Leviticus 23 … Consider His Holy Convocations

The Lord spoke again to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord’s appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations—My appointed times are these:’” (23:1-2).

Convocation: “a calling together of people — or it can also refer to the group that has gathered in response to the convocation. a group of people gathered in answer to a summons; assembly.”

Consider His Holy Convocations

It’s tough to imagine scheduling so many required gatherings into our demanding lives these days. But perhaps that is exactly why the LORD appointed His Holy Convocations. He is always to hold the place of priority and prominence, no matter the competing demands.

His Holy Convocations were gifts of time, set aside for His people to focus their lives and hearts solely on Him. His Holy Convocations were to be established and deliberate reminders of His sacred worth and His people’s desperate need, and times of faith and rest in what He alone could provide.

God called His people together, to assemble corporately; and as they say, there is strength in numbers. Because the call was a corporate call, hindrances to observance were greatly reduced; refusal to comply would amount to standing alone against the entire nation of Israel.

  • His Holy Convocations called His people corporately to sacred and holy worship, as they assembled in the presence of Holy God.
    • The Lord spoke again to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord’s appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations—My appointed times are these:’” (23:1-2).
  • His Holy Convocations called His people corporately to dependence and faith in Him alone, as they rested from their work.
    • “For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a sabbath to the Lord in all your dwellings… 24 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation… 32 It is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath.” … 39 ‘On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day,” (23:3, 24, 32, 39).
  • His Holy Convocations called His people corporately to come in humility and obedience as they brought the required offerings.
    • “…it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the Lord…32 It is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath,” (23:27, 32).
  • His Holy Convocations called His people corporately to celebratory fellowship as they shared meals and memories of His faithful deliverance.
    • “Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, 43 so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” 44 So Moses declared to the sons of Israel the appointed times of the Lord, (23:40-44).

How do we respond to His Holy Convocations?

Are His Holy Convocations a thing of the past; does the New Testament dismiss His Holy Convocations? Today, some would argue against the need for assembling together; reasoning we are no longer under the law but under grace, and because we have His indwelling Holy Spirit, we really don’t need to assemble with others.

The New Testament has much to say about the body of Christ, but today as we consider His Holy Convocations let us turn our attention to one passage, Hebrews 10:19-25, written to His born-again, under grace, indwelt by His Holy Spirit believers.

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near, (Hebrews 10:19-25).

Can we draw parallels for our lives today?

  • His Holy Convocations called His people corporately to sacred and holy worship, as they assembled in the presence of Holy God.
    • Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, (Hebrews 10:19).
  • His Holy Convocations called His people corporately to dependence and faith in Him alone, as they rested from their work.
    • by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, (Hebrews 10:20).
  • His Holy Convocations called His people corporately to come in humility and obedience as they brought the required offerings.
    • and since we have a great priest over the house of God,22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; (Hebrews 10:21-23).
  • His Holy Convocations called His people corporately to celebratory fellowship as they shared meals and memories of His faithful deliverance
    • and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near, (Hebrews 10:24).

Even as born-again, under grace, Spirit-filled believers, we need each other. Rather than assessing church as the place where our own needs should be met, let us embrace church as His gift to us, as the place to grow with others in His Holy Convocation:

  • the place of privilege to assemble with other believers and worship Holy God.
  • the place of persuading rest from our own works and are equipped to live by faith.
  • the place of purity as we come in humility and obedience to offer Him our very lives.
  • the place of promoting His faithfulness and prompting one another to love and good deeds.

Let’s Grow Together!

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