SPECIAL REPORT: FEAST OF TABERNACLES EXPERIMENT
I am experiencing an Old Testament Feast in some greater detail. I moved my trailer to the Rock Lake campground to spend some time in a booth per the ancient commandment. I will be here from Monday October 1 until about Thursday. At that time I will move to the city park and use the trailer dump. If you see this post, you may visit for a few hours or join the overnight adventures. Technically I should build a booth of branches and live in it for the week. I am cheating a bit with this nice trailer.
Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 23:39-43
I did experience some of the plagues on my way out of town. My house was invaded by flies for the entire week before. I battles with poison, traps, and swatting frenzies. I shattered a half dozen plastic fly swatters in the effort. The invasion seems to be ending just in time, as I have few swatters left. It is as if the Lord of the Flies wanted me to experience a reenactment of the Battle of Britain!
Loading required me to remember how I lived in this trailer for five months earlier this year. I felt called to find a new home after struggling to start a business in Arizona. My father had passed away, and I let my brother have his winter home in Arizona. I went looking for a friendly business environment for new aerospace ventures. This outing is a reminder of where I have come from in my Christian walk, as Israel was to remember their Exodus experience.
I did get enough provisions to live in camp, and got rolling by 1300 hours on Monday. The Rock Lake camp is only a few miles from town, and offers a great mix of prairie and lakeside scenery. The aspen trees are doing their color change, and the mountains provide a beautiful backdrop. I sighted a large bird with white tail feathers which must have been an eagle. Not a bad sign for my plan to do some design work while in camp!
APPROACHING THE RED SEA…(ROCK LAKE)
In camp I stopped the trailer in an attractive camp site after a few loops around the possible sites. We got out, opened the trailer and began setting up camp. Then I noticed something attacking dog and I in the grass; sand burrs! I saw hundreds of them in the trailer tires and spearing us through the outdoor carpeting. Dog was constantly biting them out of her feet, so we had to relocate.
Now Israel may have had some fun getting away from the Egyptians as they carried off their oppressor’s gold and treasures. But how long did it take them to start complaining? I may have had a few unfaithful mutterings when I had to move the camp myself. So I curbed my complaining and set up again under some big trees.
Once the camp was looking nice I began setting up the internet satellite dish. I can’t give up ALL my bad habits can I? Once located the signal from the satellite, I tried to tune it in with the meter. I couldn’t hit the target because of overhanging branches. So I moved the dish again, and again. I found the signal, but it was just beyond the reach of my cable from the trailer. So I had to move the whole camp again. A little more murmuring followed. And a little more repentance followed that.
Now I had a nice comfortable camp for the dwelling in booths. Modern Israel may be using plywood and aluminum booths, so this isn’t too inappropriate, right? At least Israel still tries to dwell in the booths for the week. Churches usually only set up a booth in the yard and mention the feast. Wheatland Worship Center will have an observation of the Fest with Messianic worship and dance this year. You may visit Wheatland Worship Center at 5pm on October 7 to enjoy this experience. The 10 am service will also have some teaching on this.
As I set up the internet dish I noticed something else. There is a pile of branches leaning against a tree in my camp. Someone built a branch shelter just like the actual booths described in the Old Testament. Uh-oh…the Lord provided me with no excuse or avenue of escape. I do have the opportunity to do this the right way. Did I hear praise to God or murmuring just then?
I had a bad experience with the sand burs which I complained about. Then I whined about moving it all another three yards to reach the dish. Did I remember the Jew who preceded my experience?
And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. Acts 9:5
All I had to do was accept the fact of moving with the expectation of a reward. God may place a detour to prevent a major collision, and to deliver us to a place of blessing. Instead of a trailer booth I had a natural one, built by someone before me. I could have just accepted the works of someone else, which paid the penalty that I could not afford.
My dog Azalea is frantic with joy and celebration anyway. We are alone in camping, and see few visitors at this time of the year. Dog gets to run off the leash and chase squirrels to her heart’s content. The sunset is painting the golden aspens, the lake and the mountains a golden hue. She can run in the lake, track raccoons, and celebrate a dog’s life. I am grateful that God keeps me on a leash most of the time, but it is nice to get some run time in his creation too.
NATURE GIRL…DANCES WITH WOOFS
Well, I got my courage back after the initial trepidation and set up the booth for our campout. Azalea has no issues with spending the night outdoors, especially in the wilderness of night creatures. I on the other hand remember the trials of sleeping on the ground from six years of Army life. I do have a surplus down filled sleeping bag and shared an old bag with the watchdog.
As it turned out, the cold night air was especially refreshing, and the bag was wonderfully warm and comforting. The only lumps were not on the ground, but junk in my pockets. Dog was content to keep an eye on the night prowlers from her bag, and we clung to the comforts until the sun demanded our presence. The outhouse was also offering some services so we forced ourselves out of the cocoon of comfort.
Admittedly my camp offers some comforts the Jews did not have as they camped on the banks of the Red Sea. I was able to crank up the generator and get the coffee maker bubbling away. I could change clothes and wash up in a heated room. But we were on the shores of the lake where some try to drive on the beach in their four wheel drive vehicles. I saw no evidence of their wheels falling off, so I assume they were not Egyptian chariots. We are not far from Goshen (County) though. And this year you can walk on part of the lake bed, watching for the waters return being unnecessary.
If one considers fasting as giving up something for God, this dwelling may be hard on modern man. Leaving the lights, phones, television, and internet is unimaginable! For Israel it was also a retreat from prosperity and a reflection on distress of losing their homes, farms, and commercial ties. But an experience living on the shores of God’s creation has much to replace our losses. Israel had been only the nomadic family of Abraham. They needed to be uprooted from prosperity to rediscover dependence on God.
When we sleep on the ground a dog is limited protection against a cougar or a snake. In Arizona we were in places like the Sinai where heat and nature were even more threatening. That fool Columbus released pigs in the new world, so herds of nasty beasts can surprise you in many states. Domestic hogs recently ate their own farmer. Leaving your modern shelter can awaken a need for help that we should never lose. Danger is with us in this century as much as ever.
I am encouraged to see how Daniel devoured scripture. I expect he was inspired by Joseph to serve God in captivity. Like Joseph he became the prime minister or vice president of an enemy nation. We should expect a path of safety for our own prosperity in the presence of this generation of raging heathen. We should begin to see that path rolling out ahead of our headlights in the darkest night.
His word is a lamp and a roadmap at the same time. It embraces the past, present and future because it is the Alpha and the Omega; it is Yeshua Ha Meschia. Jesus is the word, and this study is our fellowship with him. He told us to have fellowship with the father as we pray “Our Father who is in heaven”. We also fellowship with the Holy Spirit in our relationship with spirit filled believers. This time of harvest should revive our relationship with the trinity in prayer, bible study, and Christian fellowship.
Set aside some time to back up in time and consider where Yeshua found you, and where your journey has taken you. From the bondage of sin we still need to grow through the wilderness of sin before we can enter the Promised Land. Perhaps we will remember enough of God’s miracles to be a bit slower to anger and curse. We may be able to celebrate the warmth of each new dawn with a warm cup of appreciation for God.
I left the booth for the comfort of the trailer when the winds reached gale force. Dog still had fun with all the wild animal tracks and scents. She was having a ball!
True to her heritage my mix lab-coon dog treed a family of racoons last night. After so much fun it was hard to leave to dump the tanks and refill the water supply.
We moved to the city park for the last three days to recharge the tanks and hookup to electrical power.
Dog loves this park for the squirrels so we set up and enjoyed a beautiful night in town. I awakened to a seemingly foggy dawn. No it was something else…SNOW!
Dog was unimpressed with this light dusting and resingned herself to a hard day of indoor confinement and…doggy television.
It’s a dog’s life!
So do we have to observe the Old Testament feasts today? Not as a bondage, but as an opportunity. We are not under the law, but we can learn from it. You can come closer to the observance of the feasts by testing a bit of each in your own life. Visit a Messianic fellowship or sample some of the traditional foods of Israel. Spend some time in God’s creation and appreciate the creator more than ever before. Taste the lessons God has led others through and discover special treats you never expected!