How often do we stop to recount the steps the LORD has taken in our lives to bring us to where we are today - and celebrate in true worship with thankful hearts ?
If we are living living in loving obedience to His Word and His will - then it should be quite often. That is why He calls us to CELEBRATION! The Israelites marched the hill to Jerusalem several times each year - singing as they went - repenting, worshiping, recalling the blessings, dangers and help, security, joys and promises that the LORD had done.
Exodus 12 (selected)
14 "This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD - a lasting ordinance.
17 "Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.
24 "Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. 25 When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as He promised, observe this ceremony. 26 And when your children ask you, 'What does this ceremony mean to you?' 27 then tell them, 'It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when He struck down the Egyptians.' " Then the people bowed down and worshiped [this is how we celebrate].
"Celebrate the Feast of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field.
"Celebrate the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field.
These same passages can also be found in Leviticus 23, Numbers 9 and Deuteronomy 16. They must be pretty important if God speaks of them all through these first books [the Law of Moses].
Yes, we live under grace today - but these are still the commands and the ordinances of the LORD to be observed from the heart. If we are the "spiritual seed of Abraham" - then these apply to the believer in Christ as well.
Check out what Phillip W. Keller says about the word "house" in his book:
A SHEPHERD LOOKS at PSALM 23
"This Psalm opened with the proud, joyous statement, "The Lord is my Shepherd."
Now it closes with the equally positive, buoyant affirmation, "And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
Here is the sheep so utterly satisfied with its lot in life, so fully contented with the care it receives, so much 'at home' with the shepherd that there is not a shred of desire for change.
The word 'house' used here ... has a wider meaning than most people could attach to it...
It must be kept in mind that the Psalmist, writing from the standpoint of a sheep, is reflecting on and recounting the full round of the year's activities for the flock.
[The Shepherd] has taken us from the green pastures, still waters, up the mountain, to the high tablelands of summer... Fall has come with its storms and rain, sleet and drives the sheep down...back to the home ranch, for the long, quiet winter...
The sheep is deeply satisfied with the flock to which is belongs, with the ownership of this particular shepherd... It is as if it had finally come home again and was now standing at the fence, bragging to its less fortunate neighbors on the other side. It boasts about the wonderful year it has had and its complete confidence in its owner."
Truly the LORD is MY SHEPHERD - is He yours?
[Led Home by the Shepherd]
[Day 1 of 365]
PHOTO Taken: 9-19-08 Lancaster County, PA