Dr. Lawrence Butler, The Bridge Church, Pembroke.
Leviticus 23 I. The Feast of the Lord’s Passover II. The Feast of Unleavened Bread III. The Feast of Firstfruits IV. The Feast of Pentecost V. The Feast of Trumpets VI. The Feast of the Day of Atonement VII. The Feast of Tabernacles Each of these feasts was precious in the sight of the Lord and was given to Israel for His purpose.
We can only speculate as to those reasons, but based upon scriptural understanding I think we can reach several basic and necessary conclusions. God did not want His people to become like those around them, nor did He want them to model themselves after the former inhabitants of Canaan. Israel was warned before ever entering the promised land what would happen if they failed to serve the Lord Jehovah.
“That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you” (Lev. 18:28). God did not punish the Canaanites because He hated them, He gave the land to Israel because the Canaanites were so wicked the land spued them out.
So God established these feasts to encourage His people to come together. Fellowship strengthened them in godly dedication and brought them together to remind them of the solemn rituals God had given them. Their method and style of worship made them very distinct from other nations around them. They were monotheistic, believing in one God, the Lord God Jehovah. There was one tabernacle, and later one temple, at which to worship. One group of priests was trained to follow the proper manner of sacrifice and worship. All Israel was required to obey the Lord and worship at His altar. Three times each year all males were required to attend these feasts, and the timing of them allowed for all seven to occur when the males were present.
(Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD, Exo. 23:17) No excuses were allowed for absences.
In addition, all of these feasts speak to us prophetically. Each one has a unique role in Bible prophesy, and symbolizes a critically important incident in prophecy. We shall explore these feasts in the days to come.