Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: “The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.” (Leviticus 23:2)
As I explained in the previous devotional, the Hebrew word moedim is literally translated as “appointed times.” This is the plural form of the root, moed, which means “appointed” and can refer to a time or to an “appointed place” (for example, the tent of meeting is known in Hebrew as ohel moed). Therefore, once Israel had come into the land and established the Temple, these appointed times were observed in Jerusalem. More importantly, these appointed times were for an appointed purpose.
These special days stand out from the other days of the year as a time to convene and celebrate being God’s people. Unlike the way the nations celebrate such events, the feasts of the LORD were not dedicated to gluttony and physical pleasure but with the intention of “meeting with God.” In fact, even though they are referred to as feasts, these appointments carried with them the obligation to “sanctify the Name.” In most celebrations, the associated activities can easily lead to behavior that would desecrate the Name of God. Therefore, His festivals were not to be a time of revelry but in all things, He should be hallowed among the people.
Our Father created us and with that comes the understanding that, as human beings, we like to get together, socialize and have fun. Frankly, there is nothing at all wrong with that and is, in fact, beneficial to our overall wellbeing. However, knowing that we have other, not-so-good tendencies as well, the Creator established these feasts with parameters that would ensure their sanctity and the sanctity of His people.
So the point, today, is that God wants us to have fun and enjoy the life that He has given us — but within the boundaries that He has set down for how His people should conduct themselves. In all things, even when we are in the party frame of mind, we should bring glory and honor to Him. There is no better way to fuse these two goals into one than to meet with Him at His appointed times.
Blessings and Shalom,