The celebration of the final feast on the Hebrew calendar is known as the Feast of Tabernacles, Sukkot, or Feast of Booths. It began at sundown on September 20 and will last one week until sunset on September 27. It commemorates the years that the Children of Israel spent in the desert on their way to the promised land. During this time, God protected them, and they lived in booths.
Leviticus 23:33-36 “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to the Children of Israel, saying: The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord. On the first day shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no regular work. For seven days you shall offer food offerings made by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day it shall be a holy convocation to you, and you shall offer a food offering to the Lord. It is a solemn assembly and you shall do no regular work.” MEV
Leviticus 23:39-43 “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall keep a fest to the Lord for seven days. On the first day is a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. You shall take on the first day branches from majestic trees– branches of palms trees, branches of leafy trees, and willows from a brook and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native children of Israel shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” MEV
There is a lot to unpack in these verses. First, the children of Israel lived in temporary shelters that God provided after leaving Egypt. Second, Sukkot celebrates the fact that they were between the Promised land and Egypt. It also mentions it taking place after the gathering of the harvest. Further, it is a joyous celebration with lots of food and branches offered to the Lord. Finally, it is a feast with the Lord.
It goes without saying that the Feast of Tabernacles is the most joyous celebration of the seven feasts. We find the celebration of this feast mentioned in several places, namely 2 Chronicles 8:13, 1 Kings 8:2, 2 Chronicles 31:3, Ezra 3:4. Zechariah 14 reminds us that the nations will be going to Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts.
I used to wonder why and how that would be possible? There have to be nations and an Israel in order to fulfill that prophecy. I believe that will be fully fulfilled in the following age or the Millennial Kingdom. Nevertheless, the Feast of Tabernacles has many prophetic applications for Jew and Goyim (Gentiles) now and for the future. Here are four that remind us to celebrate every day with the Lord.
From Wilderness To Promised Land
One of my mandates is to prepare people for Christ’s return, and that entails various components. First, I want us to see our lives here on the earth as it is now as living in a wilderness. The wilderness is not such a bad place if we learn to embrace the life that God calls us to live. The wilderness is the place of trial, tribulation, and ultimately it represents surrender.
We tend to speak of the wilderness in negative terms. However, John the Baptist lived most of his life there, as did many others we are unaware of. That is the place of encounter. Consider Moses and the burning bush. Elijah sat by a brook and waited for his next assignment. The wilderness was also the place of trial and testing for our Lord Jesus.
We speak of the wilderness in a negative light, and we are always trying to get out. Our seasons free from the wilderness seem to be short-lived, though. Could it be that we need to continually go through these seasons to be fully prepared and equipped for our Lord’s return? After all, the earth became a wilderness when Adam lost dominion. However, that will change at our Lord’s return and we must be ready to follow Him as the earth falls under the control of The King, Jesus.
Ingathering of the Harvest
Moses mentioned the Feast of Tabernacles following the harvest. It was important that the celebration could only commence once the harvest was fully gathered, and then they could rest. This reminds us that at Pentecost the harvesters were filled with the Holy Spirit. But, the time will come when we will not be working in that vein anymore.
Consider John’s words in Revelation 14:15, “Then another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, ‘Thrust in Your sickle and reap. The time has come for You to reap,for the harvest of the earth is ripe. ‘” MEV
There is coming a day of reaping or gathering of the harvest. Jesus told us to pray for laborers because the harvest is plentiful, but there are few laborers. (Matthew 9:37, Luke 10:2). The prophet Yoel (Joel) spoke of a great harvest after a tremendous outpouring of The Holy Spirit in Joel 2:28. It’s past time for the Spirit to be poured out without measure so that when the angels reap there is a great, great harvest!
God Tabernacling With Man
God’s original plan was to fellowship and tabernacle with Adam and all humanity that would follow. But, unfortunately, that was lost, and ever since, God has established patterns and protocols to get us back to that place of fellowship.
The tabernacle in the wilderness was a temporary booth like those the people lived in. Solomon’s temple was a temporary structure, just as the second temple and Herod’s improvements were. These would give way to when Messiah will establish His throne in Jerusalem, and the nations will worship. This, however, is a prelude to the age beyond where the New Jerusalem will come down, and Father and Son will dwell with humanity forever.
When God came in the flesh, we see the Word dwelling among men. Later God chose to fill everyone that confessed Jesus as Lord and repented and turned away from the old life with His Holy Spirit. What other God has chosen to live among all of His disciples? That is reason enough to rejoice and celebrate!
Tabernacles is the most festive of all the feasts, and it points to when we will celebrate with the Lamb and the Father forever. One of the great feasts mentioned in the Bible is the Marriage Supper of The Lamb in Revelation 19:7-10. Now, you have to be invited to attend. These are the elect or chosen of the Lord. He chose you before you chose Him.
The one’s not invited are the ones who refused to follow the Lamb here. They declined the invitation by not accepting Jesus as their Saviour, King, and Lord. This is the wedding of eternity. You don’t want to miss this celebration. I believe it will be ongoing for 1000 years.
Regardless of how long the wedding supper lasts, we will be rejoicing and celebrating with Jesus in Jerusalem with Israel and the nations. Then will be celebrating eternally with the Father and the Lamb for an eternity.