Friday, 15 October 2021
Thinking back to the message on the Feasts of the Lord ... And there you have it. God's plan for all eternity is imaged in the Feasts as described in Leviticus 23. With increasing anticipation we celebrate these feasts of the Lord. As we continue to meditate on God's purposes, we see how the specific themes for each Holy Day (holiday) represent--really--the process God uses to bring fruitfulness from our lives. This is especially true in the fall feasts.
Rabbi's Note: I have borrowed (with permission) extensively from Jerry Miller's notes. He gave 4 presentations on Sukkot. The first one was not recorded. It was also not part of the series of the other 3. The message was labelled "Sukkot and Revival." It is most excellent. I plan to present parts of it over the next several days. Blessings. End RN.
We began with the sounding of the shofar, a call to repentance and self-examination. That's followed by the Days of Awe, 10 days of reflection and positioning ourselves to hear from God and what He's speaking to our lives. Ten days later, we arrive at Yom Kippur--the day of atonement. The theme there is the forgiveness and cleansing that comes through the blood of atonement, ultimately, the blood of the Son of God.
So, we began the season with repentance--which leads us to a time of cleansing. From there, we arrive at Sukkot. Sukkot is characterized by exuberant celebration and rejoicing. It's the logical conclusion to the time of repentance and self-examination. On Sukkot we revitalize through our spiritual renewal. This is our constant need. It only comes as part of a larger process of self-examination and repentance which leads us to cleansing. And it is out of that cleansing that we experience the re-vitalizing of spiritual renewal.
In reading this passage from Hosea 6, I felt the Lord was speaking to my heart through the passage about the process we go through in the 3 stages of High Holy Days. Remember, the Hosea passage refers to 3 days. It says, "Let us return to the Lord--for He has torn, but He will heal us. He has stricken, but He will bind us up." And then it says, "On the third day, He will raise us up!" I felt the Holy Spirit was saying that the First two days mentioned here point to the themes of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
The 3rd day Hosea mentions points us to Sukkot and Sukkot represents the renewal and revival that comes, as we allow God to break up fallow ground. Hosea 10:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness. Reap in accord with covenant love. Break up your unplowed ground. For it is time to seek Adonai, until He comes and showers (rains) righteousness on you. And then we see the promise of v. 3 that, as we pursue the knowledge of the Lord, He will come to us, "like the rain." It's the nothing less than the promise of revival!
Rabbi Michael Weiner,