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What more can we learn about Yahweh’s Feasts?

   Here we are at the time for Yahweh's Feast of Shavuot... Weeks ... Pentecost... Atzeret... the 50th Omer. There are so many names for this feast and there are so many reasons for the feast and so many reasons to attend this feast.

   It seems as though we observe Shavuot to remember the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai; we keep Shavuot to celebrate the ketubah between Yahweh and Israel; and we celebrate Pentecost to remember the giving of the Holy Spirit in Acts chapter 2. Some believe it to be the last day of the Spring feasts. Let's see what Scripture has to say about this recurring event.
You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. You shall count fifty days to the day after, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to Yahweh. You shall also offer one male goat for a sin offering and two male lambs one year old for a sacrifice of peace offerings. The priest shall then wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering with two lambs before Yahweh; they are to be chodesh (holy) to Yahweh for the priest. 0n this same day you shall make a proclamation as well; you are to have a set-apart convocation. You shall do no laborious work. It is to be a perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations, Leviticus 23:15–21.
   Well, we have a day with the conditions for sacrificing and offerings; we have a day we are to observe as a Sabbath forever.
   But why are we doing this thing forever and why are we going through all of these iterations??? Let's see what else Scripture has to say about Shavuot.

Let the Scriptures Speak
   Three times a year you shall celebrate a feast to Me. You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. And none shall appear before Me empty-handed. Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the First Fruits (Shavuot) of your labors from what you sow in the field; also the Feast of the Ingathering (Tabernacles) at the end of the year when you gather in the fruit of your labors from the field. Three times a year all your males shall appear before Yahweh Elohim, Exodus 23:14-17.
You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in the month of Abib you came out of Egypt. The first offspring from every womb belongs to Me, and all your male livestock, the first offspring from cattle and sheep. You shall redeem with a lamb the first offspring from a donkey; and if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. You shall redeem all the firstborn of your sons. None shall appear before Me empty-handed. You shall work six days, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during plowing time and harvest you shall rest. You shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks, that is, the first fruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year. Three times a year all your males are to appear before Yahweh Elohim of Israel. For I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your borders, and no man shall covet your land when you go up three times a year to appear before Yahweh your Elohim, Exodus 34: 18-24.

Agriculturally Based Feasts
   Well, it looks like we have three required feasts every year that are associated with agricultural practices. Every spring we are to wait for the barley harvest to begin (Chag HaMatzot), then we count 50 days to the end of the grain harvest (Shavuot), and then we wait until the fall harvest (Sukkot).

But Still WHY?
   But why? Why do we have to keep observing these every year???
   In an agricultural society the harvest times are pretty important. These are times we get together. These are the times we talk with one another to compare notes. These are opportunities to get together and perhaps identify the reason we are able to accomplish these tasks and actually raise a crop that would sustain our lives. So, we are told to come together at these times so we don't forget.

Yahweh Knows Us
   To that end Yahweh commanded us to meet on a regular basis, whether it be once a week or periodically throughout the year. But the question is still WHY? That question was just answered. Yahweh knows us. He knows that we would forget Him over time. We are, after all, a rebellious people that would rather do things our own way. He knew that we would drift apart and fail to keep doing things His way. Remember, there were grumblings in the wilderness and the people were not getting along very well. And that was just a short time in the trek from Egypt.

More Answers Needed
   So why these set times and dates? Why Shavuot? Why Sukkot? Why all of the feasts???
   Yahweh's people spent a long time without Him. They were brought out of Egypt and told to worship their Elohim, Whom they had a vague memory of at best. After all of the miracles and all that they had seen, when Mosheh (Moses) went up the mountain, the people resorted to worshipping the golden calf. You see, the short time the people spent with their Creator was not long enough for them to get to know Him again. Even though the events of the Exodus were remarkable, the people still felt in their comfort zone around a golden calf.

Repetitions Are Necessary and Required
   Repetition of events and reminders of past occurrences tend to help people to remember. The annual feast days would be an excellent way to remind people Who their Elohim is and what He has done for them. This is a pattern of becoming re-acquainted with Yahweh. Getting to know someone or something is not an easy process. It can take a long time with many, many repetitions. There are a lot of details in getting to know someone.
   In Scripture, we are reminded in Exodus 23:15–17 and in Deuteronomy 16:16–17 that we are to appear before Yahweh during three feast times each year: the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Firstfruits (Pentecost) and the Feast of Ingathering (Tabernacles).

Lessons to Learn
Defend His Name
   By smooth words He will turn to impiousness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their Elohim will display strength and take action,
Daniel 11:32.

Retain What We Learn
   But now that you have come to know your Elohim, or rather to be known by your Elohim, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?
(Galatians 4:9).

Obey His Words
   For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain. 0ne of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess to know Elohim, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed,
Titus 1:10 – 16.

Remember the Answers to WHY
   Yahweh is looking to raise up a strong, obedient people that "KNOW" Who He is — they that know His ways. Those that know what it is that pleases their Elohim. Those that know Yahweh well enough can rebuke others when they misrepresent Yahweh. Repetition of appointed times and days, reviewing and remembering Who it is that is our Creator, just strengthens our faith in our Elohim.
   In repetition and assembling, we learn to know Yahweh and love Him and we get to know each other and love each other at the same time. If we are learning to know our Elohim in preparation for the world to come, if we are called out to worship Yahweh and teach the nations, then we will be able to learn how to deal with each other in the process.
   WHY do we have these annual feast days? So that we can learn to know our Elohim and learn to know our brothers and sisters.

-Brother Gary Hornickel

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