Thursday, April 20, 2006

Heart relationship v. external requirements

I've started posting (and will continue to do so) regarding the Feasts of the Lord. These are feasts the Lord appointed in the Old Testament. Many Christians are now taking an interest in these feasts and their meaning in relation to the Messiah.

However, in the Old Testament the Lord says the following about his appointed feasts. . .

"I hate all your show and pretense - the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies." (Amos 5:21)

"I hate all your festivals and sacrifices. I cannot stand the sight of them!" (Isaiah 1:14)

He is referring to the same feasts that I've been studying. Why does he tell the Jews to celebrate these feasts and then make these comments about those same feasts?

The answer has to do with the hearts of the Jews at the time. They were celebrating the festivals and making sacrifices to God because it was their "duty". It was what they were supposed to do, not because they loved the Lord. God looks at our hearts today as well. Going to church on Easter and Christmas, or even attending church every Sunday is not pleasant in the Lord's sight if we are doing it because that is what is expected of us. He wants us to do so because we are in a relationship with him and we love Him. Without the relationship, the feasts are meaningless.

The interest I have in these feasts stems from not only the fact that the Lord told the Jews to celebrate them, but also because they represented the love He had for them. In addition, the feasts point to the Messiah and God's ultimate love for us. I want to learn more about these feasts because I love the Lord and I'm in a relationship with Him, not because it is expected of me. In everything we do for the Lord, we need to ask ourselves what our motives are. If we are not doing it out of love, we might as well not do it.

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today, shall be in your heart." (Deut. 6:4-6)

"You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." (Matthew 22:37-38, spoken by Jesus, our Messiah)

God's ulitmate desire for us is to be in a love relationship with Him. Obedience will stem from this. These feasts, church attendance, good deeds, etc are all just a shadow of who Jesus is, they are a shadow of the love He holds for us. Make sure you are chasing the person, not the shadows.

1 comment:

van.diesel said...

Good post with some very good points - very interesting that you're looking at the topic of feasts. I've never really looked into that. Very cool...