delivering them from slavery under Pharaoh, giving them food to keep them alive, cleansing them from sin by the blood atonement, and much more.
God wanted them to stop everything they were doing, be still, and know that He is the God of grace who vowed to keep His covenant with them. In Jesus, all of those things are ours in far greater and eternal ways. One thing this should do to us is impress on us the huge amount of time God wants His people to spend doing nothing else except being with Him being filled with reminders of His grace and promises to us. That means lots of time in corporate worship with the body, lots of time with a small group or one-on-one meetings, lots of time as a family unit, and lots of time in private reading and meditating on His word.
Keep reading the Scriptures and enjoy all of it!