There is always a happy time, which should be spent worshipping the Creator of heaven and earth.  Israel had such happy times and these were called the Sabbaths of the Lord.  Israel were instructed to observe these Sabbaths and these were their happy days because they spent them worshipping without any distractions.  God was with them always. God commanded them to observe the Sabbaths and when they did so they were protected and were free people.  When they followed and observed the Torah they were blessed. There is also a curse on people who did not heed God's commands.

Deut 16:1-2 "Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover of the Lord your God. For in the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt and you shall offer the Passover sacrifice to the Lord your God from the flock or the herd at the place which the Lord will choose to make his name dwell there."

When Israel was liberated from Egypt by God they were given commandments to be followed, including observing special days during which they were to make sacrificial offerings.  This shows how God had blessed them in those days in that they had a flock or herd from which to offer a sacrifice. These offerings were to be eaten by the people themselves which was a very good thing to do. You sacrifice your lamb and you eat the meat; all the meat, nothing should remain for the next day.  The bread and the meat were eaten at a single supper.  Thereafter, for the next six days, they had to eat before the Lord their God unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there was a solemn assembly and they had to do no work on such days.

Deut 16: 9-11 "You shall count seven weeks; begin to count from the time you first put the sickle to the standing grain.  Then you shall keep the feast of weeks to the Lord your God". We see again how God had blessed Israel as a nation.  For a whole nation to rejoice in feasting for seven weeks, slaughtering flocks and herds for such a long period is such a blessing and a fulfillment of God's words that Israel was a land flowing with milk and honey without there being a need to import food from other nations. We look forward to the coming Kingdom where everyone will eat and rejoice.  But before that there is hope in our lifetime that God will bless us if we keep His commandments.

Deut16:16-17 "Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God at the place which he will choose: at the feast of unleavened bread, at the feast of weeks and at the feast of booths.  They shall not appear before the Lord empty handed, every man shall give as he is able according to the blessing which the Lord your God has given you".

When we meet together, we must be able to give back to the Lord as much as we are able to give in thanks for that with which he has blessed us.  Never should we go empty handed. It is up to us to do our part, to believe and be baptized, to live in faith and to preach the gospel.  Let us hope in the Lord and seek His blessing, rejoicing in Him. In Matt.5:3-11 each verse starts with the word blessed.  We are called for a blessing just as Israel was liberated from Egypt to a blessed land of milk and honey.  We believe in Jesus the Christ and we were baptized in obedience, looking for a blessing from the Lord our God.

Deut 28:1-15 "If you obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments which I command you this day, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth and all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God".

Blessings from God are conditional on our obedience to His commands. Jesus said go and preach the gospel and whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. We must continue in faith until the coming of the Lord, breaking bread and drinking wine and rejoicing in our hope.  Jesus said we have no life if we do not break bread and drink wine in memory of him.

As God blessed Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and saved Lot, so let Him bless us.

Gal.3:9 "So then, those who are men of faith are blessed with Abraham who had faith."  Amen

Bro A Liwawa (Neno, Malawi)

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