Leviticus 23* The feasts of the Lord, The Sabbath. (1-3) The Passover, Theoffering of first-fruits. (4-14) The feast of Pentecost. (15-22)The feast of Trumpets, The day of atonement. (23-32) The feastof Tabernacles. (33-44)1-3 In this chapter we have the institution of holy times; manyof which have been mentioned before. Though the yearly feastswere made more remarkable by general attendance at thesanctuary, yet these must not be observed more than the sabbath.On that day they must withdraw from all business of the world.It is a sabbath of rest, typifying spiritual rest from sin, andrest in God. God's sabbaths are to be religiously observed inevery private house, by every family apart, as well as byfamilies together, in holy assemblies. The sabbath of the Lordin our dwellings will be their beauty, strength, and safety; itwill sanctify, build up, and glorify them. 4-14 The feast of the Passover was to continue seven days; notidle days, spent in sport, as many that are called Christiansspend their holy-days. Offerings were made to the Lord at hisaltar; and the people were taught to employ their time inprayer, and praise, and godly meditation. The sheaf offirst-fruits was typical of the Lord Jesus, who is risen fromthe dead as the First-fruits of them that slept. Our Lord Jesusrose from the dead on the very day that the first-fruits wereoffered. We are taught by this law to honour the Lord with oursubstance, and with the first-fruits of all our increase, #Pr3:9|. They were not to eat of their new corn, till God's partwas offered to him out of it; and we must always begin with God:begin every day with him, begin every meal with him, begin everyaffair and business with him; seek first the kingdom of God. 15-22 The feast of Weeks was held in remembrance of the givingof the law, fifty days after the departure from Egypt; andlooked forward to the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, fifty daysafter Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. On that day theapostles presented the first-fruits of the Christian church toGod. To the institution of the feast of Pentecost, is added arepetition of that law, by which they were required to leave thegleanings of their fields. Those who are truly sensible of themercy they received from God, will show mercy to the poorwithout grudging. 23-32 the blowing of trumpets represented the preaching of thegospel, by which men are called to repent of sin, and to acceptthe salvation of Christ, which was signified by the day ofatonement. Also it invited to rejoice in God, and becomestrangers and pilgrims on earth, which was denoted by the feastof Tabernacles, observed in the same month. At the beginning ofthe year, they were called by this sound of trumpet to shake offspiritual drowsiness, to search and try their ways, and to amendthem. The day of atonement was the ninth day after this; thusthey were awakened to prepare for that day, by sincere andserious repentance, that it might indeed be to them a day ofatonement. The humbling of our souls for sin, and the making ourpeace with God, is work that requires the whole man, and theclosest application of mind. On that day God spake peace to hispeople, and to his saints; therefore they must lay aside alltheir wordly business, that they might the more clearly hearthat voice of joy and gladness. 33-44 In the feast of Tabernacles there was a remembrance oftheir dwelling in tents, or booths, in the wilderness, as wellas their fathers dwelling in tents in Canaan; to remind them oftheir origin and their deliverance. Christ's tabernacling onearth in human nature, might also be prefigured. And itrepresents the believer's life on earth: a stranger and pilgrimhere below, his home and heart are above with his Saviour. Theywould the more value the comforts and conveniences of their ownhouses, when they had been seven days dwelling in the booths. Itis good for those who have ease and plenty, sometimes to learnwhat it is to endure hardness. The joy of harvest ought to beimproved for the furtherance of our joy in God. The earth is theLord's, and the fullness thereof; therefore whatever we have thecomfort of, he must have the glory of, especially when any mercyis perfected. God appointed these feasts, "Beside the sabbathsand your free-will offerings." Calls to extraordinary serviceswill not excuse from constant and stated ones.
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