"Thou Shalt Surely Rejoice"

Deuteronomy 16:1‑17  •  8 min. read  •  grade level: 7
(DEUTERONOMY 16:1-171Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the Lord thy God: for in the month of Abib the Lord thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night. 2Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the Lord thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the Lord shall choose to place his name there. 3Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life. 4And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; neither shall there any thing of the flesh, which thou sacrificedst the first day at even, remain all night until the morning. 5Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which the Lord thy God giveth thee: 6But at the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt. 7And thou shalt roast and eat it in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose: and thou shalt turn in the morning, and go unto thy tents. 8Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread: and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the Lord thy God: thou shalt do no work therein. 9Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn. 10And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the Lord thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the Lord thy God, according as the Lord thy God hath blessed thee: 11And thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the Lord thy God hath chosen to place his name there. 12And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt: and thou shalt observe and do these statutes. 13Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine: 14And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates. 15Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord shall choose: because the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice. 16Three 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: and they shall not appear before the Lord empty: 17Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee. (Deuteronomy 16:1‑17).)
1Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the Lord thy God: for in the month of Abib the Lord thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night. 2Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the Lord thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the Lord shall choose to place his name there. 3Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life. 4And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; neither shall there any thing of the flesh, which thou sacrificedst the first day at even, remain all night until the morning. 5Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which the Lord thy God giveth thee: 6But at the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt. 7And thou shalt roast and eat it in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose: and thou shalt turn in the morning, and go unto thy tents. 8Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread: and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the Lord thy God: thou shalt do no work therein. 9Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn. 10And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the Lord thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the Lord thy God, according as the Lord thy God hath blessed thee: 11And thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the Lord thy God hath chosen to place his name there. 12And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt: and thou shalt observe and do these statutes. 13Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine: 14And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates. 15Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord shall choose: because the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice. 16Three 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: and they shall not appear before the Lord empty: 17Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee. (Deuteronomy 16:1‑17)These three great feasts of which we read here were the feasts of gathering " in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place His name in." All the males were to go up there; all the people were to be gathered up round the Lord. There was the Passover, the Feast of Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles, these three; and connected with the Passover, though not exactly the same thing, was the Feast of unleavened bread.
In Acts 2, we read: " When the day of Pentecost was fully come;" and then follows the fulfillment-that of which this feast was a type; but of the Feast of Tabernacles there is no present accomplishment. It is after the harvest and after the vintage; it is the millenial time of rest after the discriminating judgment of God has taken place, and after the treading of the wine-press, His complete vengeance on the adversaries. Then this feast comes in; it is the rest remaining for God's people. They dwelt in booths as a sign that they had been strangers and pilgrims-that the Lord had brought them out of Egypt. I just say this that we may see the bearing of these feasts. With the first of them we are all familiar the Passover, the death of Christ. And the unleavened bread we get the apostle himself applying in Corinthians: " Let us keep the feast; not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." One other point I would notice as to the Feast of Pentecost, that we may apprehend it better, and that is, that it was connected with " the morrow after the sabbath." It is outside the old creation and all that has to do with it; it has to do with Adam innocent no more than with Adam guilty; Satan's power. and sin, and death, and judgment, all that is past and gone; man, in the person of Christ, has got beyond it-it is identified with Him before God in the new creation. That is Pentecost.
" Seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction." Sometimes, I do not say always, we are apt to remain in this feast of unleavened bread, and not get on sufficiently to the others. It is all right, of course, that we should have to do with it; we must have holiness: " Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." " Thou earnest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste;" Pharaoh, that is, the devil, was behind them, and they were just escaping from the judgment. It is just deliver-Ace. You get out of Egypt in haste; you are obliged to put the dough on your shoulder as fast as you can, that you may not be caught by the judgment; and so you have the seven days of unleavened bread. It is deliverance, but it is occupation with the state in which you were when you were delivered, so it is " the bread of affliction." There must be holiness, or we cannot have to say to God; but we do not get fullness of communion and blessing in it, and therefore we read that as soon as they had eaten the Passover, they were to turn in the morning and go to their tents.
But when you come to the day of Pentecost you get this: " Thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the Lord thy God with a tribute of a free-will offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give according as the Lord thy God hath blessed thee." There is not a bit of that in the Feast of unleavened bread. There they had to escape, and that was all; but here I get the heart satisfied with the Holy Ghost. They had the fruits of the land now; they had that which they were brought into, and not only that which they were brought out of. Of course, that which they were brought out of is not forgotten; we shall not forget it in heaven; it is the Lamb slain that is the foundation of everything; but I have more than that here: I have the free-will offering of thanksgiving and praise. But even that is according to the measure in which the Lord our God has blessed us; and in that "thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God." And then we find the fullness of grace: it is " with thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you." So I get here, these two things with joy: the free-will offering to God, and thanksgiving and praise; and having these things in our hearts, we have everything except the glory. We have life, we have righteousness, we have Christ Himself; we have all that the Father's love-and the Son's love can give us by the Holy Ghost. I do not say we enjoy it all, but everything in that sense we have got into―we have actual possession of it all in heaven " The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us." So the strangers, and the widows, and everything can rejoice.
And then " thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt, and thou shalt observe and do these statutes." That is, there, must be present obedience, and the remembrance that we were bondmen, and then the heart free for the things that are God's there is the enjoyment through the Holy Ghost of the things that are freely given tis-. of God: " Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit;" and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty." God's righteousness is settled, the conscience is perfect, and we are in that place in spirit where we can be occupied with God Himself, and not merely with what He has given us.
After this comes the Feast of Tabernacles, " after thou halt gathered in thy corn and thy wine" after the judgment, as we have seen. That is the reason that, where it is spoken of in John 7, the Lord says He could not go up to that feast; it will be the millennial glory, and He would not go to that. But afterward He goes up, " as it were in secret," and on the eighth day, " that great day of the feast," He cries, " If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." He lets us into the new week of heavenly glory, and in the Holy Ghost we do realize it, though we are not in it yet.
Another characteristic is that it is not " according as" now, as it was in the Feast of Pentecost, but it is " because the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all, etc., therefore thou shalt surely rejoice." It was all right to come out and eat the Passover, and go to your tents in the morning, saying, what poor wretched sinners you were; it is all right to remember that all the days of your life-we shall remember the Lamb slain in the glory. I have the sense that holiness must be, and I go with a personal, individual sense of it, and sit in my tent to keep the feast of unleavened bread, and bless God for having delivered me from that in which I was. And besides this I find that I have got into an entirely new place-a place in which God has made a habitation for Himself. I am risen; I am in the new creation; it is a new thing altogether, and the old thing is all done with; and so I come with a free-will offering, and worship as I realize the coming down from God of all the blessings that He has given us in the Holy Ghost. Thus, in Pentecost, it is according to my spirituality that I rejoice. It is not merely that I have been delivered, but that God's heart is to give me, and God sees flowing out from me praise and thanksgiving according to the spiritual state of my soul.
But in heavenly places I go a little farther and discover what I have in Christ; in Him I find that " all things" are mine, both " things present " and " things to come," and there I can rejoice always―there I can " surely rejoice." How could a person, if he had not spiritual power, think of eternal praise? Now it is according to the measure of our spirituality, but then it will be because He hath blessed us in all these things. God's heart satisfied with seeing us in the full blessing of all He has brought us into; Christ's heart satisfied with seeing of the travail of His soul; the saint's heart satisfied with being fully like Him and with Him, and He fully glorified.
This is where God has set us; and how far, beloved friends, do your hearts go with it? It will be surely the Lamb that was slain there; but in what measure does my soul get hold of the second feast, and say, " According as the Lord my God has blessed me?": And then how far can my soul, even new, enter into all the blessing which God has prepared for them that love Him, having no present but what is future. We are strangers and pilgrims here, but if we are right, our conversation will be up there " where Christ sitteth." God grant that it may be so in our hearts.