Holidays and Harvests

Did you know there are holidays, camping, and weeklong vacations in the Bible?

Leviticus 23:24-25, “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, and holy convocation. 25) You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.'” NASB

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This day of rest reminds me of Independence Day. It’s at the beginning of the seventh month. Businesses are closed. Farmers come to town. Trumpets are blown in parades and fireworks light up the night sky.

God commanded the Israelites to rest. We should too.

Leviticus 23:34-35, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘On the fourteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the Lord. 25) On the first day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work of any kind.'” NASB

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The Feast of Booths, 23:34-43, is like a family vacation. You go to church on Sunday and rest. On Monday, you set up your booth, tent, or unpack in your hotel room, v. 40. You spend the week feasting with your family, v. 41. And end your vacation by worshipping the Lord in church, v. 39.

The Blessing of the Sixth Year

When we visited Israel, we saw some fallow fields because 2021 was the seventh year. Despite the empty fields, food was abundant.

Imagine, planting a garden in 2027 and having such a large harvest that it lasts until 2029! That is the blessing of God!

Leviticus 25:21, “Then I will so order My blessing for you in the sixth year that it will bring forth the crop for three years.” NASB

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From Season to Season

Leviticus 26:5, “Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land.” NASB

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God promises we will not run out of food. Each season we eat the produce He provides and there is always enough to last until the next season.

Numbers Don’t Mean Counting

“Numbers means ‘in the wilderness.’ …In the book of Exodus, it took only forty hours to get the nation of Israel out of Egypt, but in the book of Numbers, it takes forty years to get Egypt out of Israel. …”

Introduction to the Book of Numbers
The Founder’s Bible
The Origin of the Dream of Freedom

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Ithamar

Eleazar was responsible for the transportation of the oil for the light, the fragrant incense, the grain, the anointing oil, and all the furnishings inside the tabernacle. He directed the 2,750 men who carried those items, Numbers 4:16-20, 36.

Ithamar helped Aaron and Eleazar cover the holy things, 4:5-15. Then he directed the 5,830 men who transported the curtain panels, poles, and sockets, 4:28, 33, 40, 44. God put him over twice as many men as his brother, Eleazar.

To be great in God’s kingdom, learn to be the servant of all, Matthew 20:26-28.

Proverbs 12:2, “A good man will obtain favor from the Lord, …” NASB

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I Learned

  1. Holidays and vacations are ordained by God.
  2. The crop in the sixth year will feed you for three years.
  3. Your food from one season will last until the next season.
  4. Numbers means “In the wilderness.”

Join me in reading November’s chapters. I would love to hear what you learned in the comments section below!

©2009-2022 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Noah, the Animals, and the Ark

I wrote 42 pages of notes while reading last week’s chapters! I may need to start writing ebooks!

Noah

God told Noah to get some of all kinds of food. He didn’t say to take a year’s supply of their favorite food on the ark.

Genesis 6:21, “As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.” NASB

I need to eat all foods in their season at the peak of freshness. My pantry should have a variety, not just my favorites.

Ezekiel 2:8, “…Open your mouth and eat what I give you!” NASB

The Beasts and Cattle

The order of who God remembered struck me: People, beasts (wild animals), and cattle (domestic animals).

Genesis 8:1, “But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; …” NASB

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We are living in the days when good is called evil and evil is called good. Domestic animals are treated like children. Wild animals are protected and great fines are incurred if you damage one of their eggs. But human babies are aborted.

Plants are protected for wild animals to live in. Dogs are offered the best meats, fruits, vegetables, and grains. But humans are supposed to live off of chemical concoctions for protein and plants to replace meat. The dog gets the beef and the kids get pink slime with the feet and beak from a fast food joint. (Guilty. My kids ate chicken nuggets.)

***

We are on the earth to take care of it. We have a responsibility to wild animals but that doesn’t mean we let them live in our homes.

They establish boundaries in the wild by marking trees and urination. We establish boundaries with doors on the houses, and fences in the backyard.

I’m grateful for the deer who favor my backyard. I love waking up early to see the rabbits feeding on the clover.

We are to care for our domesticated animals, Proverbs 12:10; 27:23. I don’t farm or have pets but I recycle and set out birdseed.

***

David and I supported children through World Vision and Feed the Children. I still pray for them. Chandrakant is 30; Jimmy and Vitumbiko are 11.

When Jimmy’s family moved away, we happily adopted Vitumbiko. This month we asked Feed the Children to give us a second child. #goals

We support “Cradle of Hope” which helps all mothers, married and unmarried. They are raising funds to buy a mother’s home for girls who find themselves homeless. And a survivor’s home for girls rescued from human trafficking.

These are the things I am doing to remember people, beasts, and cattle.

The Ark

Genesis 8:4, “In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat.” NASB

It didn’t get stuck on top of a mountain. God directed it to a place where the water receded and it settled on the land. It was a place where the ark would remain level to allow the people and animals to disembark safely, (Genesis 8:14-16).

God moves slowly and safely. I want out of “my ark” right away! He makes small adjustments.

Noah couldn’t leave the ark until the vegetation had grown and produced food for his family and the animals. That took over 6 months! I have to be patient, knowing that God is moving.

***

Genesis 8:19, “Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by their families from the ark.” NASB

You are not dormant while you are in “your ark.” You are reproducing. The animals went into the ark as a couple and came out as families.

Defender of Life

Genesis 9:5, “Surely, I will require your lifeblood; from every beast, I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother, I will require the life of man.” NASB

God requires the lifeblood of every man or animal that takes a life. God is the defender of preborn babies.

“God himself is the great defender of human life (see 4:9-12), which is precious to him because people were created in his image (v. 6) and because they are the earthly representatives and focal point of God’s kingdom. In the theocracy (kingdom of God) established at Sinai, a domestic animal that had taken human life was to be stoned to death (Exodus 21:28-32).”

New International Version Study Bible Notes on Genesis 9:5

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I learned to eat a variety of foods, to help where I can, and to remember that slowly, God is moving.

Join me in reading this month’s chapters. I would love to hear what you learned in the comments section below!

©2009-2022 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

The Love of Money

The most misquoted verse in the Bible is 1 Timothy 6:10. They say, “Money is the root of all evil.” But the verse says it is the “love of money.”

1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

New American Standard Bible

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We assume this verse only applies to the rich. But the poor can be greedy, grasping, and discontent, too.

David and I have lived under the poverty level a few times. We had a choice. We could continue giving to God over and above our tithes (10%) or we could buy lottery tickets and try our luck at gambling. We chose the first option every time and God pulled our income back up.

I was sure we didn’t have a problem with money whether it was just enough or we had extra.

Then I read Hebrews 13.

Hebrews 13:5, 6, “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have, for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,’ 6) so that we confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?’ “

New American Standard Bible

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Is my character free from the love of money? Do I rejoice when my friends get a new car, house, or go on a trip? Or do I think, “It must be nice?”

Am I “saving for a rainy day” or hoarding? Have I missed church working for money?

Am I content with everything God has provided or do I treat it with disdain wanting newer, bigger, or better? Do I clean and maintain them or treat them like junk?

Do I fill my refrigerator with food and then throw it away when it spoils?

God promises never to leave us. He helps us stretch our money to its greatest potential. He provides our food, (see 2020 post). We don’t have to be afraid of going hungry.

We need not fear rising gas prices. He will show us where to cut back on our spending to cover it.

He has a new car for us. Our job is to save to pay for it when it is delivered!

I look at external things. God is working on my character.

1 Timothy 6:17, 18, “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18) Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.”

New American Standard Bible

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Dear Lord, keep my character free from the love of money. Amen

©2009-2022 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Loaves

Our local grocery store has “2-day sales” and the items are at their lowest price. They call those specials “loss leaders” because they don’t make money on them; it is just incentives to get you to shop there.

I plan my menus around the “loss leaders” and sale items. When there is a good price on an item I buy regularly, I stock up.

This week they had peanut butter as a loss leader. I added “2 peanut butter” to my list. When I was putting the groceries away, I saw I already had 2 peanut butter on the bottom shelf! It’s time to update my food inventory!

Mark 6:38, “He said to them, ‘How many loaves have you? Go and see.’ ” Modern English Version

Dear Father God,

Forgive me for not checking the items in my pantry. I know You have a purpose for that peanut butter! Show me what to do with it.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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Saturday, January 7, 2016

Update on yesterday’s post: It was worse than I thought! They only had the clothes on their backs!

Mark 6:9, “But to wear sandals, and not put on two tunics.” Modern English Version

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More Than Enough Bread

Exodus 16:12, “…Now tell them that each evening they will have meat and each morning they will have more than enough bread…”

The Israelites were slaves in Egypt for 430 years. I doubt any of them were overweight. They would have been given enough food to stay alive, but not much more.

How did God rebuild his people into strong men, women, and children? He gave them “more than enough” bread in the morning and meat in the evening.

Instead of denying ourselves bread, we may want to eat it before noon and eat our protein at the evening meal.

The First Barbeque!

Adam and Eve, and all the animals, lived on grain, fruit, and vegetables, (see Genesis 1:29, 30). It wasn’t until after the flood that meat was eaten.

Genesis 9:23, “All animals, birds, reptiles, and fish will be afraid of you. I have placed them under your control, and I have given them to you for food. From now on, you may eat them, as well as the green plants that you have always eaten.”

Noah had food in the Ark, but it would not have lasted until the plants and trees could bear fruit again. God supplemented their diets with meat.

That is why God had Noah take seven pairs of cows, sheep, goats, and birds. These were “clean” animals, or ones that could be used for a sacrifice.

I have to admit…I still eat a lot of hamburger and chicken!

CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS

The congestion in my head settled in my chest and I went for some chicken noodle soup. This old remedy may have been used in Biblical times.

2 Samuel 13:6, “So Amnon went to bed and pretended to be sick. When the king came to see him, Amnon said, Please, ask Tamar to come over. She can make some special bread while I watch, and then she can serve me the bread.”

“Special bread: dumplings.” CEV Bible Notes

Amnon requested chicken and dumplings!

“I Will Rest In You” – Worship Together

 

December 28, 2013

My daughter gave me a plate for Christmas with the phrase, “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread” printed on it. In the center of the plate is a picture of a gray-headed man, with hands clasped, praying over a loaf of bread and a bowl of soup.

We had a print of that painting hanging in our kitchen for years. It reminded me that simple meals are just as filling as seven-course dinners.

When a co-worker purchased their first house, we gave them that print to remind them that God would take care of them.

Even when there is no food on the table, i.e. during a time of fasting, God still takes care of us.

Matthew 4:2, “And He went without food for forty days and forty nights, and later He was hungry.”

Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit when he went to the wilderness or desert. The Spirit sustained Him for those 40 days. We do not need to fear going hungry; but be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit.

“I am your Refuge and Strength, an ever-present Help in trouble. Therefore, you don‘t need to be afraid of anything.” Jesus is Calling by Sarah Young

“Blessed Be Your Name” by Chris Tomlin

 

 

November 16, 2013

“I’m Ruby Kuhns and my husband, Jacob, and I have 11 children…We own a 170-acre farm…and bake for farmers markets…two restaurants, a nursing home and a HyVee store…Regina hitched “Rita” to the open buggy and took green beans over to sister Betty’s; we have canned 96 quarts and that is all we need.” Our Iowa Magazine, October/November 2013

This Amish family gets up at, or before, 4:00 a.m. and works until almost dark. They have plenty of food. The interesting thing is Ruby decided how many quarts of green beans that she would need and sold or gave away the rest. What a contrast to the people in today’s verse.

Numbers 11:5, “We remember the fish we ate freely in Egypt and without cost, the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic.”

The Hebrews remembered eating free food; but forgot that they were slaves. They also got up early and worked until dark; but others reaped the profit of their labor.

How much is enough? What price are we willing to pay? Are we in slavery just to keep getting “free food?”

God promises to supply our every need; not all we want or desire.

I used to make my grocery list based on the amount in our budget. Sometimes I would have to cut the list and wait a week to purchase those items. Other times there would be money left over and I would spend it.

Now I make a list of what we need and the items that are on sale. I have found we “needed” less money in our budget for food than before.

“All We Need” by Charlie Hall

 

November 3, 2013

Whenever I say we are having leftovers for supper, my husband usually asks, “Leftover what?”

He would prefer I never serve leftovers, but God says leftovers are okay!

Leviticus 7:16, “But if the sacrifice of the worshiper’s offering is a vow or a free will offering, it shall be eaten the same day that he offers his sacrifice, and on the morrow that which remains of it shall be eaten.”

The Israelites had leftover manna every Sunday! (Exodus 15:5.)

“Come and Dine” by Gary Chapman