International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday February 28, 2016
Purpose: To commit to nurturing spiritual growth in ourselves and our children
Bible Lesson: Leviticus 23:33-43
Background Scripture: Numbers 29:12-40; Deuteronomy 16: 13-17; 1 Corinthians 15:20-29; Revelation 14:1-5
Key Verses: For seven days you must live in huts. Every citizen of Israel must live in huts so that your future generations will know that I made the Israelites live in huts when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 23:42-43)
Leviticus 23:33-43 (CEB)
(33) The Lord said to Moses: (34) Say to the Israelites: The Festival of Booths to the Lord will start on the fifteenth day of the seventh month and will last for seven days. (35) The first day is a holy occasion. You must not do any job-related work. (36) For seven days you will offer food gifts to the Lord. On the eighth day you will have a holy occasion and must offer a food gift to the Lord. It is a holiday: you must not do any job-related work. (37) These are the Lord’s appointed times that you will proclaim as holy occasions, offering food gifts to the Lord: entirely burned offerings, grain offerings, communal sacrifices, and drink offerings—each on its proper day. (38) This is in addition to the Lord’s Sabbaths and in addition to your presents, all the payments for solemn promises, and all the spontaneous gifts that you give to the Lord. (39) Note that on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered the land’s crops, you will celebrate the Lord’s festival for seven days. The first day and the eighth day are days of special rest. (40) On the first day you must take fruit from majestic trees, palm branches, branches of leafy trees, and willows of the streams, and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. (41) You will celebrate this festival to the Lord for seven days each year; this is a permanent rule throughout your future generations. You will celebrate it in the seventh month. (42) For seven days you must live in huts. Every citizen of Israel must live in huts (43) so that your future generations will know that I made the Israelites live in huts when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.
My Reflections by Burgess Walter
Today’s Bible lesson describes the third of the three required pilgrimage festivals for the Israelites. The Festival of Booths, or Tabernacles, also called Sukkot in Hebrew, comes in the holy seventh month after Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
The “Feast of Booths” or Festival, is another harvest festival held in the fall. The festival last for eight days, it begins and ends on the Sabbath. It is the only Festival where it was commanded that this be a joyous time. It was a seven-day party and everyone participated by living in a temporary hut or booth. It would be about the same as the old time camp meetings our grandfathers attended years ago. Families and friends would come together and live in tents or cottages and listen to the Word of God being proclaimed, to the whole family.
Jewish tradition had a different offering required each of the seven days. In Numbers 29:12-38, we read that each day of the festival, the community must offer two rams and 14 male lambs. However, each day they were to offer a different number of bulls, beginning with 13 on the first day and ending with seven on the seventh day. The instructions also specify that the animals all had to be flawless. The total number of bulls sacrificed on days one through seven adds up to 70. Which according to some represented all of the nations of the world at that time.
My hymn for this week is an old one, “This World is not my Home.”