Last year my husband, Tom, decided to build an airy log pergola in the back yard. He spent weeks hacking into the bedrock to smooth out a level area for his “stage” so that when musically-minded friends came they could entertain those who aren’t, as we sit around our big fire pit. I watched this open-air Log extravaganza going up and began to think that, unbeknownst to the hard-laboring, rock-chipping husband, this was going to be the perfect place for celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles! ( Ok, I also thought it would be a great place to enclose for either a greenhouse or a big chicken-coop should the need arise someday but, I digress.) The pergola is finished and is a thing of beautiful simplicity, the stage has been used from time to time by musical friends and this year on the First day of the Feast of Tablernacles and the occasion of the 4th Blood Moon, it finally achieved it’s destiny and was turned into a Feast of Tabernacles Booth/Sukkah–mountain style! Ta-dah!
No willows, Lulav and citron or real grapes for us in Lake City! We have pine boughs, golden aspen leaves and plastic grapes. Real fruit could attract bears this time of year and that sort of visitation could turn this into an entirely different kind of party!
We grilled hamburgers, and folks brought pot-luck side dishes. We dined in the Sukkah, and friends sat around the bonfire and admired the sunset as we waited. We waited and we watched and (yawn) waited… and waited some more for that ol’ eclipsing moon to clear the tall mountains behind our house! ( special thanks to new friend, Suzy Hancock for the photos!)
Finally! At long last there it came! Completely darkened for just a few moments by the time we finally saw it and then it began to brighten as it rose and headed on it’s western arc. Blood Moons on Hebrew Holy days are rare and said to portend something big ( like a war) for Israel. We saw this phenomenon shortly after Israel became a nation, and go immediately to war in 1948. And then again in the Yom Kippur War in the late 1960’s. This particular Blood Moon/Super moon was visible in Jerusalem. We continue to support Israel, pray for the peace of Jerusalem and wisdom for Benjamin Netanyahu who is surrounded by persistent, aggresive enemies.
What is this Feast of Tabernacles though, and what did it mean back in the day for the Hebrew people and what does it mean for us today? We have been talking these past weeks about the Fall Feasts of the Lord. Trumpets, Yom Kippur and now the last one, the Granddaddy of them all, is the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot:
Also alternately referred to in scripture as the Feast of Ingathering because it is celebrating the bringing in of the Fruit Harvest. In days past the Hebrew people were instructed to come three times a year for mandatory attendance to the original Tabernacle and later the Temple…where the Spirit of the Living God dwelled in the Holy of Holies. They were to pitch little tents, or build booths or huts and decorate them with specific fauna and flora.
Tabernacles was/is all about the Joy. Looking back this feast or Divine Appointment was a reminder of the joy and wonder that the Lord had brought them out of bondage and provided for them with his grace and goodness during their time in the wilderness. That’s the purpose of building the little booth or hut. He is forcing them( and now us) to recall that time of amazing divine provision when they had no resources of their own. El Shaddai is faithful to meet our every need.
Looking back, the first Yom Kippur Moses came down with the Law off the mountain. ( this is the replacement set of tablets, if you recall) Following shortly thereafter, the very first Feast of Tabernacles was marked as they begin to implement the plan God gave Moses for the actual building of THE Tabernacle. It was to be the mobile place of worship, that housed the Ark of the Covenant; and that traveled with them wherever they went in the wilderness. Every aspect , every design and every materiel used in the making of that Tablernacle tells us something about the nature of God and leads us by this symbolism, to his son, Yeshua ha Mashiach. It is a beautiful study unto itself and necessary to historically insert it here during the actual Feast of Tabernacles.
God Dwelling with us is a huge historical theme in the wilderness history of the Hebrew People. God dwelling with us as a Messianic Prophecy is fulfilled with the Birth of Jesus ( I believe he was born on day one of the Feast of Tabernacles Sabbath and dedicated on the 8th day, the day of new beginnings, at the Temple on the final Sabbath day of The Feast of Tabernacles.) Future Tense, This Feast looks forward to the Coming Messianic Kingdom when Jesus comes and Dwells with Us forever. More goodness, More Provision, More Joy!
During Biblical accounts, once the Hebrew people moved into the Promised Land this Feast was a picture of the Lord’s ongoing grace and provision as the Fall Fruit harvest was brought into the store houses. Provision and goodness from a God who continually blessed them.
It is/was a Joyous Celebration that looked toward the winter rains that were needed between November and March to ready and prepare the ground for the coming seed. A beautiful foreshadowing of the work of the Holy Spirit. We pray today for the Holy Spirit to be poured out in Revival and a harvest of Biblical Proportions to ensue!
Elaborate, daily, temple ceremonies had the High Priest scooping water from the Pool of Siloam and that being poured out with the wine offering on the brazen altar. Another picture of the work and nature of the coming Yeshua ha Mashiach. The Light Ceremonies of the Temple era were something to behold. Each evening, huge lanterns on tall poles were kept lit with olive oil.
The priests all sang and danced through the night, before the crowds, twirling their torches and singing praises to God. The lights of the temple were purportedly able to be seen many miles away to the Mediterranean Sea and Jerusalem was known idiomatically, during these Feast Days as the “Light of the World”. This celebration of the Lights was a picture of the Coming Messianic Kingdom of God. It was a picture of entering into that Joy, Into the Messiah’s rest and salvation and Liberty from bondage!
In blatantly “Messianic” statements, Jesus our Messiah told us that He is the Light of the World in John 8:12 and John 9:5. Jesus is following that “Tabernacles” line of thought in Matthew 5:13-16 when he tells his disciples that They- and we– are the salt and light of the world, to a world, that is stumbling in total darkness.
I hope that you will study further about The Feast of Tabernacles in Exodus 23:16-17, Exodus 34:22-23, Leviticus:33-43, Numbers 29: 12-39, Deut. 31:10-13, Deut. 16:16
It was at the dedication of the brand new Solomon’s Temple ,that we read of in 2 Chronicles, on the Feast of Tabernacles. Read this amazing story of how the Shekinah Glory of the Lord descended from Heaven to first, light the fire on the Altar and then to fill the Holy of Holies.
In the midst of the Worship, all the Priests fell out under the power of the Holy Spirit like an Old Time Pentecostal Prayer Meeting and couldn’t do their jobs. I want to highlight two important things here: First, praise and worship bring us into the Presence of God. Secondly, that when God shows up in Power and Glory ,there are clear, unmistakable definitive signs that He has arrived! 1 Kings 8 and 2 Chronicles 7:1-10 give additional insight.
Compare this story to Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit arrives at the Feast of Pentecost. (Also at the Temple at the hour of the morning sacrifice) God doesn’t change. But, he does want to change your life. He would love a special, close, loving relationship with you. He wants nothing more than to “tabernacle” with you. Again, it is that picture of the Jewish Wedding under the little chuppah replicating His desire to dwell in intimacy with His Bride!
Will you ask Him to move in, dine at your sukkot table, set up his throne room in you? This is The Harvest Time and He is Lord of the Harvest! Have you accepted Jesus as your Messianic King? Is he Lord of your Life? Do you want to Tabernacle with God in the “booth ” of your heart? Will you ask/ invite him in or wander in the wilderness without His direction?
Email me if you need to talk or have further questions. This is the best and most important decision that any of us ever make and it will change your outlook and your life forever! It is all about the Joy and Jesus is the Joy!
P.S. If you are a Feverseason.com follower here in Lake City please be advised that beginning October 7– I will be teaching a new Bible Study beginning on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 at the Lake City School library. Please join us ! Everyone is welcome!