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Appropriate-ness

Feast of Tabernacles VA 2018

Appropriate-ness

The Free Dictionary: Suitable for a particular person, condition, occasion, or place; fitting.

"Three times a year all your males shall appear before Yahweh your Elohim at the place that He will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Booths. They shall not appear before Yahweh empty-handed." Deuteronomy 16:16

This verse has often been used to point out the obligation one might have to give an offering during the festivals, and to some degree this is correct. According to the scriptures, one is obligated to bring an offering at these three gatherings. But this passage also speaks of another important subject and that’s what I would like to explore here.

My friend and mentor, Tim Kelley, did some research on the phrase “appear before Yahweh”, which appears twice in this passage. He found that it means "to be seen in the face of". In other words, at the festivals, Yahweh is looking straight at us . . . we're the center of His attention! Quite a sobering thought!

What does that mean for us? One aspect of our lives is to be continually changed into the image of His dear son, Yeshua (Romans 8:29; II Corinthians 3:18). Since the 7th day, the next age to come, requires for us to qualify for admittance, perhaps this is a time when our Heavenly Father is checking to see how the maturing process is going. He called us not to see us fail (Matthew 25:1-13) but to see us succeed. He wants us to be overcomers and has provided us His written revelation, the Spirit, our marriage and family, and the community of believers so that iron can sharpen iron, we can continue learning how to be humble and for those who are called to be teachers or to other leadership positions like shepherding the flock, to be sure that a fire is kept under our feet; For our own good!

Yeshua made it simple and clear: All the other commandments hang on “The Two”: Love Yahweh and love your neighbor. Perhaps our Heavenly Father is just checking His called out ones to see how much they have grown in walking them out.

Looking toward how this is actually walked out, just making the decision to attend the festival demonstrates our love for Yahweh. Once at the festival, how can I demonstrate “loving my neighbor” to such a degree that those who are watching our behavior turn to their children and say, “My children, there goes another role model, another one who understands that this walk is not about static beliefs, but actions that reflect the character of our Heavenly Father. Take note, my children.”

What are some examples of what that looks like? We’re going to be in a wedding…Are we happy with the presentation of our person? Since we are “in” the wedding, should we be “on time” or will we arrive half way through the ceremony?

Since the visible expression of ourselves actually presents our inner person, do I care what others see? What about my obligations as a guest to those who are hosting this event. Am I aware, not only of what is required of me but what the second mile looks like? Will the hosts want to invite me back again? When the festival is over, have I blessed others with my personal presentation and service or was my role this year to be the “thorn in the side?”

With these thoughts in mind, here are some things to “Selah”…

  • If physically possible, be on time for meetings, activities, and especially those programs where you have volunteered to serve. As my wife says, if you are not 5 minutes early, you are late!
  • If you have children or others that you take responsibility for, please make sure you know where they are and what they are doing.
  • Being courteous to others in the campground in regards to pets, late-night and/or early morning talking / shofar blowing / noise, and cleaning up after yourself and your pets.
  • Keep your dog on a leash, but with plenty of food, water, and shade.
  • Ending general talking after the music has started during the Praise and Worship portion of our Main Sessions.
  • Honoring the time of Praise and Worship (and YAHWEH Himself) by standing (if possible) during our Main Sessions.
  • Following Bethpage Camp-Resort's rules so that they maintain a positive view of fotVA
  • Smile so much that someone sometime during the feast has to comment on your “glow”…

Concerning attire, the Scriptures make their own case so we need not repeat it here. If in doubt, ask this question: What does the text say (and am I following it)?