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Bible Study Tools / Feast Of Tabernacles

Thank You for the Memories

by Anthony Wasilkoff

This expression somehow gave rise to the theme song of comedian and entertainer, Bob Hope. His humour, at least publically, was clean and wholesome. He and Bing Crosby made a series of ‘road’ pictures, which are still shown as popular re-runs memorializing far away places.

We have many reasons to say ‘thank you’ to our Creator God in heaven for the many positive memories He has given us, especially now as we look back on just having observed the Feast of Tabernacles.

Significantly, the fourth commandment in Exodus 20 exhorts us to, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Whereas in Deuteronomy 5 the same commandment is reiterated as “Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.” Had the Israelites by this time become less forgetful regarding spiritual requirements? Hardly. Just a few verses later the same commandment enjoins: “And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.”

The Israelites were emphatically instructed to remember their enslavement and to value greatly their new-found liberty. How significant that immediately prior to keeping the most elaborate feast of the year, God has us fast on the Day of Atonement. How much better everything seems to taste after we have forgone food and drink for 24 hours. Our palate and taste buds are freshly honed to partake of feasting with increased acuity and appreciation.

Our Heavenly Father continues to intervene to make it possible for His servants to observe the weekly Sabbath and the annual festivals. You may have heard of brethren whose feast travel was impeded by stormy weather. They courageously crossed swollen rivers by using precarious suspension bridges while carrying their luggage. Our Creator remains faithful, intervenes for His servants, bringing them to the feast ‘by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm’.

In Psalm 42:4, we read, “When I remembered these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.” Some of our brethren were unable to attend this recent Feast of Tabernacles due to circumstances beyond their control. Some have not been able to attend for several years and have observed the feast at home on their own making it as special as possible. It is impressive how innovative and creative many brethren have become in this respect.

Nevertheless, we all reminisce about our first feast observance. We remember where and when it was, how many people were there, whom we were with, along with other highlights of that feast. Many of us reminisce about our first feast observance after the formation of the United Church of God and how special and wonderful it was to recapture the elements of the feast that had almost been lost. It was wonderful to be able to be with a ‘multitude’ and to worship our Heavenly Father ‘with the voice of joy and praise’.

Psalm 145:7 proclaims, “They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness.” It is vitally important to remember, review and relive the benefits that God mercifully granted His servants through the provision of the Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day. A number of congregations have a post-feast social after returning to their local areas. They provide golden opportunities to relate what transpired at various festival sites, to summarize messages, to share feast experiences, to share lessons learned and to plant seeds to germinate until next year’s feast.

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