1Praise the LORD!
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart,
In the company of the upright and in the assembly.
2Great are the works of the LORD;
They are studied by all who delight in them.
3Splendid and majestic is His work,
And His righteousness endures forever.
4He has made His wonders to be remembered;
The LORD is gracious and compassionate.
Lovely summer flew by for my family. And we are fully into the swing of fall. Busy season of life here. And I am always amazed at the Lord’s deliverances. Lots of unlovely things going on in the world. But I was enjoying the psalm above and this passage in Deuteronomy 8 after a particularly busy week:
You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3“He humbled you and LET you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.
15“He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint. 16“In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end. 17“Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’
What lovely thoughts to ponder: the Lord is gracious and compassionate, and His aim is to do good for me in the end.
So many lovely things to ponder this fall. It is my favorite season (for drinking coffee <3). And I am thoroughly enjoying thinking on the Lord’s lovely fall festivals that He commanded for the Israelites in the Old Testament. They are all rich with symbolism and remembering their wandering in the wilderness while the Lord provided. And they ultimately point to Jesus, the Savior of the world.
We are currently in the season of the Jewish fall festival of Sukkot (9/23-9/30). It is a visually stunning and joyful holiday where Jews set up temporary little tent like stalls, decorate them and fellowship in them for 8 days. Jesus celebrated this holiday. And some of the rituals followed during these days can paint a beautiful picture of the work Jesus accomplished at His first coming. The command for this holiday is found in Leviticus 23:36-44
And if you have believed that Jesus will give you eternal life, then you will see this holiday being celebrated in His future Kingdom. So cool.
Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. Zechariah 14:16
There are many rituals to this festival, but the ceremony concerning water has been the lovely imagery I have enjoyed the most. During the days Jesus was on earth, priests would ceremoniously retrieve water from the spring of Siloam. A shofar was blown, and people in attendance would wave their leafy plants and sing psalms while the priests carried the water around the altar.
Then the priest on duty poured out the contents of two silver bowls: one held water and the other held wine. This was an act of prayer and an expression of dependence upon God to pour out his blessing of rain upon the earth.
On the last or “great” day of the feast, the water libation rite reached its climax. The priests circled the altar seven times and then poured out the water with great pomp and ceremony. This was Hoshana Rabbah, the great “HOSHIANA,” (which translated is “save now”).”
It was after this ceremony when Jesus cries out to the public:
“If a man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (John 7:38)
Imagine the uproar his statement must have caused! The priest had just poured out the water libation as an appeal to the Creator God to provide water for the people, and Yeshua (Jesus), as if to answer the prayer, tells the people to come to him for water.
What stunning lovely visual pictures the Lord paints in His word. All Jews there with Jesus celebrating this festival would have been familiar with the following passage in Isaiah as well (one of my favorites).
3Therefore you will joyously draw water
From the springs of salvation.
4And in that day you will say,
“Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name.
Make known His deeds among the peoples;
Make them remember that His name is exalted.”
Isaiah 12: 3-4
And in Hebrew, salvation is yeshua (Jesus’ Hebrew name)- the name of the Messiah! Ha! What a double meaning! We all now joyously draw water from the springs of Yeshua/ Jesus.
And so for those who have the living water (John 4), and have drawn water from the springs of Yeshua, and received the Holy Spirit, He tells us to live each day as if He were returning.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus. Titus 2:11-13
And as far as looking for encouragement for the blessed hope I recommend these videos
For those who have not drunk the living water – there is still time – and the offer is free and to anyone who thirsts
Noah warned for 120 years and begged people to get on the ark before the flood. Jesus says His next coming will be just like those days – 26“And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Luke 17:26, 27
But this time we must be saved in the supernatural ark of Jesus
For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. Matthew 24:44
1Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;… 9For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1Thessalonians 5:1-3
How do we obtain that salvation and escape the wrath? Drink from the well? Get on the ark? Simple: Believe the Truth!
-For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Rom 3:23
-For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 6:23
-And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness Heb 9:22
-I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
-Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.
-As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness (Numbers 21), even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. 16“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:14-18
Have a blessed Fall!