Devine Appointments are Often Life Changing.
Bam! Our life can change in a flash when arriving at one of God’s Devine Appointments. There are different kinds of appointments set by God. He controls the timing of events. The eclipse of the sun is an event of His timing. We figured out when it is coming before it arrives. The things we often call coincidences are events leading to God’s appointments that we didn’t know were coming. Meeting that special someone who will take away your loneliness, or a caring person helping you in some way were all events of God’s timing. Perhaps there was a series of events that lead you to discover an opportunity or talent that changed your life. In our mind we later rehearse the chain of events that lead to God’s Devine Appointment.
God has Devine Appointments called consequences too, but that is not the subject of this post. Instead let me tell the story of two very different kinds of Devine Appointments.
Virgins have Devine Appointments.
Well, of course there was Mary. Another story for another day. This one is about Rebekah whom God chose for Isaac. A servant was sent to find a wife for his master Abraham’s son. This responsibility was not taken lightly. Upon reaching his destination he prayed that God would, beyond all doubt, make His selection known.
“O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Let the young woman to whom I shall say, ‘Please let down your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink and I will water your camels’ – let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.” (Genesis 24:12-14)
And it happened exactly that way. Rebekah left her family the very next day to become Isaac’s bride. God’s Devine Appointments are often not anticipated and rapidly change the circumstances of our lives.
God has Set Seven Devine Appointments.
There are seven prophetic calendar dates set by God.
(Leviticus 23) “The lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: These are the appointed festivals of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations (religious gatherings), My appointed festivals.” (vs 1)
They were to be celebrated at a time God had appointed for them. The requirements of celebration were defined. These events, “festivals of the Lord,” are Devine Appointments that are set in the heavens and apply to earth. I mentioned that they are prophetic. Each one indicates a future event in God’s plan of salvation. They unfold like a chain of events leading to the wedding feast of Jesus, the Lamb of God. Four of these Devine Appointments have been fulfilled and three remain as shadows of an approaching reality. The calendar date for each is certain, but unlike the eclipse of the sun we cannot predict the year.
Jesus’ Life, Death and Resurrection Fulfilled the First Three Devine Appointments.
1. “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, there shall be a Passover offering to the Lord.” (vs 5)
Passover commemorates the death angel killing all of Egypt’s first-born while passing over the homes of the Jews. In obedience, they had placed lamb’s blood on their door posts. On the fourteenth day of the first month of the Hebrew calendar, at twilight, Jesus became the sacrificed Lamb of God. It is now His blood applied to our lives that prevents the second death.
2. “And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the festival of unleavened bread to the Lord; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.” (vs 6)
For the Jews the unleavened bread was to remind them of leaving Egypt in hast unable to rise their bread with leaven. The key to understanding Jesus’ fulfillment is the phrase “Unleavened bread to the Lord.” He is the sinless (unleavened) Bread of Life who has become our righteousness making possible our communion with God.
3. “When you enter the land I am giving you and you reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall raise the sheaf before the Lord, that you may find acceptance; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall raise it.” (vs 10-11)
Jesus, raised from the dead, became the “first fruits” to God. Because He now is our High Priest we “find acceptance” before God.
The Disciples were Told to Wait for Another Devine Appointment.
4. “And from the day after the Sabbath, from the day on which you bring the sheaf of the elevation offering, you shall count off seven weeks; they shall be complete. You shall count until the day after the seventh Sabbath, fifty days; then you shall present an offering of new grain to the Lord.” (vs 15-16)
Called the Festival of Weeks this fiftieth day is also called Pentecost, the day Jesus asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit. Those in the Upper Room were the first to become “new grain to the Lord” baptized in the Holy Spirit.” Men and women became willing to die for Christ that they might bear fruit for His kingdom. (John 12:24-26)
Three Devine Appointments Remain.
5. “In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of complete rest, a holy convocation commemorated with trumpet
blasts.” (vs 24)
I have given a lot of thought about the only clue “commemorated with trumpet blasts.” Could it be that the trumpet blasts are commemorating the blasts of the trumpets when God appeared to Moses on Mt Sinai? The Law was given then. Will Grace be revealed to Israel on this day in the future?
6. “Now, the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you: you shall fast and present the LORD’s offering by fire; and you shall do no work during the entire day; for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the LORD your God. For anyone who does not fast during that entire day shall be cut off from the people. And anyone who does any work during that entire day, such a one I will destroy from the midst of the people. You shall do no work: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your settlements.” (vs 27-31)
The days between the fifth and sixth appointments are called “Days of Awe.” Nine days are spent reflecting upon last year’s failures and sin. Then on the Day of Atonement repentance before God. If my thoughts are correct, when God’s grace is revealed these “Days of Awe” will humble and cleans those who receive Jesus as Lord. Those who do not will be “destroyed in the midst of the people.”
And Then There Was Joy.
7. “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month (five days later), and lasting for seven days, there shall be a festival of booths (Succoth) to the LORD. (vs 34)
These are days of celebration. The day of Atonement has pasted. When forgiven, there is Joy. Lots more can be said about this Festival and the others as well. There are many prophecies yet to be fulfilled with God’s chosen people. And all of them have pointed me to the guesses that I have made.
“Behold, the LORD has proclaimed to the ends of the earth: Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold , your salvation comes; behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.’ And they shall be called The Holy People, The Redeemed of the LORD; and you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.” (Isaiah 62:11-12)
The Point of the Post?
The apostles lived to experience four Devine Appointments as salvation came to the Gentiles. Perhaps the church will witness the last three as salvation comes to the Jews. It seems important to me that others should see that there is something more exciting than a solar eclipse. Besides, The Festival of Trumpets (Rosh Hashana) begins at dusk September 20th. Just a month away, one never knows….