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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Exodus 23:17

 Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the LORD God.

For further study - Exodus 23:10-19

This is a very interesting section in the book of Exodus and it may give you insight into the reasons behind some Jewish activities today. In this section of Exodus, especially chapter 23 but also chapter 21, 22 and 24, the Lord is instructing Moses so that he can tell the Jewish people how the Lord wants them to live.

In the Torah, in the book of Leviticus, the Lord explains how not only the Jews are to observe the Sabbath, Saturday, the seventh day of the work week, but the Lord wants the land that He has given to the Jewish people to be rested every seventh year as well, Leviticus 25:8-24.

As Moses wrote in Exodus 23:10-11 we see a preview of the Law that God gives Moses to pass along to the Jewish people. The Lord tells the Jews that they can sow and reap a harvest from the land for six years, and then the land must be rested. No crops, thus no harvest, the land must be untouched.

This is the principle of the Sabbath that the Lord set in motion during the week of creation. The Lord worked for six days to create the heavens, the earth and all that in them is, and on the seventh day the Lord rested, Genesis 2:1-3.

It was at that time the Lord introduced the principle of "Sabbath rest". That is what Moses is discussing in this second book of the Torah, the five books of Moses. In our devotional reading, Moses writes to the Jews about the "Sabbath rest" for the land as well.

Though we don't observe the Sabbath as Christians, setting aside a day of rest makes good sense on our journey through life. Someone has said, "come apart to rest, or you will come apart."

Notice at the end of our reading, in fact the last verse, Moses records the Lord's directive that the “kid”, a baby goat, can not be cooked in it's mother's milk.

This is the verse that the Orthodox Jews today use to justify their "kosher eating habits". Religious Jews will not mix "meat and dairy" items in their meals. The Orthodox, observant Jews, don't mix the two, meat products with dairy products, at any meal.

Again, this practice of eating "kosher" is not something we should do to conform to a Jewish life style, but it does help our overall well being to follow the dietary laws of the Bible, especially those in the Old Testament. God made our bodies and He surely knows how to take care of them, so that we can better serve Him.

I skipped over several very interesting verses, verses 14-17, which actually are the instructions from God, setting in place the three Jewish feast days that the Jews are to appear before the Lord, early on at the Tabernacle, and then at the Temple in Jerusalem.

These three days are called the "Pilgrim Feast Days". The male Jews must make a pilgrimage to the Temple three times a year to observe three of the Jewish Feasts, Passover and Unleavened Bread, which is one, verse 15 and Pentecost and Tabernacles, verse 16.

Even today, Jewish men from around the world, and usually with their families, make their way to Jerusalem for these three Feast Days. Two of these three Feast Days will require a pilgrimage by all the Jews, during the Kingdom to come here on Earth.

These Feast Days, Passover, Ezekiel 45:21, and Tabernacles, Ezekiel 45:25 will be at least two of the Pilgrim Feast Days that the Jews must celebrate at the Temple in Jerusalem during the time of the Kingdom and into eternity future.

The Jews do celebrate these Pilgrim Feast Days, annually, a foretaste of what will happen in the future during the Kingdom Period when the Lord Jesus Christ is ruling and reigning from the Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank You Lord for Your Word that informs me of the activities in the future that will bring honor and glory to You as we serve You throughout the millennial Kingdom and into eternity future.