Exodus 23:10-19 - Rest and Worship
10 “For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield, 11 but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the beasts of the field may eat. You shall do likewise with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard. 12 “Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed. 13 “Pay attention to all that I have said to you, and make no mention of the names of other gods, nor let it be heard on your lips. 14 “Three times in the year you shall keep a feast to me. 15 You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. None shall appear before me empty-handed. 16 You shall keep the Feast of Harvest, of the firstfruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. You shall keep the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor. 17 Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord God. 18 “You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened, or let the fat of my feast remain until the morning. 19 “The best of the firstfruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God. “You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.
The end of the book of the Covenant
Exodus 21:1 “Now these are the rules that you shall set before them.”
Application of the Ten Commandments (case law)
Exodus 23:13 “Pay attention to all that I have said to you, and make no mention of the names of other gods, nor let it be heard on your lips.”
Verse 14-19 contain a few more applications of the law, but gets into ceremonial elements of the Feasts.
Verse 20 and following reassure the people of God’s guidance in their travels and giving them the Promised Land.
Chapter 24 is a Covenant renewal ceremony.
Coming into the promised land
A reminder that the Sabbath is an expression of God’s care and mercy
rest for the worker
Contrast with Egypt
rest for the animals
rest for the land
Resting the field is good agriculture.
Refreshment for all (12)
Provision for the poor of both man and beast.
The rest was staggered among households.
The poor were able to gather whatever was needed.
They were provided for but also worked to feed themselves (harvest)
Our care for the creation:
Phil Ryken, “When God gave us the creation for food, he wanted us to receive it as a gift that requires the best of our care. The whole creation bears the effects of God’s curse against our sin, and it is only right for us to work for its redemption.”
Exod 23:14 “Three times in the year you shall keep a feast to me.”
Tied to the purpose of the exodus
Exod 5:1 “Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’ ””
Celebrating God’s mercy and provision
Worship of Him
Feats of Unleavened Bread
Always connected tot he Passover
Deut 16:3 “You shall eat no leavened bread with it. Seven days you shall eat it with unleavened bread, the bread of affliction—for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste—that all the days of your life you may remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt.”
1 Cor 5:6-8 “Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
John 6:35-40 “Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.””
Feast of the Harvest
Also called the feasts of weeks or Pentecost (Greek for fifty)
Exod 34:22-23 “You shall observe the Feast of Weeks, the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year’s end. 23 Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel.”
Seven full weeks or 50 days from the beginning of the barley harvest.
Celebrated the firstfruits of the harvest.
God’s provision for them
Given in promise as they did not yet have a harvest - Manna
The harvest is no less a provision from God than the manna.
Jesus is the firstfruit of God’s harvest.
1 Cor 15:20-23 “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.”
John 14:19 “Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.”
Our Union with Christ:
Eph 2:5-7 “even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
The Holy Spirit came at Pentecost in a harvest of God’s people
Feast of Ingathering
Seven months after the firstfruits.
Celebrated the completion of the harvest.
Later called the feasts of booths or tabernacles.
Lev 23:39-43 “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord seven days. On the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest. … 42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43 that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.””
Jesus at the Feast of Booths:
John 7:2 “2 Now the Jews’ Feast of Booths was at hand.”
John 7:14 “14 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching.”
John 7:37-39 “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ ” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
So those who still thirsted after righteousness were those who felt the insufficiency of the sacrifices to justify them. To bring them into any relationship with God.
They had the picture, the type, but they still wondered "where is real atonement to be found"
And Jesus stood up and cried out to them.
Not to worship other gods (13)
No mention of them.
God is the one who cares for them, not these gods.
Infidelity and disrespect.
Points to the rest we find in Jesus
Mt 11:28-29 “28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
We find rest by trusting in Christ alone for our salvation. We find rest by no longer depending on our works, but rather on the finished work of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Our eternal rest.
Heb 4:9-11 “9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. 11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.”
Ongoing opportunity for us to rest and worship.
God has given the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper (no other feasts)
Our care for others:
We should be like God in our care for others.
Be careful to do it.
Exodus 23:13 “13 “Pay attention to all that I have said to you, and make no mention of the names of other gods, nor let it be heard on your lips.”
The Spirit helps us to desire and do what is pleasing to God.
You cannot do it.
Not perfectly, not even good enough.
Christ has fulfilled
We cannot be saved by our law keeping.
We can only be saved through faith in Christ who kept the law on our behalf.
The provision of Jesus is another expression of God’s love of His people.
Point us to Christ.
Commemorate salvation through the exodus, the Passover lamb, and the manna.
God’s provision as a manifestation of His love.
God’s care and provision for you.
Three times a year the males appear before God. (Testimony)
Closing Hymn: His Mercy is More
Benediction: You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession…Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Amen