Jan. 22, 2014
Exodus 23-Part 3
Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest...Exodus 23:12
LET IT GLOW
These people, the Israelites, were wondering and living in a desert. It would be another forty years before they conquered the Promised Land, where they could farm. However, God was giving them explicit instructions ahead of time.
The worship of God and the working of the land (which belonged to God) were bound together. Israel's religious festivals were tied to the agricultural year in a series of sevens. (See Lev. 23).
We can see how God showed His care for the health of man, beast, and the land.
What were the directions concerning the sevens?
- The 7th day was the Sabbath. It was a day of rest for their household, slaves, ox, donkeys, and strangers. The Israelites were to work six days and rest on the seventh day, as God did during the creation. The Sabbath was to be kept holy, as a day of worship. This was the fourth commandment.
- The 7th year was the Sabbatical Year. The land was to rest, unplowed and unused, one year after being used six years. Not only did this year of resting the land benefit the people for better crops, it was also free food, which was left behind, for the poor people and the wild animals.(verse 11) They were to do the same with their vineyard and olive grove. The Israelites were to cultivate 6/7 of their land at any one time, practicing a method of crop rotation. (When Israel failed to obey this law, the land rested during their exile in Babylon, Leviticus 26:32-35 tells us.)
- The 7th month opened with the Feast of Trumpets, with the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles (Booths).
LET IT GROW
Now, what does the New Testament have to say about these sevens? (We know that the numeral 7 stands for perfection.)
Passover speaks of the death of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. (Ex. 12, John 1:29); the Feast of First fruits is a type of His resurrection (1 Cor. 15:23); and the Feast of Tabernacles reminds us of His coming again and the future kingdom of joy and fullness (Zec. 14:16-21).
Jesus is our type of Passover Lamb, who died shedding His blood in our place so we would not have to pay for our sins. Such love! Christ is the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (1 Cor. 15:20). He is returning to gather and take His chosen ones to heaven and for a future kingdom.
Liberty Bible Commentary explains that these special feasts were:
1. Unleavened Bread (Passover in April)2. Feast of Harvest (Pentecost in May)
3. Feast of Ingathering (Tabernacle in October). Deuteronomy 16:1-17 and Leviticus 23
explains them further.
These feasts had a purpose for the Israelites. They represented what Jesus, their Messiah and our Savior, would do and be.
Are we thankful that God's judgment will pass over us when He sees the blood of Jesus covering our sins? Do we thank God for all He provides for us? Do we worship a Risen Savior? Are we allowing Him to live in our hearts, in and through our lives? Are we looking forward to the day of His return?
[Resources: David Guzik's Commentary on the Bible, Wiersbe's Expostory Outlines on the Old Testament]
LET IT GO
What do I need to let go of in order for Jesus to have control of my life?
Trust Jesus and thank Him in advance for the good that will come in my journey of life.
Seek Him daily.