We just returned from celebrating the feast of Sukkot in Jerusalem. As usual it was glorious to be in the place YHVH chose to put His Name for this appointed time. Every encounter we had, whether planned or not, positive or negative, was meaningful and contributed to making our time in Jerusalem special. Let us share some of this wonderful experience with your via our annual picture report.
When we consider the world, we may be led to mistakenly believe that we can sin with impunity. However, sin without consequence does not exist. It may appear that ungodly people prosper more than the godly. They seem to be blessed in all areas of their lives, but if you look deeper, you will often find emptiness, heartache and depression. Sadly, this doesn’t seem to be unique to unbelievers, we find the same pain amongst believers. This pain in both groups is eased with obsessions or addictions: work, ministry, prescription drugs, alcohol, co-dependent relationships, sex or thrills.
We said that sin without punishment does not exist, but we don’t always see this punishment. How are we to understand this?
The next three appointed times on YHVH’s calendar is approaching, Yom T’ruah, Yom Kippurim, and Sukkot. It is always a good thing to “take stock” of our spiritual condition before we observe these days. Especially Yom Kippurim, a day of humbling ourselves before YHVH. It is part of Jewish tradition to do introspection for forty days before Yom kippurim, the month of Elul and the Ten days of Awe (the first ten days of Tishri.) The word “elul” means search, so this is very appropriate as we search our hearts during this time. People examine themselves and forgive and ask forgiveness of those they have wronged. Though we should be doing this all the time, I find it a good tradition. It’s like a spiritual house cleaning before the fall feasts.
I am currently reading through the book of Isaiah, and Isaiah 58, struck a cord with me and it fits in very well with this context of searching our hearts. It showed me that only keeping YHVH’s commandments is not enough. If we only keep YHVH’s commandments, we are participating in false worship. This may seem like a harsh statement, but allow me to explain.
We have done a study before on going up to Jerusalem for the three pilgrimage feasts of YHVH. In the previous article, we focused on what is commanded, and how we are to understand it. With time we learn more and that is the reason for this article. In this study, we will look at this commandment in more detail and from an Apostolic writing point of view. We will also see what we can find as far as historical references are concerned.