You have an appointment. In fact, you have more than one. And since these appointments were set by God Himself, that makes them rather important. Yet many Believers pay little or no attention to them at all, much less observe them.
The appointments I am referring to are the feasts mentioned in the Scripture above. The Hebrew word translated both “appointed feasts” and “appointed season” in that verse is moed. It means “appointed time” or “set time.” The plural of moed is moedim.
These annual Feasts—four in the spring and three in the fall—were set by God as times to meet with His People in a special way. Under the Mosaic Covenant, observance of these Feasts was required for the Children of Israel. Doing so required focus and intentionality. It meant ceasing from the busy routines of daily life and expending time and resources.
Of course, in the light of Messiah’s coming, we now see clearly how the details of each of these Feasts pointed to Him and were either fulfilled with His first coming or will be fulfilled in connection with His return. This presents the question of whether they have any relevance for us today.
Acts 15 makes it clear that under the New Covenant, Believers from the Nations are not obligated to keep the moedim God established for the Jewish people. Nor do they in any way affect our salvation. But that does not mean we are not wise to take note of them and experience the blessings that can flow into our lives when we understand how they find their fulfillment in Yeshua ( Jesus).
In other words, to ask if observing these Feasts is “mandatory” under the New Covenant is to miss the point. We should not see them as an obligation, but rather as an opportunity!
In fact, each moed represents an appointment with blessing. When approached with the right heart, honoring and celebrating these ancient, recurring God-appointments can be a source of tremendous spiritual enrichment. Following are just four of the many benefits:
Intimacy with God
When the God of the Universe offers to meet with you, why would you decline that invitation?
Certainly, one of the greatest blessings found in the New Covenant is our direct access to God’s throne of Grace so we can find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16). But this access doesn’t just happen most of the time. To experience God in a fresh and deeper way, we usually need to be willing to stop our daily routines and meet with Him. It is when we draw near to God, He, in turn, draws near to us (see James 4:8). Observing His moedim is an opportunity to do just that. The result is a fresh, new intimacy with God.
Understanding Who Yeshua Is
The true meaning of the moedim is found in Messiah Yeshua. We should seek to understand and celebrate the Feasts because they are vivid prophetic pictures of His redemptive work as Messiah and Savior of the world.
The Spring Feasts were fulfilled in detail with Yeshua’s first coming. He was the Passover Lamb, the Lamb of God that took away the sins of the World. He was our Firstfruits of life from the dead. Shavuot (Pentecost) 50 days later saw the outpouring of the Spirit. This happened on the very same moed that the law was given at Mt. Sinai to inaugurate the Mosaic Covenant some 1,500 years earlier. And just as the Spring Feasts testified of His first coming, the Fall Feasts lay out the prophetic picture of His return.
When you determine to observe God’s “set times,” I believe you will discover some aspect of Yeshua’s person, work, and ministry that you have never before seen. Your faith will be strengthened, your love deepened, and your heart filled with gratitude afresh. You will know Yeshua better.
Rest and Renewal
Much like the Sabbath, God designed His moedim to be resting places. They are deliberate interruptions to the busyness, stresses, and distractions of daily life. And, as with honoring the principle of the Sabbath, marking God’s Feast days in a special way causes us to press the “pause” button for a season and focus on Him.
There is a refreshing—both physical and spiritual—that flows from such pauses. God, our Maker, knew we needed them. So observe the appointed times of the Lord and find rest for your soul.
Encounter His Glory
Honoring an appointment to meet with God is to set ourselves up for an encounter with His glory.
In Numbers chapter 20, Moses, Aaron, and the elders of Israel encounter God in the “Tent of Meeting.” The Hebrew phrase there is the ohel moed, which could be translated literally as the “tent of appointment.” Let’s explore what happened there:
So Moses and Aaron went from before the assembly to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and fell on their faces. Then the glory of Adonai appeared to them. —Numbers 20:6 TLV
I can testify personally to the reality of this principle. To pause and honor God’s moedim is to meet with Him personally, and any meeting with God is likely to result in an encounter with His glory.
The Fall Feasts
As I mentioned above, the Spring Feasts were connected to Yeshua’s first coming, and the Fall Feasts prophesy of His return. When we look at the Feasts through this “Messianic lens,” we see a beautiful picture unfolding—a picture of our Savior and soon coming King who was, who is, and who is to come.
Here in the season of Fall Feasts, the moedim paint a wonderful picture of the Bridegroom’s return to gather His Bride to Himself. I encourage you to keep these appointments—not out of a sense of obligation or requirement, but rather as an acceptance of a remarkable invitation.
Our Heavenly Father has made an appointment to meet with us. Why on Earth would we not keep it? It is an appointment with blessing.
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