As I write this we are headed into the Advent season and Christmas is on the horizon, so as I read in this weeks chapters about various festivals the Israelites were required to celebrate the thing that stood out to me was that God was preserving heritage for His people.
This desire for heritage is reflected in the request from the daughters of Zelophehad, coming to Moses and asking for an inheritance along with Israel so that the name of their father would not be lost through lack of sons.
“What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right, You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father’s relatives and give their father’s inheritance to them. Numbers 27: 7
Heritage is reflected in God’s command for Moses to hand down his position, leadership, and authority, to preserve Israel after him. Passing a commission and heritage directly to his successor.
So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is he spirit of leadership, and lay your hand on him. Have him stand before Eleazar the priest and the entire assembly and commission him in their presence . Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him. Numbers 27:18-20
And this desire for heritage is reflected in every aspect of every feast and festival. From the Sabbath offerings to the monthly offerings, from the Passover to the Festival of Tabernacles.
“‘In addition to what you vow and your freewill offerings, offer these to the Lord at your appointed festivals: your burns offerings, grain offerings, drink offerings and fellowship offerings.'” Numbers 29:39
Every culture throughout history has used these same things to preserve heritage: family name, national leadership, holidays and traditions.
As God led His people to their promised land He gave them heritage, He spelled it out for them, yearly feasts and weekly offerings as touchstones of remembrance calling them back to who they are: His people.
There are so many beautiful and rich things we can study about the feasts of Israel, prophesy fulfilled in Christ and the Passover, among others . Each is beautiful in how God used them throughout time.
That very beauty speaks loudly about how much God cares about our heritage.
How do we celebrate heritage today? In so many ways we are more disconnected than ever from heritage. Family name doesn’t mean so much, government is something we are increasingly dissatisfied with and mistrust, and holidays are more about spending than remembering.
So as you read these passages about so many feasts and offerings, ask yourself: what is He asking Israel to remember? He is asking them to remember all He has done for them, and all He has promised.
What has He done for you? What has He promised?
What are the touchstones He has placed in your life? What are the remembrances?
Can we build heritage for our children? Building tradition into their lives as tools to teach them about family identity, history, and most of all, Christ?
Every year around this time I set out my Advent candles. Intentionally I set them out before anything else. Christ is the center of my Christmas Season and His candle becomes the center of my table. This is one touchstone I have for my family and for my life.
Every week we go to Church, the touchstone of my week. I come and remember Who is the center of my life.
Every day I try to open up my Bible and read scriptures, a daily touchstone with the source of my life.
There are so many touchstones, and they are so important, not only for my daily walk but for my family, for my daughter. Each of these touchstones serve to teach her as well. Each of these touchstones are an opportunity to show her how to build her own life on the only One on Whom she can wholly depend. This is heritage.
As you study this week I pray that you can find the touchstones in your own life, that any heritage you have lost in your family you can find again in Christ.
Joy Aletheia Stevens
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Share what God is showing you in your study in the comments!