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The Feast of Tabernacles
“And they found written in the Law, which the Lord had
commanded Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell
in booths during the feast of the seventh month, and that
they should announce and proclaim in all their cities and
in Jerusalem saying, “Go out to the mountains, and bring
olive branches, palm branches, and branches of leafy trees
to make booths as it is written.”
The yearly celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles is one of the three great annual and biblically required festivals; the other two being Passover and Pentecost. These biblical Feasts have great significance in that they all speak of the glorious redemptive plan of God. Passover teaches us about the Door to the Kingdom of God in that we can only be saved from our sins by the spilt blood of a lamb. This serves as a glorious picture of the death of Christ. Pentecost reminds us of the Power of the Kingdom of God. That is, the giving of the word of God and the coming of the Holy Spirit upon blood washed believers on the Day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:1-4)
The Feast Tabernacles is a picture of the Triumph of the Kingdom of God since it reminds us that all of life is to be lived under the protection and sovereignty of God. The Israelites coming out of Egypt were required to build leafy booths and to live in them for eight days. These were very fragile and could not protect one from the harsh desert conditions. The lesson was clear; God would protect and care for them. We have to learn this lesson as well as so often, as Jesus pointed out, we are consumed with anxiety and worry about so many of life’s issues. Our Father in Heaven cares for us and watches over us every day because we are part of His Kingdom! How easily we forget this. (Matthew 6:25-34)
Jesus underlined this when on the Great Day of the Feast of Tabernacles, as He watched the water libation service in the temple, He cried out that if we believe in and follow Him a river of God’s love, empowered by the Holy Spirit, will flow out of our lives bringing joy and blessing to our lives. This is the triumph of the Kingdom of God in our personal lives and we should be living in it! (John 7:37-39)
The Feast of Tabernacles also points us to the future when, by the second coming of Jesus, the world will finally be subjected to the Kingdom of God. That is, Jesus will reign over the nations from Jerusalem and peace will for the first time envelop the world. War will be a thing of the past and for a thousand years the nations will live in the very light of the glory of God. What a day that will be and to celebrate it the nations will ascend every year to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:16-19) We await then a glorious fulfillment of this great Feast and our annual celebration of it is a prophetic picture pointing to the coming Triumph of the Kingdom of God.
In fact this day is fast approaching and the restoration of Israel in our time is evidence of it. It is worth noting then that the Feast of Tabernacles is a joyful celebration and those living in the Kingdom of God are actually commanded to be joyful. All this reminds us that serving Jesus brings much joy to our lives and this Joy is supernatural and powerful. Paul noted this when he wrote:
“For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17
Those celebrating the Kingdom of God at the Feast of Tabernacles carry a Lulav, which amounts to four species of plants. These tell us that we are all at different spiritual growth levels in that some are weak, others are strong, some are complacent and yet others are discouraged. God loves us all and desires that we should all celebrate His love with much joy at the Feast Tabernacles!