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Summary: The Feast of Tabernacles reminds us of the blessings that come from aligning ourselves with God, and the losses we experience but stubbornly resisting Him.

Blow the Shofar!

(Psalm 81 (quickview) )

1. Pride begets bragging, whether about ourselves, our family, or our nation.

2. Amir: You Americans are always boasting how Paul Bunyan was the greatest lumberjack ever, but we Moroccans know that Ibrim Hassan was the world's greatest lumberjack.

Fred: I never heard of Ibrim Hassan. Who was he?

Amir: He was the famous lumberjack of the Sahara Forest.

Fred: Umm, don't you mean the Sahara Desert?

Amir: Oh, sure, NOW it's a desert.

3. Today’s text is not about blowing our own horn, but God’s horn, the shofar.

4. The Psalmist seems to have developed this Psalm from several texts in Deuteronomy and the other portions of the Torah (Midrash).

5. Compared to the negative theme of many of Asaph’s Psalm, this one is more positive.

Main Idea: The Feast of Tabernacles reminds us of the blessings that come from aligning ourselves with God, and the losses we experience but stubbornly resisting Him.

I. Celebrate Redemption with FERVOR (1-5)!

A. The Feast of Tabernacles was a feast of JOYFUL celebration

1. Torah: welcome the new moon with a SHOFAR blast (Numbers 10:10 (quickview) )

2. Tabernacles was during the FULL moon (Leviticus 23:34 (quickview) ), also shofar blast

3. Save a tithe and spend it on one week’s celebration: “and spend the money for whatever you desire—oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household. And you shall not neglect the Levite who is within your towns, for he has no portion or inheritance with you.” (Deuteronomy 14:26-27 (quickview) )

B. This would be one of three “pilgrim” holiday CLUSTERS (Deuteronomy 16:16 (quickview) )

C. They celebrated their freedom from Egypt by living in BOOTHS

D. We cannot force a special celebration every week, but we can always sing HEARTILY to God

1. “More” is not always better; Christmas everyday would take the special nature of Christmas away…”a time for everything under the sun…”

2. There are times for believers to joyfully celebrate (Easter); other times are solemn, contemplative, and introspective (Good Friday). Sometimes we focus on the Body, as, for example, when a tragedy strikes. Other times are laid back. We need them all.

E. We have been redeemed by Christ and are now living the JOYFUL life.

1. Tabernacles was a feast associated with eating and drinking

2. Romans 14:17 (quickview) , “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

3. Fake joy is worse than no joy, but the real thing is like water on parched ground.

4. Nehemiah told his workers that the “Joy of the Lord is your strength.” [Neh. 8:10]

5. Although I can certainly be a grouch, I try to find God’s Joy to be my strength.

6. Being pious is not going to get the ear of the lost, but being joyful can!

We are blessed if we blow the shofar instead of tooting our own horn and align ourselves with God, and we lose when we stubbornly resist him.

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