When you ask children who live in urban areas where milk comes from, they are most likely to say, “From the store.” That is because few have watched cows give milk. That gap in a child’s experience is one reason we use precepts, examples, and rituals to help them understand God’s actions in history. God was so mindful of the way rituals can transmit values that He gave several rituals to His people Israel. One was that they were to erect and live in booths each year, after they gathered their crops. We read this in Leviticus Chapter 23: “For seven days you must live outside in little shelters. All native-born Israelites must live in shelters. This will remind each new generation of Israelites that I made their ancestors live in shelters when I rescued them from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.” The purpose of this ritual was two-fold. They would recognize and appreciate that their good crops came from God. And they would recall how their people once lived in shelters when God delivered them from Egyptian slavery. Recalling historical events has a way of giving us a sense of identity. We recall where we came from. When we recall how God has acted in history on our behalf, we have greater appreciation for God. We gain confidence to trust and obey Him as we face the future.
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