From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 6- The Blowing of Trumpets: An Introduction to Tabernacles, continued
4. THE CELEBRATION OF THE FEASTS
This brings us to the fourth purpose for which the silver trumpets were made. They were also used to call the people together to observe the solemn Feasts of the Lord. Joel’s prophecy is the sound of a Trumpet from beginning to end–and in addition to calling God’s people to repentance, and to prepare themselves for war, he likewise calls the saints to the Feasts of the Lord.
“Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet… Yea, the Lord will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen… Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things. Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do yield their strength. Be glad then, ye children, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil…” (Joel 2:15-24).
The whole passage speaks loudly of the Feast of Tabernacles, and the coming glory of the Lord when the corn and the wine and the oil are to be gathered in; and at the same time, the hour of the rain from Heaven–the former and the latter rain combined.
Lamentations of the Prophets.
God’s people everywhere should pay heed to the solemn exhortations and lamentations of the prophets. Jeremiah, who lamented over the desolation of the earthly Jerusalem, cried in the anguish of his spirit; “How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become as a widow! She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary! She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies” (Lam. 1:1, 2). And again, “Remember, O Lord, what is come upon us; consider, and behold our reproach. Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens. We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows…” (Lam. 5:1-3).
If we could but take time to examine in detail these and similar Scriptures, how clearly we would see the true condition of the Church! Once married to Christ in the days of the early apostles, now a widow. Once a great and mighty spiritual power, now a tributary to the nations–and to the denominations. Once possessors of a rich heritage in the Spirit, now Satan holds authority in the “heavenlies” where the Church should reign. Once nourished by spiritual fathers with apostolic meekness, love, and authority; now the Church is full of orphans, having very few who really cherish her children, and the children themselves being loathe to recognize God-appointed leaders and fathers. No wonder Joel blows the Trumpet, and calls for repentance and lamentation: “The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth. Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished. The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men. Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God…” (Joel 1:10-13). In other words, Pentecost has lost its meaning–because the harvest has failed. There is no Feast of Tabernacles–because there is no early or latter rain, and the vineyards and the olive trees have perished. The fruits and graces of the Spirit are woefully lacking; and the flesh practically reigns in the Church. GHW
This plentiful supply of early and latter rain brings with it fruitfulness. God desires for your fruit to bring forth at the right time. When is the right time? When the fruit is ripe! What is your fruit? In Galatians, the apostle Paul names the fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
The fruit we want to exhibit as followers of Christ is the ripe fruit that contains His sweetness. We want the sweet juice of His love to drip down the face of everyone who gets a taste of Him through us. When we come to God in faith, we exchange the bitter fruit of our old life with the ripe, lush fruit of our new life in Christ. There is no pleasure in biting into a piece of unripe fruit. It can be hard and flavorless, and sometimes bitter or sour. As God works in us by His Word and His Spirit, we get sweeter with each passing day, and our crop looks and tastes better and better to those around us.