“‘On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the LORD for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day. ‘Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. ‘You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. ‘You shall live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.’” So Moses declared to the sons of Israel the appointed times of the LORD.” Leviticus 23:39-43
I am sitting in my house on a comfortable chair, with my computer on a nice, solid table, looking at all the blessings around me: a stove, an oven, a refrigerator, comfortable couches, cozy beds, etc. As I am looking past our living room, on to our patio that overlooks Jerusalem, I also see our Sukkah, ready to be decorated by our kids with their handmade decorations. My wife is preparing another amazing meal, guests are on their way, and in couple of hours we are going to have our first meal in our Sukkah as we celebrate the first night of the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles or Booths). This is, no doubt, one of our favorite feasts to celebrate as a family.
With all the excitement, I am also reflecting upon the amazing blessings of the Lord in my life; looking at the simple Sukkah on our patio reminds me how He has blessed me with so much. Just a little over 15 years ago, I was emerging from the desert, beginning my own personal journey of redemption… redemption from the slavery of sin into the freedom of the promised land of our Lord.
Then I think of God’s amazing faithfulness to His children, the Children of Israel, that here we are in the year 5774 (according to the Jewish Calendar), in the Land of Israel, in God’s city, the city of Jerusalem, thousands of years later, celebrating God’s appointed times. The mere fact that I can remind my wife, our kids, and our guests in just a few hours in our Sukkah, of God’s faithfulness to deliver Israel from slavery in Egypt, to provide all of their needs in the desert, and bring them into the Promised Land, is amazing.
As I mentioned, this is also a personal reminder of how God brought me out of my own personal Egypt, and as I look at all He has blessed me with today, and reflect upon the way He has provided me with so much during this journey, I am humbled. The fact is that the same God who delivered my people years ago is the same God we believe in today; He is the same yesterday, today, and forever…
Whether or not you celebrate Sukkot, let me encourage you to take a moment during this season, reflect upon where you were, be thankful for where you are, and look forward to where you will be. God’s faithfulness to complete the work He began in you will never change!
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