Leviticus 23:39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days" ...... 40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. 41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: 43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
The idea of camping, as it is with so many other firsts, began with God, who saw it necessary for His people to take some time away from the everyday hum drum of life, so that they could be refreshed in heart and mind, by spending time in a natural environment that would draw their hearts closer to Him, as they reflected on His wondrous works. God is the great originator of all things that are good, and this fact should always be acknowledged as we sojourn on this earth. There is the habit of the human agent taking credit for inventions and discoveries, but the Bible tells us that all things good come from God, and that He is the source of every good and upright idea.
For instance the world's first surgery was performed by God in the garden of Eden when He opened up Adam and took a rib out of his side to make Eve, the mother of all living. Our modern practice of inducing deep sleep before surgical procedures are done did not originate with man but with God. Then again, the world's first boat was not man's idea, but God's, who first gave the specifications to Noah on how the construction of the massive ark should be done, and how it should be sealed. The idea of airplanes did not originate with man either, for the very concept came from God, as scientists and researchers observed and studied the movement of birds in flight, and thus after several unsuccessful attempts, were finally able to mimic to some degree what God had done thousands of years before.
The same thing rings true for the idea of camping out in nature, which also originated with God, as is clearly stated in the passage for today. The question is, why did God find it necessary to instruct His people to remove themselves into a natural environment for seven days out of the year? The answer to this question lies in the fact that as humans, we have a tendency to structure our entire lives around concepts and inventions which tend to forgetfulness of God, and because of this, the beholding of the superficial on a continual basis imperceptibly draws our minds away from our Creator, and as a result we end up exalting to heaven the so-called genius and productions of mortal man, which by contrast pale into insignificance with the magnificence and deep thoughts put into the creative works of God. This fact is well documented and plainly stated in the Bible, that we may know where the source of all true wisdom and upright inventions is to be found. Let's read:
1st Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. 21 Therefore let no man glory in men.
For instance, one of the inventions of God that troubled scientists and developers greatly, was how The Lord made the humming bird to stay suspended in one place in mid air for moments at a time, and then to suddenly dart back and forth to the same spot so effortlessly. In trying to mimic what God had done many thousands of years ago, we finally came up with a vastly inferior replica in the Osprey, a military aircraft that has had a very troubled history. And even to this day the ability to erratically dart back and forth to the same spot, in mid air has not been conquered by man, thus showing the greatly superior knowledge and creative work of God. And then again, if we were to finally cross the frontier of darting back and forth nimbly in mid-air, then God takes it to a next level, by calling the humming bird into existence without any raw materials, a mind-boggling display of Omnipotent power and genius that can never be duplicated by any created being.
As the disciples of Christ were busy carrying the gospel from city to city, they too were in danger of becoming so absorbed in their work that they might not have the time to connect with The Creator of all things, and thus in response to the hustle and bustle of everyday living, and the care which always attends any type of work, Jesus instructed them to come apart into a quiet place and rest awhile in nature, so that they could be refreshed in heart and mind. Let's read:
Mark 6:30 And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. 31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. 32 And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.
In our day, the example of Christ and the disciples needs to be followed, for we are in our era bombarded constantly by a barrage of man-made inventions, gadgets and superficial objects, to the point where our concepts of the greatness and genius of God has become greatly compromised, and as a direct result of beholding the finite works of man, which are always subject to limitations, our ideas of God have also become very cramped, to the point where we inadvertently begin to put limits on what God can do. To us then the instruction to go camping cannot be more relevant, since we are indeed in dire need of time-off, to reconnect with God and nature through His created works. We therefore end with a passage of scripture which encourages us to behold the Eternal, instead of the temporal, transient things of this earth, so that our minds can be humbled and awed by the majesty and power of The Living God, instead of being contracted and infused by the finite things of man. Let's read:
Isaiah 40:13 Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath taught him? 14 With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding? 15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. 17 All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. 18 To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? 25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. 28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
May God add His blessing to the study and practice of His word. God bless!