“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites: “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Lord’s Festival of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days.”‘”Leviticus 23:33-34 NIV
Welcome to the celebration of Sukkot, the Hebrew name for the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths. As the last of the fall feasts, this time climaxes into a joyous celebration of giving thanks to God for His provision. This feast lasts for seven days, beginning on sunset on October 9th, 2022, and concluding on October 16th. It’s one of three times a year when God commanded Israel to go to Jerusalem to worship Him and present an offering of thanksgiving.
Building a Sukkah
‘On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.‘Leviticus 23:40 NIV
A sukkah is a tabernacle or booth made out of a natural substance and decorated with tree branches, flowers, leaves, fruits, and vegetables. People live in it as a temporary structure for seven days as a reminder of the their forefathers’ 40-year journey through the wilderness to the Promised Land. It celebrates their complete dependence on God and His provision. God provided manna in the mornings, water out of a rock, and clothes and shoes that never wore out.
Waving of the Lulav
This Jewish tradition symbolizes God’s beauty and bounty. It’s made up of a palm branch, a myrtle bough, a willow branch, and citron fruit. These are waved before the Lord in all directions to declare that He is omnipresent and that all good gifts come from Him.
Set Apart from the Rest
When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, ‘He is good;2 Chronicles 7:3 NIV
his love endures forever.‘
The first Temple celebrated its dedication during the Feast of Tabernacles (Read more HERE). The glory of the Lord fell with such power that the priests weren’t able to stand. As they bowed and worshipped then, so we are reminded that the glory of the Lord is still with us today in the same way.
The Testing of Trials
Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.Deuteronomy 8:2 NIV
Just as these trials in the wilderness tested the Israelites, they also prepared them to receive the blessings God had prepared for them. The same is true for us today. We must walk through the valleys of trials before we can rejoice with the Lord on the mountaintops.
Feast of Tabernacles and Christianity
Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.Zechariah 14:16 NIV
Zechariah tells of a time during the Millennium when all people celebrate Sukkot with Jesus in Jerusalem. This festival will be an everlasting reminder of how the Lord tabernacled with His people in the wilderness with a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day. It relates to us today through Yeshua’s promise: ‘And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’ (Matthew 28:20 NIV).
The Ultimate Fulfillment
‘For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.‘Isaiah 65:17 NKJV
The ultimate fulfillment of this feast will be after the thousand year reign of Christ. God will create a new heaven and a new earth where God will tabernacle with us, His people, for eternity.
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.‘Revelation 21:3-4 NKJV
Dear Lord, we rejoice in Your divine provision for us in the past, present, and future. We bow before You and worship You, for You alone are worthy. May we rejoice in this season of thanksgiving along with all of Israel as they celebrate Sukkot. We pray for the salvation of Your people. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
The Feast of Tabernacles by Karen Jurgens Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved