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Bible Commentary Adam Clarke

A Festival unto Yahweh* - Download PDF Article

"GOOD is Yahweh to all, and, his tender compassions, are over all his works" (Ps. 145:9). What a powerful statement! Our old man nature directs our eyes to gaze upon what we do not have rather than to what we have; to dwell upon the sadness in our lives rather than the joys; seeing the glass as being half empty rather than half full. Man-made religions have taught us to whip ourselves for our short comings rather than having us dance for joy in celebration to Yahweh for life. Yahweh desires His children to be happy, joyful, merry and thankful. You mean, I am supposed to be happy, singing a song in my heart to Yahweh even when the world is in the state it is?  Absolutely!  We are to "SING to Yahweh, a song that is new, Sing to Yahweh, all the earth…It is good to give thanks to Yahweh, And to sing praises unto thy Name, O Most High" (Ps. 96:1, 92:1). Not only are we supposed to sing, but we are also supposed to have 'Festivals unto Yahweh,' where we do nothing but REJOICE! If these festivals of rejoicing are not part of our lives then they need to be. We have been instructed to CELEBRATE all the goodness that Yahweh and Christ have and are going to do in our lives. David sang, "I will PRAISE Yahweh with all my heart, I will recount all thy wonderful doings" (Ps. 9:1). Paul, from prison, proclaimed, "Rejoice in the Lord always: again, I will say––rejoice" (Phi. 4:3)!

The fact of the matter is that if we truly believed all of the promises of Yahweh and walked in righteousness, faith and holiness then we would never worry, fear or lack in any good thing. Unbelief and disobedience are the main reasons for unthankfulness, worry, fear and murmuring. The children of Israel murmured against Yahweh. Their murmuring, of course was not without reason, namely, hunger or thirst in the desert, or an apparently unattainable goal. But they sinned because they doubted Yahweh and cast aspersion on his justice, goodness, and power. Murmuring expresses resentment, dissatisfaction, anger, and complaint by grumbling in half-muted tones of hostile opposition to Yahweh. The true nature of murmuring is seen in the fact that it is an open act of rebellion against Yahweh and a stubborn refusal to believe Yahweh's word and Yahweh's miraculous works. Thus the right attitude in real difficulty is unconditional optimism and obedience.

Yahweh secured the children of Israel by promising them that, "…if thou wilt, hearken, unto the voice of Yahweh thy Elohim, to observe to do all his commandments which I am commanding thee, today, then will Yahweh thy Elohim

Set thee on High, above all the Nations of the Earth;
and all these blessings shall come in upon thee, and reach thee,
because thou dost hearken unto the voice of Yahweh thy Elohim:

Blessed, shalt thou be in the city,––and,
Blessed, shalt thou be in the field:
Blessed, shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground…:
Blessed, shall be thy basket, and thy kneading–trough:
Blessed, shalt thou be when thou comest in,––and,
Blessed, shalt thou be when thou goest out:

Yahweh will deliver thine enemies who rise up against thee, to be routed before thee,––one way, shall they come out against thee, and, seven ways, shall they flee before thee: Yahweh will command to be with thee, the blessing, in thy storehouses, and in all whereunto thou settest thy hand,––and will bless thee in the land which Yahweh thy Elohim is giving unto thee: Yahweh will confirm thee unto himself for a holy people, as he sware unto thee,––because thou dost keep the commandments of Yahweh thy Elohim, and dost walk in his ways.  And all the peoples of the earth shall see that, the name of Yahweh, hath been called upon thee,––and shall be afraid of thee.  And Yahweh will cause thee to abound in that which is good, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy soil,––upon the soil which Yahweh sware unto thy fathers, to give unto thee:  Yahweh will open unto thee his rich storehouse––the heavens, to give the rain of thy land in its season, and to bless every work of thy hand, so shalt thou lend unto many nations, but, thou, shalt not borrow:  And Yahweh, will give thee, to be the head, and not the tail, and thou shalt be only above, and shalt not be beneath,––because thou dost hearken unto the commandments of Yahweh thy Elohim, which I am commanding thee, today, to observe and to do;  and dost not turn side from any of the words which I am commanding you today, to the right hand or to the left,––to go after other gods, to serve them" (Deu. 28:1-14). The children of Israel, as a whole, decided not to serve Yahweh with REJOICING and with GLADNESS OF HEART, for the abundance of all things but chose rather to serve their enemies.

Today, the Body of the Christ, has been "…raised up together, and seated together in the heavenlies, in Christ…created in Christ Yahshua upon a footing of good works, which Yahweh prepared beforehand, that, therein, we might walk" (Eph. 2:6, 10). The promises given to the children of Israel as recorded in Deuteronomy chapter twenty-eight can also be ours and more so, if we believe and do those things that are pleasing in His sight because, "He, at least, who his own Son did not spare, but in behalf of us all delivered him up, how shall he not also, with him, all things upon us in favor bestow" (Rm. 8:32)? We have the righteousness of Yahweh through Christ.  We are children of Yahweh co-heirs of Christ who have been filled with the ruah (spirit) of Yahweh, which is power. We have been given the ability to have daily communion with the Creator and our Lord. The "…surpassing greatness of His power is unto us who believe" (Eph. 1:19).  Our future home is Paradise, the New Jerusalem, where there will no longer be death or crying but rather the "…the broadway of the city, will be pure gold, as transparent glass.  And, sanctuary, saw I none therein; for, Yahweh, Elohim of Host, is the sanctuary thereof, and the Lamb. And, the city, hath no need of the sun, nor of the moon, that they should shine therein; for, the glory of Yahweh, illumined it, and, the lamp thereof, was the Lamb" (Rev. 21:21-23). Our future is as bright as the promises of Yahweh.

The children of Israel were required to have three festivals unto Yahweh each year. These festivals were times of feasting, celebration, dancing, rejoicing, praising, singing; a time of total thanksgiving to Yahweh for His goodness and protection. The widows, orphans, sojourners and the poor feasted with all of Yahweh's people. Those who received the bounty from Yahweh shared it with all of Yahweh's people.  At the festival, the children of Israel were told "…therefore shalt thou do nothing but REJOICE" (Deu. 16:15). Weeks of nothing but rejoicing, eating, singing, dancing and praising Yahweh. Yahweh's children were not approaching Him with petitions of unmet needs; not with want, lack, murmuring, sadness and crying but rather with joy and thanksgiving. A Father receives great joy when he sees his children being happy, merry, dancing and giving him thanks; children who are grateful, who do not fear the future because their Father has promised to provide for their needs and protect them from all harm; children who absolutely trust and honor their Father; children who know there will be hard times but they also know that their Father will always be at their side if they abide in His commandments; children who know death itself will not bind them because our Lord and Savior will one day be coming in the clouds to raise us from among the dead, giving an age-abiding life.

King David danced, played music, rejoiced, celebrated, feasted, praised and sang before Yahweh. He was our example, a man after Yahweh's heart. David wrote:

REJOICE in Yahweh and EXULT, O ye righteous, Yea, shout in triumph, all ye upright in heart. (Ps. 32:11)!
Give ye THANKS unto Yahweh with the lyre, With a harp of ten strings, make ye music unto him. (Ps. 33:2)
I will PRAISE Yahweh with all my heart, I will recount all thy wonderful doings: (Ps. 9:1)
Praise him, with timbrel and DANCE,––Praise him, with stringed instrument and flute, (Ps. 150: 4)

The Passover, the festival unto Yahweh, had been forsaken in the land of Judah until King Hezekiah reinstated it. "And so the sons of Israel who were found in Jerusalem kept the festival of unleavened cakes seven days, with great rejoicing,––and the Levites and the priests, were offering praise unto Yahweh day by day, with loud instruments, unto Yahweh" (2 Chr. 30:21). They had such a joyous time; they decided to continue this festival for seven more glorious days. "Thus was there great rejoicing, in Jerusalem,––for, since the days of Solomon son of David king of Israel, there had not been the like of this, in Jerusalem" (2 Chr. 30:26).

As it says in the book of Ecclesiastes, there is "A time to weep, and a time to LAUGH,––A time to wail, and a time to DANCE for JOY" (Ecc. 3:4). It appears that the Church has no problem with weeping and wailing but it must also laugh and dance for joy. We need to have festivals unto Yahweh! One day, two days, a weekend or even a week can be set aside with the sole purpose of rejoicing, eating, dancing, playing, singing and praising our Beloved Creator, our Glorious Father, Yahweh, Elohim of Host. People should not come with empty hands but as Yahweh has prospered them so let them be a cheerful giver. This should be a time when petitions are not brought before Yahweh; a time when the poor can eat the delicacies of the land with rejoicing, giving praise and thanksgiving to Yahweh for His unspeakable bounty; a time where there are no sad faces but rather smiling faces giving thanks and singing melodies in their hearts unto Christ and our Father; a time when we are "…pleroo [filled to the brim] in ruah (spirit); ––Speaking to ourselves, with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs; singing, and striking the strings, with our heart unto Yahweh; Giving thanks, always, for all things, in the name of our Lord Yahshua Christ, unto [Yahweh] our Elohim and Father" (Eph. 5:18-20)!

(For footnotes, see the PDF version)

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(*When quoting scriptures, from the Rotherham Emphasized Bible New Testament, I will substitute the Hebrew word Yahshua for Jesus, Yahweh and Elohim for God and the LORD and Anointed for Christ.)

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