Partying with God

Adam Stout

READ : Leviticus 23

Take choice fruit . . . palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. (v. 40)

We’ve seen that God is holy and powerful. But Leviticus 23 shows us another side of God: he knows how to party! After Passover, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Trumpets, comes the Feast of Tabernacles (23:33-43).

The Feast of Tabernacles reminds me of a Christian music festival I used to attend with friends. For a week we camped out, reveled in music, played basketball, sang gospel songs, and ate food around the campfire. It felt like Christmas without the presents. Over the past few years it has become increasingly difficult for my friends and me to get the time off to go together. For the Israelites this was not a problem. They were commanded to celebrate.

God knows that spending time with family, friends, food, and music helps keep us from drying up inside. But more than that, I think God wants to hear his children laugh, to see the refreshment that emerges from celebration and rest. The Feast of Tabernacles was bookended by a Sabbath day of rest.

God is serious; it would be a mistake to take him lightly. Yet God encourages his people to rest and play. He wants us to stop and breathe with him, and considering that every breath we take comes from him, this is a reasonable request. Let’s remember: God is truly, actually the life of the party.

PRAYER

God, thank you that you want us to rest and play. Teach us not to take ourselves so seriously.