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.Leviticus 23:2 (KJV)
Feasts – The Lord really loves a good meal, doesn’t he? When reading this, I’m quite impressed by God’s desire for us to partake in meals together. But just after this, He mentions that the 7th day Sabbath is one of these “feasts.” How does that work? There’s no Sabbath instruction about holding a feast.
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.Leviticus 23:3
Is the seventh day really a feast day? Are we supposed to be setting out an assortment of food and inviting friends and family over for a large meal? The answer is, not really.
The word feasts in Hebrew is mow`ed (מוֹעֲדָֽי) which means “appointed times” or “fixed times.” Let’s read the verse with that more appropriate translation.
Speak to the Israelite people and say to them: These are My fixed times, the fixed times of the LORD, which you shall proclaim as sacred occasions.Leviticus 23:2 (1917 JPS Tanach)
Reading this with the understanding that God is instructing us regarding time changes much of the meaning. He’s not directing us to have a feast, it’s not about people and social activities. It’s about time – setting apart fixed times that YHVH has established.
This fixed time is a big deal to God. In fact He says, “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.” (Exodus 20:12) These appointed times are an indicator that He is our God. They are set up to sanctify us, and to keep us separate from the world. If this is the case, why don’t we honor it? Why aren’t all of us practicing the Sabbath, and keeping the Holy Days as He instructed?
Well because they don’t fit in with our time. It’s not convenient to refrain from shopping or buying and selling on the Sabbath. It’s much easier to find a job that causes us to work on that day. We don’t even think twice about this. The appointed times that are established by God as a sign between Him and us are forgotten. Or at least they are corrupted to fit our lifestyle. How did this happen?
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.Daniel 7:25 (KJV)
We must strive to restore the given times and teachings of YHVH. It’s about a return to Him. Don’t partake in the corruption set forth in the world. Rather, take on the sign of our God – the Sabbaths.