Just Hanging Out With the King
Café Menu for Friday, October 17, 2014
Today’s Special is: Lingering in the Presence of God
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Dallas Paetzold
One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle…
Psalms 27: 4-5a NASB
The Feast of Tabernacles is a joyous occasion. The Day of Atonement has passed and there is cause for celebration. Although Jews are commanded to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days, instructions for rest and sacrifices are given concerning an eighth day. Today Jews celebrate this extra day as a conclusion to the festival.
This eighth day is called Shemini Atzeret which literally means “the assembly of the eighth (day)”, but “atzeret” also has the meaning of “holding back” or of “stopping and waiting”. The Jews have explained that God is like a king who has invited his children home to the palace. He enjoys them so much that when the time comes for them to leave, he invites them to stay one more day saying,
It is difficult for me to separate from you.
Shemini Atzeret is a day to linger with the living God. Isn’t this a wonderful thought! The God of the Universe doesn’t want us to leave His presence. He desires more time with us, to linger with us.
What a great illustration of love! We often hear people talk about wanting to linger in the presence of God, but how does it change your perception of God to realize that He wants to linger with you?
We are so thankful that we can linger in God’s word. Another celebration associated with the “assembly of the eighth day” is Simkhat Torah. The annual cycle of weekly Torah readings is completed at this time. The last Torah portion is read followed immediately by the first chapter of Genesis. This is a reminder that the Torah is a circle, and never ends, and the completion of the reading is a time of great celebration.
As many people as possible, with plenty of fun singing and dancing, are given the honor of carrying the Torah scrolls around the synagogue. The name Simkhat Torah literally means “Rejoicing in the Torah”. Rejoice in God’s word today knowing that the King of the Universe longs to linger with you!
Give yourself some time today to “linger” with the King. Linger in His word by meditating on Psalm 27. Write Him a prayer of thanksgiving or praise. Confide in Him your greatest fears or doubts.
Thank You, Lord, for rejoicing in us. Slow us down long enough today so that we can enjoy lingering in Your presence. Amen.
For more encouragement, visit Dallas Paetzold at Feasts Of Faith, where you can learn more about the Feasts of Israel through her book, Feasts of Faith: Finding Jesus in the Jewish Feasts.
© 2014 by Dallas P. Paetzold. All rights reserved.