A Little-Known Feast of the Bible

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A Little-Known Feast of the Bible

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A Little-Known Feast of the Bible

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More than 40 years ago, while a teenager, I attended a religious celebration that to this day remains vividly etched in my mind.

Curiously, it’s a biblical celebration that most people who say they follow the Bible have never heard of. Yet it’s right there in the pages of Scripture, listed among the holy celebrations God calls “My feasts” in Leviticus 23:1 Leviticus 23:1And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
American King James Version×
. Notice that God calls them His feasts, not the feasts of the Jews or the feasts of Israel.

As with all of God’s commands, He wants us to learn key lessons from obeying them.

John 7 describes Jesus Christ keeping this same Feast, and Zechariah 14 tells us that the entire world will keep it after Jesus Christ returns to establish His Kingdom on earth.

In the Bible it’s called the Feast of Tabernacles,and sometimes the Feast of Ingathering. The “Feast of Ingathering” comes from the time of year in which it is celebrated—in the autumn (in the northern hemisphere) when the grapes, dates, pomegranates and other fruits were gathered in during the final harvest of the year in the Holy Land. In ancient times it was a jubilant period of celebration and plenty, a festival eagerly anticipated every year (as it still is in Israel today).

As with all of God’s commands, He wants us to learn key lessons from obeying them.

God gives several specific reasons for keeping this Feast. One is found in Deuteronomy 14:22-26 Deuteronomy 14:22-26 22 You shall truly tithe all the increase of your seed, that the field brings forth year by year. 23 And you shall eat before the LORD your God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of your corn, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herds and of your flocks; that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. 24 And if the way be too long for you, so that you are not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from you, which the LORD your God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD your God has blessed you: 25 Then shall you turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and shall go to the place which the LORD your God shall choose: 26 And you shall bestow that money for whatever your soul lusts after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever your soul desires: and you shall eat there before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you, and your household,
American King James Version×
, where God tells us to save up money to attend the Feast, declaring, “… And you shall rejoice, you and your household” (emphasis added throughout). It is to be a family celebration.

God gives another reason in verse 23—“so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always” (New International Version). To revere, or “fear” as it is translated in some Bible versions, means to stand in awe of God and all that He is, to recognize and respect His awesome power that created the universe and controls our destiny, and to honor, respect and love Him as the great God of love that He is.

God gives a third reason in Leviticus 23:1-2 Leviticus 23:1-2 1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.
American King James Version×
, where He says of His Feasts, “These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies” (NIV). The Hebrew word moed, here translated “feasts,” means an appointed or set time—here a meeting time. What God says is that these are His divine appointments with us! He has invited us to this appointment and set the time and the place. And He expects us to show up!

He set apart these particular times for specific reasons—as we just saw, to rejoice and also to learn to revere and be in awe of Him. He has many important lessons to teach us through these “sacred assemblies”—His holy gatherings for His people.

This year my wife and I will gather with thousands of Bible-believing Christians, as we have for more than 40 years, to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles at one of our 56 sites around the world. We will rejoice. We will learn more about what it means to fear God, to hold our Creator in awe and reverence. We will again keep the divine appointment He has set for us. And as spelled out in several articles in this issue, we will learn more about God’s great plan for the salvation of mankind as revealed through His holy festivals.

Why don’t you take the opportunity to learn more about God’s festivals as revealed in the Bible? Visit our website at feast.ucg.org or search “Holy Days ” and “Feast of Tabernacles ” at ucg.org. God would like nothing more than for you to come before Him to rejoice, to learn to deeply revere Him, and to keep this appointment with Him!