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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Season 2–God Provides

The first set of seasons we looked at yesterday reminded Israelites that God saved them from Egypt.  Both the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread reminded them of their Exodus from Egypt.

The second set of seasons are ones that the Israelites would not really experience until they went into the Promised Land.  These seasons revolved around the harvest.  The first reminder happened when the first signs of harvest took place.  They would celebrate these “first fruits” with one another and the LORD.

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. When you enter the land I am giving you and you harvest its first crops, bring the priest a bundle of grain from the first cutting of your grain harvest. On the day after the Sabbath, the priest will lift it up before the LORD so it may be accepted on your behalf. On that same day you must sacrifice a one-year-old male lamb with no defects as a burnt offering to the LORD. With it you must present a grain offering consisting of four quarts of choice flour moistened with olive oil. It will be a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the LORD. You must also offer one quart of wine as a liquid offering. Do not eat any bread or roasted grain or fresh kernels on that day until you bring this offering to your God. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation wherever you live. (Leviticus 23:9-14 NLT)

Once the first fruits were presented to God, it was going to be time to get to work.  It was harvest time.  Back then, they didn’t have all the machinery we have, so harvest took some time and different kind of work for much lower yield.  Even with this manual system, though, they remembered that God provided the harvest and thanked the LORD for providing another year of food for the people.  This is sometimes referred to as the Feast of Weeks.

"From the day after the Sabbath--the day you bring the bundle of grain to be lifted up as a special offering--count off seven full weeks. Keep counting until the day after the seventh Sabbath, fifty days later. Then present an offering of new grain to the LORD. From wherever you live, bring two loaves of bread to be lifted up before the LORD as a special offering. Make these loaves from four quarts of choice flour, and bake them with yeast. They will be an offering to the LORD from the first of your crops. Along with the bread, present seven one-year-old male lambs with no defects, one young bull, and two rams as burnt offerings to the LORD. These burnt offerings, together with the grain offerings and liquid offerings, will be a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the LORD. Then you must offer one male goat as a sin offering and two one-year-old male lambs as a peace offering. "The priest will lift up the two lambs as a special offering to the LORD, together with the loaves representing the first of your crops. These offerings, which are holy to the LORD, belong to the priests. That same day will be proclaimed an official day for holy assembly, a day on which you do no ordinary work. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation wherever you live. "When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. Leave it for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the LORD your God." (Leviticus 23:15-22 NLT)

Remember, God provided enough food for everyone.  They were told to remember that, too.  The edges of the fields were left for the poor - even the poor foreigner passing through.  When God provides, God provides for everyone.

How about you?  Do you take the time to stop and thank God for providing for you, your family, your friends, and your neighbors?  When do you stop to thank God for providing?  What season(s) help(s) you remember that God provides?