The Story of Patriarchs and Prophets
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 52: The Annual Feasts
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At these yearly assemblies the hearts of old and young would
be encouraged in the service of God, while the association of the
people from the different quarters of the land would strengthen
the ties that bound them to God and to one another. Well would
it be for the people of God at the present time to have a Feast of [p. 541] Tabernacles—a joyous commemoration of the blessings of God
to them. As the children of Israel celebrated the deliverance that
God had wrought for their fathers, and His miraculous preservation
of them during their journeyings from Egypt, so should we
gratefully call to mind the various ways He has devised for bringing
us out from the world, and from the darkness of error, into
the precious light of His grace and truth.
With those who lived at a distance from the tabernacle, more
than a month of every year must have been occupied in attendance
upon the annual feasts. This example of devotion to God
should emphasize the importance of religious worship and the
necessity of subordinating our selfish, worldly interests to those
that are spiritual and eternal. We sustain a loss when we neglect
the privilege of associating together to strengthen and encourage
one another in the service of God. The truths of His word lose
their vividness and importance in our minds. Our hearts cease to
be enlightened and aroused by the sanctifying influence, and we
decline in spirituality. In our intercourse as Christians we lose
much by lack of sympathy with one another. He who shuts himself
up to himself is not filling the position that God designed he
should. We are all children of one Father, dependent upon one
another for happiness. The claims of God and of humanity are
upon us. It is the proper cultivation of the social elements of
our nature that brings us into sympathy with our brethren and
affords us happiness in our efforts to bless others.
The Feast of Tabernacles was not only commemorative but
typical. It not only pointed back to the wilderness sojourn, but,
as the feast of harvest, it celebrated the ingathering of the fruits
of the earth, and pointed forward to the great day of final ingathering,
when the Lord of the harvest shall send forth His reapers
to gather the tares together in bundles for the fire, and to
gather the wheat into His garner. At that time the wicked will all
be destroyed. They will become "as though they had not been."
Obadiah 16. And every voice in the whole universe will unite in
joyful praise to God. Says the revelator, "Every creature which is
in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as
are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing,
and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth
upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever." Revelation
5:13. [p. 542]
The people of Israel praised God at the Feast of Tabernacles,
as they called to mind His mercy in their deliverance from the
bondage of Egypt and His tender care for them during their
pilgrim life in the wilderness. They rejoiced also in the consciousness
of pardon and acceptance, through the service of the day of
atonement, just ended. But when the ransomed of the Lord shall
have been safely gathered into the heavenly Canaan, forever
delivered from the bondage of the curse, under which "the whole
creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now"
(Romans 8:22), they will rejoice with joy unspeakable and full
of glory. Christ's great work of atonement for men will then have
been completed, and their sins will have been forever blotted out.
"The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them;
And the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and
The glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it,
The excellency of Carmel and Sharon;
They shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our
"Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Then shall the lame man leap as an hart,
And the tongue of the dumb sing:
"For in the wilderness shall waters break out,
And streams in the desert.
And the parched ground shall become a pool,
And the thirsty land springs of water: . . .
"And an highway shall be there, and a way,
And it shall be called The way of holiness;
The unclean shall not pass over it;
But it shall be for those:
The wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
"No lion shall be there,
Nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon,
It shall not be found there;
But the redeemed shall walk there:
"And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
And come to Zion with songs
And everlasting joy upon their heads:
They shall obtain joy and gladness,
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
|Isaiah 35:1, 2, 5-10.|
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