“The evening and the morning were the first day…” Genesis 1:5
Does it surprise you that the first Biblical day began at evening? In much of Israel today the same measure of time still holds – Six o’clock in the evening begins a new day. I’m sure there is something beautifully significant about the setting of sunset as the start of a new day. ( I would love to hear your comments on this.) While we don’t know exactly why the day began with the setting of the sun, what we do know is that this frame work of a day was set by God and that it has amazing connections to the Jews and to us as we study God’s Word. Jesus had to be removed from the cross and placed in the tomb before the Sabbath began at 6:00 that Friday. Jewish feast such as Passover begin in the evening (6:00). The weekly Sabbath is ushered in at this time as well. Needless to say if we are going to study our Bible with the appropriate time frame, we must keep in mind the difference in the beginning and ending of a day according to scripture.
Our day begins and ends at a time when most of us are sleeping (just after midnight). It appears and retires in the darkness. The Biblical day both saw the former day go and welcomed the new.
When my mother was a young girl, sunsets frightened her. The bright colors seemed to her as a frightening storm. With comforting words her mother would assure her that the bright sunset was only the Master’s Bouquet. My Grandmother Lois passed away in her sleep. When my uncle found her the next morning, she had her hands sweetly tucked under one side of her face (as she normally did). She had seen the former sunset of this life go and had welcomed the new day with Jesus. Amazingly, as my mother and her sister went to view the burial plot for my grandmother, my mother looked up to see a sunset against a bright red and orange sky. Amidst the strong colors were puffs of clouds that resembled flowers. I was blessed to hear how God had brought this memory back to the surface in the time of her need.
Weeks after my grandmother’s funeral, I woke up early one morning thinking of her. As tears rolled down my face, God gave me a poem of comfort in which to remember her. As you read this poem think of our sweet Jesus, crucified and buried just before sunset. Think of your own trials and sorrows and know, in the times when your life looks like a fierce and frightening storm, it is only the Master and His bouquet.
“The Master’s Bouquet”
Many times as a child,
My mother would fear,
The colors of sunset
As nighttime drew near.
The deep gray
The bright orange
The bold red would form
And seem to her young eyes
A frightening storm.
Then the words of her mother
Would speak and say
All is well my child…
It just the Master
and His bouquet.
In Memory of my grandmother, Lois Parker
Not only is each day designed by God, all times and seasons are appointed by Him as well.
“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days, and years:” Genesis 1:14
Our days, weeks and months work on cycles. We often look at our days and weeks through the eyes of our schedules (our appointments), but to the children of Israel, they looked at their schedule according to God’s appointments. For example, the weekly day of worship, the set feast, and the holy days were set by God to help his people to remember Him and His appointed times. If you study the feasts of Israel, you discover the exciting truth that God has His own calendar. Every move of the sun, moon, and stars are orchestrated by His plan and are connected with His feasts. The Biblical days He set forth in ways of the feasts of Israel are there to help us understand His calendar of events. Jesus came to fulfill the times, and He Himself is the appointed one to fulfill the appointed times. To help you understand God’s appointed times, I would encourage you to draw a circle with seven divisions (like a pie with seven slices). Beginning at the top and moving clockwise, write in the following on each slice: Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles. Now let’s look to see where the hands of time are resting on God’s time clock.
*Passover: At His death on the cross, Jesus was crucified at the time the Passover lambs were slaughtered thus fulfilling the time of Passover.
Unleavened Bread: As the Jews placed their unleavened bread in their ovens, The Bread of Life was placed in the grave.
First fruits: While God’s people waved the first fruits before The Lord, Jesus rose again as the fulfillment of the First fruit.
Pentecost: During this feast the Jews celebrate the Old Testament giving of the law. In the New Testament Pentecost was fulfilled by the giving of the Spirit.
So, What time is it according to God’s appointed times? It’s time for the fall feast to begin… It is sunset. The first four strokes of time have sounded and the next is soon to sound. What is the next “sign and season” to be fulfilled? – The Feasts of Trumpets – which will be fulfilled by the rapture (With the sound of the trumpet).
The Day of Atonement will be fulfilled by Jesus as He carries out the Final day of Judgment.
Finally, The Feast of Tabernacles will be fulfilled when all we believers and tribulation saints begin our dwelling in Heaven and forevermore tabernacle with Jesus. At that time God’s appointed times will be fulfilled.
We end this week with a prayer –
Lord help us to redeem the time by investing it in eternal endeavors. Help us also to be more concerned with your calendar of events than ours. May we not fear these final strokes of time but see them instead as a beautiful sunset that is leading us to a new day with you. May we attend your house on your day and take time to honor your name. In the sweet name of Jesus, Amen.
The Flourishing Faith believes God to be complete control over all times and seasons.
Zola Levitt TV- “The Feast of Israel”
The Last Jubilee by Dan Godwin
God’s Appointed Times by Barney Kasdan