A Matter of Time (Leviticus 23)

Leviticus 23 reminds us that God orders our time and is honored when our time is ordered around him. Seven different times of remembrance are described in this chapter:

  • Sabbath—a weekly day of rest and focused dedication to remember God. That Sabbath celebration is seen in the New Testament through weekly gatherings of churches meeting together to remember, worship and honor God.
  • Passover—an annual feast remembering God’s deliverance from Egypt and foreshadowing God’s deliverance from sin through Christ. In the New Testament, this is the time when Jesus was arrested and tried.
  • Feast of Firstfruits—an annual feast reminding the people of God’s provision in life. In the New Testament, this first day of this celebration would be the day that Jesus rose from the grave. He is called the first fruit of the resurrection in 1st Corinthians 15.
  • Feast of Weeks—this celebration honored God in the harvest. This is also called “Pentecost” and remembers when God gave the commandments to Moses to guide them as a way of life. Later in the New Testament, this is also the season when the Holy Spirit came upon the first Christians. On that day over 3,000 people believed in Jesus, thus beginning what is called “church” today.
  • Festival of Trumpets—this celebration marked the beginning of the Jewish New Year. It was a reminder that everything in our life begins with God.  In the New Testament, Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians says that trumpets will mark the beginning of Christ’s renewal of all things.
  • The Day of Atonement—ten days after the Festival of Trumpets was Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. This day ended a ten day season of repentance and confession. It symbolized God forgiving and removing sin from the people, leading them into a new and right standing with him for another year. Christ’s death in the New Testament brought forgiveness of sin. His resurrection empowers the removal of sin’s curse from our lives. Jesus is the ultimate atonement for all of humanity.
  • The Festival of Booths—marked the time of God’s unique provision for his people before they arrived in the Promised Land. Remembering how God provided strengthened the faith of Israel. In the New Testament, people who believe in Jesus are told that their citizenship is not of this world and that we are all waiting for a new land. The church is a celebration of waiting on earth for God’s ultimate restoration and renewal of all things.

God communicated powerful truths in the old covenant sacred calendar and in its fulfillment in Jesus. The way we live should be altered by those truths. The way we order our time—from one day to annual remembrances, God should be at the center of our calendar.

God made us to be seekers of joy and pleasure, and He intends for us to seek joy and pleasure in Him. God’s Word compels us to build all of life around Him and direct all of life to Him. When we are happy we express thanks to Him; when we are working we talk with Him and work for His glory; with our families we talk about Him; when we are depressed, lonely, or worried we cry out to Him; our free time is for His glory; and in accord with His command we gather with God’s people weekly to offer worship to Him.

As Marva Dawn wrote in In the Beginning, GOD: Creation, Culture, and the Spiritual Life, “The goal of the Christian life is that for more and more seconds of each day what we think and do and say is to God’s glory, that every moment is worship of the true God instead of various idolatries of our making or of our culture’s.”

We experience everything in life with Him. We order our lives and plan our days according to the truth of His Word.