Friday after the Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Deuteronomy 15:19—16:22 (NKJV)
15:19 “All the firstborn males that come from your herd and your flock you shall sanctify to the LORD your God; you shall do no work with the firstborn of your herd, nor shear the firstborn of your flock. 20 You and your household shall eat it before the LORD your God year by year in the place which the LORD chooses. 21 But if there is a defect in it, if it is lame or blind or has any serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to the LORD your God. 22 You may eat it within your gates; the unclean and the clean person alike may eat it, as if it were a gazelle or a deer. 23 Only you shall not eat its blood; you shall pour it on the ground like water.
16:1 “Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover to the LORD your God, for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 Therefore you shall sacrifice the Passover to the LORD your God, from the flock and the herd, in the place where the LORD chooses to put His name. 3 You shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, that is, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), that you may remember the day in which you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life. 4 And no leaven shall be seen among you in all your territory for seven days, nor shall any of the meat which you sacrifice the first day at twilight remain overnight until morning. 5 You may not sacrifice the Passover within any of your gates which the LORD your God gives you; 6 but at the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide, there you shall sacrifice the Passover at twilight, at the going down of the sun, at the time you came out of Egypt. 7 And you shall roast and eat it in the place which the LORD your God chooses, and in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents. 8 Six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a sacred assembly to the LORD your God. You shall do no work on it.
9 “You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain. 10 Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the LORD your God blesses you. 11 You shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite who is within your gates, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are among you, at the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide. 12 And you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.
13 “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. 14 And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. 15 Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice. 16 Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed. 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.
18 “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the LORD your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment. 19 You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. 20 You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
21 “You shall not plant for yourself any tree, as a wooden image, near the altar which you build for yourself to the LORD your God. 22 You shall not set up a sacred pillar, which the LORD your God hates.”
There were three feasts that required the Israelites to come every year with an offering: the Feasts of Unleavened Bread, of Weeks, and of Tabernacles. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was the celebration and remembrance of Passover, when the Lord God delivered Israel out of the bonds of slavery in Egypt. The Feast of Weeks was the observance of Pentecost, which was when the first fruits of the beginning of the harvest were offered to the Lord with prayer. The Feast of Tabernacles was the feast when the Israelites would give thanks to God for a successful end of harvest.
All of these feasts also have a spiritual significance. The Passover was a foreshadowing of our Lord’s suffering and death on behalf of the people. The Israelites were to bring a firstborn male lamb without defect to be offered to the Lord. Our Lord Jesus was the true Passover Lamb Who, without blemish or defect of sin, was sacrificed for the atonement of the whole world and the justification of those who believe on Him.
Pentecost was the thanksgiving of the first fruits, and spiritually this became the thanksgiving of the first fruits of the Apostles, who were blessed by the Holy Ghost on that day and 3,000 souls became the first fruits of the New Testament Church. Pentecost is the beginning of the harvest of souls.
The final feast is a foreshadowing of the Last Day when the whole world will be called to gather their sheaves (their works) and come before the judgment seat of the Lord God. It is the end of the harvest of souls. Unbelievers will perish because their works will not save them, but those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved because they trust in His works and His sacrifice for them.