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From Feast to Famine to Feast

by David Palmer

Another Feast of Tabernacles has come and gone. For eight days we rehearsed the Kingdom of God and looked ahead to a totally different world from the one we live in today. Yet we are still in this world, a world under the influences of the devil.

There is a popular slogan in sports that could also be applied to society: “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” However, the world we live in today has a distorted version, “winning isn’t the most important thing – it’s the only thing.” We live in a very competitive world. But we are also reminded of Solomon’s statement in Ecclesiastes: “I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all. People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a snare, people are often caught by sudden tragedy” (Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 NLT).

Not only are we subjected to our own human nature, but we are also subjected to the wiles of the devil. “Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour” (1Peter 5:8 NLT).

It’s easy to forget that the battle for our salvation is not with other people. We are in a battle with spiritual wickedness, the demonic angels of Satan. They are our adversaries. Just as Satan tempted Christ, his henchman will tempt us. We are warned to be vigilant, to be prepared for whatever the devil can throw at us (Ephesians 6:13-17).

Along the way we may have some battle scars. Jesus warned that in this world things will get tough. “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 6:33 NLT).

At baptism, we entered the marathon of life. Notice how the apostle Paul put it: “Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25 NLT). As Paul said to Timothy, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his glorious return” (2 Timothy 4:7-8 NLT).

As another Feast of Tabernacles has passed into history, a question to ask is: Did we take home some of those precious nuggets of wisdom from the many messages delivered over the eight days, messages that are like jewels in our crown of righteousness? Will we use those God-inspired messages as battle armour back in a world that is under the devil’s sway? “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” (James 4:7-8 NKJ).

As we reflect on the Feast and all those messages we heard, we need to consider that while we are still in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh (2 Corinthians 10:3 NKJ). “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NKJ).

When the battle is over, when we have finally completed the marathon of life, when we have run the race and conquered the devil’s world, we will exchange our armour for a beautiful white robe. “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints” (Revelation 19:7-8).

As fall fades and a change in the seasons introduces winter, we can look back on the Feast of Tabernacles with inspired memories and focus on the warmth of spring bursting forth, as the renewal of God’s plan of Salvation begins anew with the Passover.

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