Sunday School Material 2-28-16: Festival of Tabernacles

(Leviticus 23:33-43; 2/28/16)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God calls His people to remember how good He has been to them. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to remember God’s goodness and recommit to obeying Him.

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Read Leviticus 23:33-36

I. Observance Established. In our Sunday School material the Lord gives instructions to Moses, which he is to pass on the Israelites. There is to be a Festival of Tabernacles. It starts with an assembly and ends with an assembly. Food offerings are to be made to the Lord daily. 

Applications –

- Human leadership. Notice in vs. 33 that God has a pattern of speaking to the leader that He sent, who speaks to the people of God. 

First, we should thank God that He still sends leaders to us, in spite of our failure to follow leadership. Second, we should follow leadership, as long as it doesn’t lead us contrary to God’s word, and trust God for the results. 

Third, if we believe that the leader is not of God, we should find one who is. Let’s work on following what God is saying through the leader that He sends. 

- Remember and obey. Notice in vss. 33-36 of our Sunday School material that God wants His people to obediently remember Him. 

First, God wants us to stop and remember how good He has been and is being to us. The people were called to stop working and assemble for a week of rejoicing and reflecting on the Lord’s goodness - historic deliverance and current harvest. 

Second, we should put our hearts into our remembering God. Where our treasure and giving are we will find our hearts. Third, the more we remember, the more we should obey.

Let’s work on remembering and obeying God’s will for our lives. When we obey God, the best is yet to come.

Read Leviticus 23:37-38

II. Special Days Reviewed. The Festival of Tabernacles has daily offerings. These offerings are in addition to the other offerings that the people were expected to give. 

We learned in our Sunday School material that some of the other offerings included Sabbath offerings and freewill offerings. 

Applications –

- Burnt and freewill offerings. Notice in vss. 37-38 the mention of burnt offerings and freewill offerings. First, we should thank God that Jesus satisfies the need for our giving burnt offerings for our sins. We can demonstrate how appreciative we are by obeying God. 

Second, although not required, we should give freewill offerings, as our way of telling the Lord “Thank You” for being so good. We should give for special needs as well. Let’s demonstrate appreciation of Jesus’ sacrifice by obeying and giving. 

Read Leviticus 23:39-43

III. Observance Explained. In our Sunday School material the timing of the festival is restated. Branches are to be included in the festival rituals. The people are to live in temporary shelters for seven days.

This is to remind them of their deliverance from and journey out of Egypt. 

Applications –

- Worship. Notice in vs. 40 that the Lord loves expressive, enthusiastic, and life confirming worship. First, the Lord loves for us to wave and rejoice with expression and enthusiastic worship. Dead and dry worship is not pleasing to God or helpful to His people. 

Second, worship that doesn’t lead to obedience is not pleasing to God. There are some who do well on Sunday (worship) but terrible on Monday (living). God wants our worship to grow out of our real day-to-day relationship with Him. Let’s work on real and enthusiastic worship. 

- Passing it on. Notice in vs. 41 of our Sunday School material that there was a concern with passing somethings on to the generations to follow. In like manner, every believer should strive to live so that the generations that will follow have an informed commitment to live for Jesus. 

This calls for teaching, modeling, and living the Christian life, which should include some rituals designed to help us remember and rededicate ourselves to living for the Lord. 

Easter/Resurrection Day, Christmas, and Church Anniversaries are good times to remember how good the Lord has been and rededicate ourselves to obeying Him. Let’s work on passing on some ways to remember and rededicate ourselves to the Lord. 

- Remember when. Notice in vss. 42-43 that the people were called to remember that things have not always been as good as they are today.

There are a number of African American believers who should remember that it was the Lord who brought them from picking cotton and working from “can’t see to can’t see” to living in paid for homes and living on retirement funds. 

The more we remember, the more we should recommit to obedience. Let’s work on remembering how the Lord has brought us and how He is calling us to obedience. 

Conclusion: Let’s work on remembering God’s goodness and recommitting to obeying Him. God has much for those who obey His will. 

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