SOAP Journal – 28 February 2017 (Leviticus 23:44)

So Moses declared to the sons of Israel the appointed times of the LORD.

Leviticus 23:44

While driving home one evening, I heard a pastor teaching on the festivals; the convocations that Israel was commanded to observe. The pastor — whose name escapes me — observed that the festivals parallel the work of Jesus Christ. The calendar begins with Passover which commemorates the blood of the lamb causing death to have no power over the Israelites in Egypt. Likewise, the blood of Jesus Christ causes death to have no power over the believer. The list goes on like that for a few festivals and the pastor in question suggested that a couple of the appointed times might deal with Jesus’ second coming, because they have no parallel at the moment.

When this morning’s verse says that Moses declared to the sons of Israel the appointed times of the LORD (emphasis added) it could also have been rendered the appointments of the LORD. Essentially, this is God’s Day Planner; His Outlook calendar; these are the times He sets aside to meet with a certain group of people, viz. the Israelites. Moses shared God’s calendar with the people and they are all required attendees to the meetings listed.

All good stuff, but what does it have to do with me?

First, if the pastor’s observations are valid — and there is no reason why they should not be — then God revealed His plan and in what order it was going to happen long before He brought it to pass. This is a reminder to me that God has revealed some things far in advance. His will for me is outlined in general terms throughout The Bible. I need not wonder what God’s general will is for my life. He has shown it to me in His Word.

Second, God is more than ready to share His appointment book with those who are His own. He is only too glad to spend time with me. The appointments that God put on the calendar were not for His benefit — He is always accessible to those who call on Him — but for the benefit of the Israelites. He set aside those meeting times because He knew that the hustle and bustle of life — particularly an agrarian life — was likely to result in always planning to spend time with God and never following through. It is interesting to me that the festivals require the males to show up. As I think about this and about the state of the church today, it occurs to me that God had to command the men to show up, but knew that the women would do so of their own volition. He had to tell the men to stop and take a rest and get some spiritual feeding, because they would likely forget to do so. The women, as is most definitely the case now, may have been the more spiritually-minded and been only too ready to head over to the temple and enjoy some time with God and His people.

I need to look into the Word of God for His appointments and for His will for me and I need to make time; specific meeting times when I spend that time communing with God. It is important enough that He put it on His calendar. I should make sure that it is on mine.

Thank You, Father, for loving me enough to make time for me. Thank You, also, for revealing Your plan in general terms so I can generally conduct myself in accordance with Your will, but must come to You for specifics.

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