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Bible Study Tools / Feast Of Tabernacles

If I Could Keep the Feast Over Again

by Patrick Read

There are many reasons for why we may desire to keep the Feast over again. It is like a two-sided coin. On the one side, it might have been the BEST FEAST that we ever had. On the other side, there may have been personal issues, health difficulties or even the death of a loved one that prevented us from rejoicing. At times, we may have fallen prey to the adversary and allowed him an open door to plant in us wrong attitude, discouragement and doubt.

The Feast of Tabernacles is the only feast that we are able to spend seven full days with others of like mind. For many, who are isolated and rarely able to attend weekly Sabbath services, it becomes the highlight of their year.

Leviticus 23:40 gives us more than a “good suggestion”. It “commands” us to rejoice before the Lord. The Feast typifies a time when the world as we know it has come to an end. Satan will be bound, and all the many trials and difficulties that we have experienced are left behind. For seven days we devote our attention to God, serving our fellow man, letting our light shine and setting a good example for everyone that we come into contact with to glorify our Father in Heaven.

Unfortunately, we still live in a world that is in the hands of our adversary, Satan. We are subject to his diabolical ways and attempts to destroy us. This sometimes can result in not “rejoicing” as we should.

It may be inconceivable for most to think anyone could ever have less than a good feast. However, it does happen. For the sake of those who have had a less than perfect feast, as well as those who have never had a less than perfect feast, here are some thoughts to ponder.

Regrets represent what we feel after the fact. They can be positive if used properly. Regrets can cause us to ponder what happened and what to do to prevent it from happening again.

Paul admonishes us to take heed, lest we fall (1 Corinthians 10:12). All are subject to the subtle workings of the Adversary. Not only does he hate God, he hates God’s children. He hates the idea of us receiving what he has thrown away – a chance to be part of the great work of God in His Kingdom. Satan also hates the Feast of Tabernacles. He despises the very idea that we “rejoice” for seven days, as God commands us to do.

We have little or no control over some things. We cannot prevent the loss of a loved one or myriad other circumstances, but we can certainly make the choice to never allow Satan to influence the way we keep the feast.

I have had some “Not So Perfect Feasts”. One year my mother died during the feast. We went home for the funeral then returned to the feast to keep the Last Great Day, which was extremely meaningful that year since my parents were never in the church.

Another year, I was ensnared in an ongoing negative attitude that lasted throughout the entire feast. During the drive home after the feast, I was confronted by my wife and daughter about how my attitude hurt their feast experience. I would give anything to go back and do that feast over, but that is not possible. The Apostle Peter certainly had regrets after denying Jesus Christ three times. I’m sure if he had the chance to do it over again he would not have made the same mistake.

Here is what I learned from that feast. I learned that our Adversary is far more powerful than I had previously thought and that it takes constant hard work to fight against his powerful influence on our lives. I learned that “our problems” are not JUST our problems. I came to realize that “when one member suffers, all the members suffer” (1 Corinthians 12:26) – that includes family members. I learned that “joy” is a choice. We can make the decision to rejoice, or we can allow things to bring us down. I also learned that God means what He says and says what He means when He tells us to rejoice.

Although I may desire to go back and keep the feast that was “not so good” over, I have a greater desire to keep a feast over when it was the “best feast ever”. If you desire to keep the feast over, I hope that it was because it was your best feast - full of fond memories, wonderful messages and spending time with family - all of which will help you through the year ahead. I hope to see you next year and hear why you wanted to keep this past feast over.

© 1995- United Church of God-Canada

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