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Leviticus 23:1-4

Holy Days

1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak 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. 3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. 4 These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.

Who but God can make any day into a holy day? Man has set aside some days for celebration of certain events. Easter, July 4th, Halloween, Christmas and New Year's Day are a few examples, but nothing can make these days holy. God has set aside the days that He has proclaimed to be holy and the days that we should celebrate.

These days are called feast days or sabbaths, and Moses was to proclaim them to be holy convocations. A holy convocation is a day in which God's people are to assemble for worship.

The first day stands alone. It is the weekly sabbath, the seventh day of the week. This day was ordained before the law commanded men to keep it holy. "And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made." (Genesis 2:2-3) It was already holy, because God had blessed it and sanctified it. The law was given to Moses so that men would not neglect to keep it holy. In case Israel had forgotten which day was the seventh day while they were enslaved in Egypt, God taught them to keep it holy by not providing manna from heaven on that day all the time that they wandered in the wilderness.

There were also seven annual sabbaths, called feast days, given to the nation of Israel. They were also to be days of holy convocations on which no work was to be done. The first (v.6-7,) and the seventh (v.8 ) days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread; the Day of Pentecost (v.15-16,21); the day of the Feast of Trumpets (v.24); the Day of Atonement (v.27); and the first (v.35) and eighth (v.36) days of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Each of these days was very important in the history of God's work in Israel, and I believe that each of them also had a prophetic significance. One thing is certain, the observance of them is very important to God, because they mark several milestones in His ministry to His people.

Notice how God uses the plural form of the word sabbath in the following and many other scriptures: "Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them. But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them." (Ezekiel 20:12-13)

It seems that the breaking of God's sabbaths infuriates Him more than almost anything else, because they are days in which He is to be honored. He gave the sabbaths to us to be a sign between us. Our keeping of them demonstrates that He is our God. Perhaps the Christian community should take a closer look at the deep significance of these holy days. We will study each one in more depth during the next few sessions.

Before The Throne:

As we begin a study of these special holy days, ask God to open your understanding and to use this study to help you draw closer to Him. Ask Him how you can honor Him with what you will learn. Praise Him for being your God. Ask Him to forgive any negligence on your part when it comes to the keeping of His sabbaths.

For Further Study:

** the feasts Exo 23:14-17; Isa 1:13-14; 33:20; Lam 1:4; Hos 2:11; Nah 1:15; Joh 5:1; Col 2:1; ** proclaim: Exo 32:5; Num 10:2-3, 10; 2Ki 10:20; 2Ch 30:5; Psa 81:3; Joe 1:14; 2:15; Jon 3:5-9;

(v.3) Lev 19:3; Exo 16:23, 16:29; 20:8-11; 23:12; 31:15; 34:21; 35:2-3; Deu 5:13; Isa 56:2, 6; 58:13; Luk 13:14; 23:56; Act 15:21; Rev 1:10;


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