In our last study we came across a phrase that has been on my heart and mind for several days now and I thought I would share it. Notice:
And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness.
The people were commanded to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, a remembrance of God's faithfulness to His people during the wilderness wanderings. They constructed temporary booths made of tree branches in which they dwelt during the celebration to commemorate the contrasts between the temporary dwelling in the wilderness and the permanence God had promised in Jerusalem.
What struck me in this passage was the fact that the people had not celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles, at least not in that fashion, since the days of Joshua. This generation was offered the opportunity to worship the Lord in a way that many generations prior to them had missed. Not since the days of Joshua, the time when they first entered the Promised Land hundreds of years before, had the feast been celebrated. They were given a special opportunity and privilege. They experienced the Lord in a way that others never had. This was an occasion that brought very great gladness to the people.
I for one am convinced that the modern church does not enjoy all that she could. I firmly believe that our Lord has so much more that He would like to share with us, more blessings He would like to pour out, a closeness with Him that we are not experiencing. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we would do as the people of Jerusalem and seek the Lord and His Word in such a way that it could be said that God's people had not experienced His blessing in such a way for generations? There have been spiritual awakenings in the past. Former generations have gotten sincere and earnest with the Lord and experienced His abundance. He is the same God today that He was back then. If He was willing to pour out His blessing upon others, I am sure that He would be willing to do so again. God is not the problem in this equation; He is the solution. If we would seek Him, I have no doubt that we could experience Him in ways we never imagined. The church could once again have power. We would experience conviction in our services again. The believers would be challenged and edified and the lost would be saved. We can have that, but do we really want it? Are we willing to seek the Lord in order to receive it?
So, the question remains: Are We Missing Out? I would have to say that we are. I am in no way ungrateful for all that the Lord has done, is doing, and will do, but we are not experiencing God the way we could. I am hungry to see that in our generation. We live in a dark and difficult time, but God is aware of His people and He will respond when they seek Him. Let's seek the Lord in a genuine, heartfelt desire to see His glory among us in ways we never have!