“Why are you keeping a Jewish holiday?” she asked. “Weren’t those rituals done away?”
For me, this is not an uncommon question to get asked whenever the subject of religion comes up. And, let’s face it that this is a lot more preferable than, “Oh, that’s the Old Testament!” as though 3/4 of the Bible somehow got discarded when Jesus came on the scene.
Today is the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles. There are a few professing Christian denominations, although not many, that observe Pentecost. Pentecost was the day the Church was brought into being. It was usually called the Feast of Weeks in the Old Testament. Some Seventh Day Adventists even have some type of observance on the Day of Atonement, it seems. However, there are few outside of Messianic Jews and the Church of God that observe the Feast of Tabernacles. Why is that?
What does God say? Are these feasts of the Jews? Are these the festivals of an ancient civilization that no longer exists, so these days no longer have any meaning?
1And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. (Leviticus 23:1-2, King James Version)
Yes, surprising as it may sound, these are God’s feasts! God uses His covenant name, the name He revealed to Moses and the Children of Israel, to attach to these festival days!
Have you ever heard the expression, “If something is in the Bible once, it is important, but if it is in the Bible twice, it is very important”? Well, notice it is in the same chapter again!
4These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. (Leviticus 23:4, King James Version)
One of these festivals is the Feast of Tabernacles.
34Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD.
35On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
36Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.
37These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day:
38Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD.
39Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.
40And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.
41And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
42Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:
43That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 23:34-43, King James Version)
Let’s not kid ourselves. These are God’s Holy Days! They do not belong to the Jews. They do not belong to us. They belong to Him! So, as Paul exhorted the Corinthians about the Feast of Unleavened Bread:
8Therefore let us keep the feast… (1 Corinthians 5:8a, King James Version)