27 September 2010

Celebrating


Learning to dance
Originally uploaded by bobmendo
Sukkot is the Festival of the Ingathering, it's the Season of our Rejoicing. It's the 7th of 7 festivals in the Jewish calendar and we are in it, right now. A ministry named "Heart of David" flew me up to the Gold Coast/ Brisbane to preach and teach during this time. I know they videotaped and audiotaped all the lessons. But as you can see, they also did some singing and dancing.

That makes sense this is a festive holiday. It's a time to rejoice.

Why? God preserved our people through the wilderness wandering in the days of Moses and the Exodus. Not because we were deserving either. We grumbled and complained. Our lives were well tended by the Almighty, but we didn't have certain things we had in Egypt. Certain foods like leeks, onions, garlic, none available. But then we also didn't have these other Egyptian things: slavery, taskmasters.

The Bible describes our people, the Hebrews, as testing God in the wilderness. Psalm 95 records, "Today, if you would hear His voice,
do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness; When your fathers tested Me. They tried Me, though they had seen My work. For forty years I loathed that generation, And said they are a people who err in their heart, And they do not know My ways. Therefore I swore in My anger, Truly they shall not enter into My rest.” (7-11)

Yipes, this doesn't sound like something to memorialize. I'd like to get my black highlighter and remove this section, don't you?

But there it is. The Bible also tells us that the festival of Tabernacles (or Booths or Sukkot) is to remember what God did for us. Aha! It's not about how good we were, or are, but it's about how good God is. And it's a holiday to remember His provision, His abundance, His love and care. Thank you, Lord!

No wonder the (mostly) ladies are dancing on this festival. Are you thinking you'd like to join them? Do you have reason to remember the Lord and to rejoice before him?

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