From Tent to Triumph

  • By Pastor Boffey
  • on Thursday, May 5, 2016
Numbers 29:12-40 (12) And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work, and ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: (13) And ye shall offer a burnt offering, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD; thirteen young bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year; they shall be without blemish: (14) And their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals unto every bullock of the thirteen bullocks, two tenth deals to each ram of the two rams, (15) And a several tenth deal to each lamb of the fourteen lambs: (16) And one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, his meat offering, and his drink offering. (17) And on the second day ye shall offer twelve young bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs of the first year without spot: (18) And their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner: (19) And one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, and the meat offering thereof, and their drink offerings. (20) And on the third day eleven bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish; (21) And their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner: (22) And one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering, and his drink offering. (23) And on the fourth day ten bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish: (24) Their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner: (25) And one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, his meat offering, and his drink offering. (26) And on the fifth day nine bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without spot: (27) And their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner: (28) And one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering, and his drink offering. (29) And on the sixth day eight bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish: (30) And their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner: (31) And one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, his meat offering, and his drink offering. (32) And on the seventh day seven bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish: (33) And their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner: (34) And one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, his meat offering, and his drink offering. (35) On the eighth day ye shall have a solemn assembly: ye shall do no servile work therein: (36) But ye shall offer a burnt offering, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD: one bullock, one ram, seven lambs of the first year without blemish: (37) Their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullock, for the ram, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner: (38) And one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering, and his drink offering. (39) These things ye shall do unto the LORD in your set feasts, beside your vows, and your freewill offerings, for your burnt offerings, and for your meat offerings, and for your drink offerings, and for your peace offerings. (40) And Moses told the children of Israel according to all that the LORD commanded Moses. Described in our text are the laborious, specific details of one of the major annual feasts in Israel under the Law. These details pertain to the Feast of Tabernacles which began on the fifteenth day of their seventh month (roughly corresponding to our September). Compare this with LEV 23:33-44 where further details of this feast explain that Israel was to then dwell in booths or tabernacles/tents in remembrance of how God made Israel to dwell transitorily after leaving Egypt. Once settled and prospering in permanent residences in Canaan, they were thus obliged to forsake that solidity for a little season. God similarly does us a favor when from time to time He orders disruption in our lives that we not cling to this world as a permanent, settled estate. Those who walk in the steps of Abraham's faith still walk as strangers, pilgrims and sojourners in this world (HEB 11:8-14), “For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come” (HEB 13:14). Let us, though, be thankful that Christ has taken all the burdensome sacrifices and festivals of the Law away by His cross (COL 2:14-17) and left us with the bearable burden of His yoke of rest (MAT 11:28-30), and grace to bear it (JOH 1:16). NOTE: No matter where their inheritance lay in Canaan, the men of Israel were to appear before the LORD thrice each year for special feasts (EXO 23:14-17; DEU 16:16-17) at the Tabernacle or later the Temple. Mark how these feasts foreshadowed Christ, of Whom His elect spiritually feast: 1. The feast of unleavened bread which began with the Passover (EXO 12:3-17). Christ is our Passover consisting of the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (1CO 5:7-8). 2. The feast of harvest / feast of firstfruits / feast of weeks or Pentecost (EXO 23:16; LEV 23:15-17; DEU 16:9 c/w ACT 2:1). Christ is the harvester of men (LUK 10:1-3; MAT 13:37-43), the firstfruits of the resurrection (1CO 15:20-23) Whose Spirit indwelt His church fifty days later (ACT 1:4-8 c/w ACT 2:1-4). 3. The feast of tabernacles / feast of ingathering (EXO 23:16; LEV 23:34-43). Christ is God manifest in the flesh (1TI 3:16) in Whom “...dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (COL 2:9). God identified with our earthly sojourn by dwelling among us (“dwelt” in JOH 1:14 is from a Greek word meaning to tent, encamp, fix one's tabernacle) and He gathers in His elect out of all nations (JOH 11:52; MAT 24:30-31). Concerning the offerings of the feast of tabernacles in our text, it is interesting there was an even, indexed reduction of bullocks sacrificed from Day 1 to Day 7 (from thirteen bullocks down to seven bullocks). On each of those first seven days, the number of sacrificed rams (2) and lambs (14) remained constant. Then there was a large change of this order on Day 8, the day which the New Testament calls “...that great day of the feast...” (JOH 7:2; JOH 7:37). On that day which was a sabbath of rest (LEV 23:36-39), the number of bullocks sacrificed dropped from seven down to one, and the number of rams and lambs were suddenly halved (2-1, 14-7 respectively, NUM 29:35-36). Why the sudden big reduction? And why was one goat for a sin offering required on each of the eight days? We know that the Holy Ghost was signifying by the O.T. sacrifices the need for Christ, a perfect one-time sacrifice (HEB 9:7-12; 1PE 1:9-11). It is therefore possible that the sudden large reduction hinted at the vanishing away of O.T. sacrifices, culminating in the one sufficient sacrifice of Christ. Interestingly, it was on this last day of the feast of tabernacles when Jesus made a profound promise: (JOH 7:37) In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. (JOH 7:38) He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (JOH 7:39) (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) In that last day of the feast which included drink offerings, Jesus here encouraged men to come unto Him and drink (spiritually), which meant to believe on Him. From such who thus drank of Christ would flow rivers of living water by the power of the Spirit Who would fill and empower His church after His death, burial, resurrection and ascension (glorification). Inasmuch as this eighth day of the feast of tabernacles was a sabbath (LEV 23:39), this feast all seems to imply the fact of Christ's finished work of salvation (JOH 17:1-4 c/w JOH 19:30) and the sabbath of rest that followed His sojourn in this world being tabernacled in flesh. He is now seated in heaven, a posture of repose. That during all the days of the feast of tabernacles there was only one constant, a single goat each day as a sin offering, agrees with the fact that the taking away of sin always meant a one-time sacrifice of one: (HEB 10:12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; Finally, Israel was commanded to rejoice in the feast of tabernacles (DEU 16:13-15). Those who now spiritually drink of Christ by believing Him and His finished work of salvation for them while renouncing any trust in their own will and work do so rejoice: (PHIL 3:3) For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. (ROM 15:13) Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. The rivers of living water by the Spirit freely flow forth from them in faith, hope, charity and grateful good works. Believers should always rejoice in the Lord (PHIL 4:4), even in heaviness through temptations (1PE 1:6), in persecution (MAT 5:11-12), in exaltations or in humblings (JAM 1:9-10). As long as we must be tabernacled in this flesh (as Peter described life, 2PE 1:13-14), true believers are tabernacles for Christ. Paul prayed, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith...” (EPH 3:14-17) and this joyful faith is our Feast of Tabernacles, for “...he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast” (PRO 15:15).

© 2021 Cincinnati Church