“And David danced before the Lord with all his might, wearing a priestly garment. So David and all the people of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and the blowing of rams’ horn” ( 2 Samuel 6:14- 15).
Celebrations and festivals are very much part of the people of Israel. First, there is Sabbath, a public holiday where most services are suspended except the most critical, as most people spend the day at home with family and friends enjoying family feast and thanking God for a good week.
The Rosh Hashanah is celebrated as the beginning of the Jewish new year. Yom Kippur, eight days after, is the Day of Atonement, a time to enumerate one’s misdeeds and pray for forgiveness. Sukkot, is the “Feast of Tabernacles” which celebrates the mass pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. Passover, is celebrated in the spring, commemorating the Exodus from Egypt and liberation from bondage. Hanukkah, commemorates the triumph of the Jews, over the Greek rulers and against the Hellenism of the Greeks. There are over 25 other festivals celebrated among the Israelis through the year.
What does this way of life teach us? One thing for sure is the importance of pausing in our hurried life to celebrate life, significant events of the past, and give glory to God. Each one of us has those events in our life’s journey worthy pausing and celebrating because of the goodness of the Lord!
To celebrate is not about splashing money. Celebrations are about pausing, laughing and having a good time while reflecting what the Lord has done. Through the monotony of life they bring cheer and joy. And when one looks back over a long life there are many things that give life memories, of a life well lived and time that was set aside to honor the living God.
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, teach us to learn to pause in our hurried lives to celebrate of your goodness in our lives and give you glory, in Jesus’s name we pray.
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!