Even before God had specifically appointed Jerusalem to be the site of the Jewish Temple, He had given Israel many instructions regarding their worship of Him there, in that special Place.
Today’s Verse proves an example: “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles.” Deuteronomy 16:16, “all thy males!”
Remember, many of these people would be living miles away from that Temple. A sizeable number day’s journey, even more for some of the Tribes. And a Psalm of Protection was written for these pilgrims as they trekked toward the Holy City, Psalm 121. Gladly going “into the House of God!”
Yes, every man in the Nation was required to go worship God (“appear” before Him) at least three times a year! A major expectation in those days of primitive transportation, likely all by foot.
What would we do if we only got to attend God’s House thrice a year?
(Incidentally, today we Christians are under mandate to go regularly, every time church “meets” apparently! “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another.” Pretty clear, Hebrews 10:25.)
But back to our verse.
What were the “three times” each year a Jewish mad had to go, under law, Mosaic Law?
During the “Feast of Unleavened Bread,” virtually “Passover.”
Then again during the “Feast of Weeks,” also called “Pentecost.”
Lastly, be there at the “Feast of Tabernacles!”
Passover, Spring of the year.
Pentecost, 50 days later, what I’d call Summer.
Tabernacles, in the Fall, harvest time!
Year round, in other words.
Stop work, you Jews.
Pack your supplies.
Make the trip.
And stay until it’s over! Essentially a week for each Event!
Again, by Law!
Now to the “heart” of the Lesson.
WHY those three times?
I think … because of what they represent.
Passover … Jesus’ Death!
Pentecost … the Descent of the Holy Spirit!
And Tabernacles … Jesus Second Coming, the Millennium and eternal Joy!
That’s the whole trajectory of Jesus’ earthly Career, known at the time of Moses, fifteen centuries before the Virgin Birth ever happened!
This surely shows us God the Father’s “Priority List,”
The Upper Room, when the Holy Spirit descended!
And a Dwelling Place (they made “booths” to inhabit) to joyfully worship God for His Goodness!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
Soon as you’re finished reading … get alone with the Lord if possible and thank Him for these three (two past and one future) Events! Worship Him a while … for the Cross, the Holy Spirit and the Good Things to come! And do it all with a thankful, joyful spirit!