Thank Goodness for The Feast of Tabernacles!
Upheaval sweeping through country after country, global financial instability, impending and seemingly unavoidable wars, an increase in natural disasters and manmade dangers – the headlines bombard us. The low level hum of a looming turmoil grows louder. Thank goodness for The Feast of Tabernacles!
The Feast of Tabernacles, called Sukkot in Hebrew, is the seventh and last Feast in God’s holy days. This year it takes place from sundown October 9 through sundown October 16, 2014. It looks back to God’s unlimited provision for the Israelites as they sojourned 40 years in the wilderness. During the seven days of Sukkot, we spend time in our flimsy, homemade shelters to remind us of our complete dependence on God. Sukkot also looks forward to the Millennial Age where we will “tabernacle” with Yeshua eternally.
But there’s an often overlooked aspect to this Feast. It’s the admonition to “celebrate in the presence of Adonai your God for seven days.”
Here’s the full text from Leviticus 23:39-43:
“But on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered the produce of the land, you are to observe the festival of Adonai seven days; the first day is to be a complete rest and the eighth day is to be a complete rest. On the first day you are to take choice fruit, palm fronds, thick branches and river-willows, and celebrate in the presence of Adonai your God for seven days. You are to observe it as a feast to Adonai seven days in the year; it is a permanent regulation, generation after generation; keep it in the seventh month. You are to live in sukkot for seven days; every citizen of Isra’el is to live in a sukkah, so that generation after generation of you will know that I made the people of Isra’el live in sukkot when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am Adonai your God.”
Wow! Imagine seven days of celebrating and rejoicing before God — no sorrow, worry, strife or anxiety and even two days without work. Now that would be a little piece of heaven. And in fact, that’s exactly what it’s intended to be.
Sukkot – A Little Piece of Heaven on Earth
In God’s calendar of Feasts, Sukkot falls just 14 days after The Feast of Trumpets (reminding us to prepare to meet Yeshua at His second coming) and 5 days after The Day of Atonement (pointing to the time when the Book of Life will be opened and Yeshua’s true followers are identified). Prophetically, the Feast of Tabernacles is a rehearsal for the Millennial Age, which begins shortly after Yeshua’s return. Specifically many believe it symbolizes the wedding feast of the Lamb.
It is commonly held that Zechariah 14 is a description of Yeshua’s second coming and the events leading up to His coronation as the new King of this world.
Verses 6 through 9 describe that day:
“On that day, there will be
neither bright light nor thick darkness;
and one day, known to Adonai,
will be neither day nor night,
although by evening there will be light.
On that day, fresh water will flow
out from Yerushalayim,
half toward the eastern sea
and half toward the western sea,
both summer and winter.
Then Adonai will be king
over the whole world.
On that day Adonai will be the only one,
and his name will be the only name.”
Now that’s something to celebrate! And God agrees. Verse 16 is that celebration:
“Finally, everyone remaining from all the nations that came to attack Yerushalayim will go up every year to worship the king, Adonai-Tzva’ot, and to keep the festival of Sukkot.”
Even prior enemies to Israel will celebrate it.
For those of us who’ve accepted Yeshua’s blood as payment for our sin, permanent Sukkot is where we’re headed; dwelling with Yeshua as King over all the world is our eternal destiny.
Today, amid the upheaval and chaos swirling around the world, Sukkot is our week to “set our mind on things above”; to “encourage each other with these words”; and “celebrate in the presence of Adonai for seven days.” Take the week of Sukkot to look beyond the temporal struggles of this world and revel in God’s supernatural provision for you. Rejoice before Him as you would in the Millennium – we’ll be there soon enough!
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Here are some scriptures that help me keep my mind on my eternal destiny despite this world’s turmoil:
“So if you were raised along with the Messiah, then seek the things above, where the Messiah is sitting at the right hand of God. Focus your minds on the things above, not on things here on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. When the Messiah, who is our life, appears, then you too will appear with him in glory!”
2 Corinthians 4:14-18
“…we know that he who raised the Lord Yeshua will also raise us with Yeshua and bring us along with you into his presence. All this is for your sakes, so that as grace flows out to more and more people, it may cause thanksgiving to overflow and bring glory to God. This is why we do not lose courage. Though our outer self is heading for decay, our inner self is being renewed daily. For our light and transient troubles are achieving for us an everlasting glory whose weight is beyond description. We concentrate not on what is seen but on what is not seen, since things seen are temporary, but things not seen are eternal.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
“Now, brothers, we want you to know the truth about those who have died; otherwise, you might become sad the way other people do who have nothing to hope for. For since we believe that Yeshua died and rose again, we also believe that in the same way God, through Yeshua, will take with him those who have died. When we say this, we base it on the Lord’s own word: we who remain alive when the Lord comes will certainly not take precedence over those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a rousing cry, with a call from one of the ruling angels, and with God’s shofar; those who died united with the Messiah will be the first to rise; then we who are left still alive will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord. So encourage each other with these words.”
Adonai, God of heaven’s armies,
has begun his reign!
“Let us rejoice and be glad!
Let us give him the glory!
For the time has come for the
wedding of the Lamb,
and his Bride has prepared herself —
fine linen, bright and clean
has been given her to wear.”