“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 (ESV)
Although not completely raised in the church, I remember singing this verse in rounds during my formative years. It brings joy to my heart and mind, and I can’t help but start singing it quietly in my head. You may have too!
Sometimes we lose track of that verse, forgetting that this day – today – is His. I was reminded of this while reading Psalm 113-118 today. I really enjoy learning about the various feasts of the Old Testament, the significance and foreshadowing each one holds as a believer in Christ Jesus.
Today, October 5, 2017, marks the beginning of Sukkot, or The Feast of Tabernacles. It’s a joyful and festive week, lasting for seven days. In Exodus 23:16, God outlines this festival as a time to “gather in from the field the fruit of your labor.”
The joy during this occasion commemorates God’s goodness and provision in the past, during the wilderness wandering. It also marks the end of harvest and the beginning of the rainy season, so God’s goodness and provision for the present season. [i]
We all have seasons, not marked by days on the calendar, but rather events in our life and stirrings in our heart. Seasons that we don’t see coming, while some we do. Some are sweet and fulfilling, while others are filled with hurt and emptiness.
Presently, I’m coming out of one season, and transitioning into another. It’s a brief time of wandering, all be it not anything compared to the Israelites for 40 years. While the unknown of this season is not super comfortable, my creature comforts are met abundantly. It’s neither sweet or empty, it just is.
I say all this to set the stage. Because today, my thoughts took a wander in the desert – not focused on God’s provision, either past or present.
Several months ago, while reading through the book of Psalm, I got hooked on to Psalm 118:25 which is the verse which comes right after, “This is the day the Lord has made”. It’s part of the Hallel which is read during this particular feast week, Sukkot. The Hallel simply means the praise Psalms. [ii] Verse 25 says, “Save us, we pray, O LORD! O LORD, we pray, give us success!” Out of curiosity, I looked up the Hebrew word ‘success’ in Strong’s to truly understand what was being asked of God, and journaled a little bit along the edge of my Bible. Much of the definition was what one would expect, but part of that definition says, ‘to push forward’.
Today, my wandering mind was gently nudged to joy, ‘pushed forward’ and reminded of this sweet season. Even though I’m a little uncomfortable with the unknown, it is sweet because I can trust God. This little doodle, done months ago, seems fitting considering my current season of the unknown. I was reminded of Sukkot and the celebration of God’s provision and goodness. I am choosing to be thankful in this season. Thankful for the provision he has given, and for that which is to come – no matter what form it takes, or what season I find myself in.
I want to challenge you to open God’s word this week and read the Hallel, Psalm 113-118. It’s a beautiful reminder of who God is. When we truly seek to know who He is, we will not be disappointed. Rejoice in Him!
[i] The Feasts of the Lord; Howard, Kevin; Rosenthal, Marvin; Thomas Nelson, Inc. 1997; pg.135-137
[ii] The Feasts of the Lord; Howard, Kevin; Rosenthal, Marvin; Thomas Nelson, Inc. 1997; pg.139