The Biblical Feasts of Tabernacles (called Sukkot) begins the evening of October 4th. There are seven total feasts in Leviticus chapter 23. Four of them are in the spring. Three of them are in the autumn.
The Feast of Trumpets (Feast 5) and Yom Kippur (Feast 6) both occurred a few days ago in September. Now the last feast – Tabernacles (Feast 7) will be the last major Feast until the cycle starts next year again with Passover.
Since Yom Kippur (Feast 6) focuses upon forgivness of sins….. the last feast is a joyous one. After sins are forgiven – what do you do? Celebrate of course!
And they do this by building booths (huts) in their back yards that are up for seven days. They are richly decorated with fruit and things and are made of wood. They will set a table inside and families will eat and eat under the stars! This life we live in may be shaky like this tent, but God provided for us yet again!
According to rabbinic tradition, these flimsy sukkot represent the huts in which the Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of wandering in the desert after escaping from slavery in Egypt. The tabernacle was temporary to remind us that this world is not our real home. It is like a tent (2 Cor 5:4). Our real joy should come from not the ‘tents’ of this world, but God alone.
Decorating the sukkah is among the most beloved of Jewish traditions, and like other practices (Tashlikh on Rosh Hashanah, dreidel on Hanukkah, the hunt for the afikoman on Pesach) provides Jewish children with an opportunity to play and show off their creativity. We decorate the sukkah with various fruits like oranges and pomegranates as well as artwork and decorative touches. The sukkah is a thing of beauty—fragrant, admitting starlight—but also frailty, letting in rain and prone to blow over when the wind is high.
Did you know that part of the Feast of Tabernacles was a water drawing ceremony done by the priests called ‘Simchat Bet Ha-Shoevah’ (The rejoicing of the House of Drawing Water). Based upon Isaiah 12:3, ‘With joy you shall draw water out of the wells of salvation.’
Did you know that Yeshua (Jesus) went to Jerusalem for this Feast? ‘In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.’ (John 7.37)
Ultimately this feast points to the REAL Tabernacle with God! ‘Behold, the tabernacle (sukkot) of God is with men, and He will dwell with them….’ (Revelation 21.3)
As we approach this autumn – let us remember that the fall feasts teach us that the BEST is yet to come! Messiah shall return. Israel shall repent. The Kingdom Shall come!