- Deuteronomy 16
- Psalm 103
- Isaiah 43
I never noticed this before, but there was actually a two fold purpose to the Levitical system. There was the obvious sacrifices for the atonement of sin. But, another huge purpose was remembrance! It was an elaborate system God put in place to try and help his people to keep their focus on His love for them to motivate them to choose to live for him!
Psalm 103 is the testimony of how David did remember! He was one who took the sacrifices and the feasts serious and they served their purpose in his life.
Psalm 103:1-5 Bless the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name. Bless the Lord O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
This was the purpose of the feasts. To help God’s people to remember “all his benefits;” to remember God forgives all their iniquity even though they continually sinned against him; to crown them with steadfast love
Every feast / holiday was to help them remember. But these weren’t just public holidays where you don’t go to work and can go fishing instead. These feasts were hands on for a week or more.
- The Passover; They went without yeast for 7 days. (Deut 16:3)
- The feast of weeks; They were to count 7 weeks after the first harvest, then bring wave offerings of the harvest and other sacrifices. (Deut 16:9-10)
- For the Feast of booths they actually set up tents and lived in them for 7 days. (Lev 23:42-43)
All of these things were an elaborate visual aid to help them remember . It was required for every male in Israel to attend these 3 feasts every year! (Deut 16:16) So, not only did it mean participating in the feasts and all that was involved in them, they had to journey to Jerusalem 3 times a year to commemorate them.
But, they still forgot. Is 43:22-26 “Yet you did not call upon me… you have not brought burnt offerings or honored me with your sacrifices… instead you have burdened me with your sins, you have wearied me with your iniquities. I, I am he who blots out your transgressions FOR MY OWN SAKE, and I will not remember your sins. Put me in remembrance…”
God was so gracious with his people. He loved them with an everlasting love. He longed for them to remember his love and all that he had done for them. But, even when they didn’t He still loved them.
Ps 103:10-12 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
“That is the God we serve whose love is as great as his power, and neither knows measure nor end!” ! It would be worth it for us to put some systems in place in our lives to help us remember so that in times of trial, and in times when things aren’t going the way we think they should, we can remember what God wants to accomplish through us (that we may declare his praise, in EVERYTHING (Is 43:21)) What can you implement in your life to help you keep your focus on Him?
Declarations of Truth
- God has put my sin away from me as far as east is from the west! (Ps 103:1-12) He wants me to remember how great His love is for me.
- God loves me enough to send His Son to die in my place. He wants me to know and experience His love so deeply that it overwhelms and overshadows everything in my life.
- I need to remember His love, especially in the moments that I do not feel it! (Ps 103:1-5 (Keeping God’s Love in the Forefront)