DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER!
Lord, I remember Your sacrifice today. May I be truly grateful.
Read Deuteronomy 16
16 Observe the month of Aviv and celebrate the Passover of the Lord your God, because in the month of Aviv he brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 Sacrifice as the Passover to the Lord your God an animal from your flock or herd at the place the Lord will choose as a dwelling for his Name. 3 Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste—so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt. 4 Let no yeast be found in your possession in all your land for seven days. Do not let any of the meat you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain until morning.
5 You must not sacrifice the Passover in any town the Lord your God gives you 6 except in the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name. There you must sacrifice the Passover in the evening, when the sun goes down, on the anniversary[a] of your departure from Egypt. 7 Roast it and eat it at the place the Lord your God will choose. Then in the morning return to your tents. 8 For six days eat unleavened bread and on the seventh day hold an assembly to the Lord your God and do no work.
The Festival of Weeks
9 Count off seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain. 10 Then celebrate the Festival of Weeks to the Lord your God by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the Lord your God has given you. 11 And rejoice before the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites in your towns, and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows living among you. 12 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and follow carefully these decrees.
The Festival of Tabernacles
13 Celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress. 14 Be joyful at your festival—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns. 15 For seven days celebrate the festival to the Lord your God at the place the Lord will choose. For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.
16 Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed: 17 Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you.
18 Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the Lord your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly. 19 Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent. 20 Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.
Worshiping Other Gods
21 Do not set up any wooden Asherah pole beside the altar you build to the Lord your God, 22 and do not erect a sacred stone, for these the Lord your God hates.
a Deuteronomy 16:6 Or down, at the time of day
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat reminders do we need to remember all that God has done for us?
Remember that Moses is preparing the people to enter the land and to establish their nation there. At the end of the section he instructs them to make sure that judges are in place in each town to ensure that all is fair and just (18–20). He warns them not to worship other gods (21,22). But the majority of this chapter is given to three celebrations.
There are seven annual feasts described in Leviticus 23, and here Moses identifies the three “pilgrim feasts”—that is, feasts where the men of the nation were expected to travel together to the location God chose for them to celebrate.
The three feasts were Passover in the early spring, Pentecost some weeks later, and then Tabernacles in the autumn. Each was to be in the right location, with each person bringing an offering of gratitude to God. In each case, they were to remember what God had done for them in Egypt (3,12) and in the wilderness (where they lived in tents, cf. Lev. 23:42,43).
Like Israel, we also need regular reminders of God’s goodness to us. We have the regular celebration of the Lord’s Supper to remember the cross. Perhaps we need to institute other celebrations to help us not to forget!
What reminders do you have set up in your home, or on your phone, to help you not to forget important things? How can you remember the love and sacrifice of Christ today?
Thank You, Christ Jesus, for Your sacrifice of love poured out for me. May I be ever grateful.
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