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What is the Feast of Tabernacles about?
My first Feast of Tabernacles
I remember my first Feast of Tabernacles experience in Israel. It was in 2013 in Arad. I was thrilled to celebrate Sukkot in the Holy Land with a Messianic Congregation. However, as I arrived there, I was not sure what to expect.
The fellowship was terrific and the food was excellent. Moreover, making new friends and memories was something I treasure to this day. Honestly, it was my best Sukkot (or Feast of Tabernacles) ever!
Like this year, in 2013 the Feast of Tabernacles was in September. Needless to say that the autumn in Israel is more pleasant than the one we have in Romania. Indeed, it is an enjoyable experience to fellowship, eat, and sleep in a small booth in the outdoor.
The Feast of Tabernacles in the Bible
After the Israelites came out of Egypt and were camping in the wilderness, the Lord revealed His commandments to them. One set of commandments was about the festivals. He gave the Jewish people the Spring and the Fall festivals (one can read more about them in Leviticus 23).
Many people call them ‘the Jewish festivals,’ but the Bible calls them differently. In Leviticus 23:2 (ESV)we read
Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts.
As one can see these are called ‘the appointed feasts of the Lord’ not the feasts of the Jewish people. Therefore, let me share with you some of the things I have learned about the Feast of Tabernacles:
1. The Feast of Tabernacles is about simplicity
I always think about how fragile and modest a booth can be. Indeed, we do not
The tabernacles or booths the Jewish people were commanded to build were not to be made out of bricks and mortar. No, they were to use the materials they already had and the ones that can be found in the wilderness. They did not have many options.
The Jewish people and their children after them were commanded by God to observe this feast as an eternal law (Leviticus 23:41). The Feast of Tabernacles was God’s idea!
I do not plan, to write about everything that can be said. However, one of the things we can learn is that we should not put our trust in the material and earthly goods. Even the most fantastic castle one can have here on earth is nothing but a modest tent (at its best) comparing with what the Lord has prepared for His children in His Kingdom!
Our body is a tabernacle
The Feast of Tabernacles speaks of our journey here on earth in our body (a tent made of clay) towards an eternal city (Hebrews 11:16). As Peter said in 2 Peter 1:13-14 (TLV)
I think it right to stir you up with a reminder, as long as I remain alive in this “tent” of a body knowing that my death is soon, as our Lord Yeshuathe Messiah has made clear to me.
During the Feast of Tabernacles, we should all stop and meditate on our life. This world is only a temporary stop. And a believer in his journey must consider his priorities and true and final destination. Not only his comfort during the short trip.
2. The Feast of Tabernacles is about God’s provision
Sukkot is also a ‘harvest festival.’ The Jewish people are gathering the grain in their storehouses. And the poor and the rich are commanded by the Lord to dwell for seven days in a humble tent. The rich man needs to think of God and thank Him for everything he has. Indeed, he should not take credit for his success or the good harvest. And he needs to remember that his forefathers lived in the desert in tents! However, God provided for all their needs.
Likewise, the poor man who worries about his family and life during the Feast of Tabernacles needs to remember how God provided in the wilderness. In the same way, God will continue to take care of all his needs. God has not forgotten him either!
Indeed, our God provides for all our needs. As Yeshua reminds all of us in Matthew 6:25 (TLV)
So I say to you, do not worry about your life—what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Yes, we should all stop and thank God for His provision of grace!
3. The Feast of Tabernacles is about joy
The Feast of Tabernacles is also a season of great joy. However, what is there to be happy about on Sukkot? Historically, the Jewish people rejoice over the Exodus from Egypt and God’s deliverance. Moreover, the people of God rejoice because they just reaped the harvest and are blessing God for His goodness. However, there is another important reason for joy— Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement.
The Day of Atonement was to be celebrated before the Feast of Tabernacles. And it was a day of humbling before the Lord in repentance and fasting. Moreover, it was the only day of the year when the high priest would go into the holy of holies. Why? To make atonement for the people of Israel. This is a profound reason to rejoice! True repentance and forgiveness are always followed by joy!
Therefore, during the Feast of Tabernacles let us remember the sacrifice of Jesus for the sins of all who put their trust in Him. The Feast of Tabernacles speaks of Jesus Christ.
Let us spend time right now and thank God for His faithfulness towards us. I am sure we all have plenty of reasons to thank Him for His goodness in the past year. And for His provision. Moreover, let us remember that we are here on earth for a reason and for a season. And we should not become too comfortable with this world and forget to thoroughly prepare for the world to come.
Do you agree?
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P.S. Greetings from India!