Tabernacles Today; Tabernacles in the Future

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by Bill Katz

On September 20th, 2021, at sundown, the Jewish world will celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, also known as Sukkot. Of all the Fall Feasts, this is the first one in which we get to celebrate something!  The first two feasts (Rosh Hashana — the Feast of Trumpets, and Yom Kippur — the Day of Atonement) are feasts more somber in nature, as they encompass a serious time of repentance known as the "Ten Days of Awe". 

Here is what Leviticus 23 says about the Feast of Tabernacles:

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 branches of trees with thick branches and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.So you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a permanent 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.’”
Leviticus 23:39–43

This is a time to remember that the Lord delivered the children of Israel from the slavery in the Land of Egypt. It is also a time to remember that the Lord sustained us for forty years as we wandered in the wilderness.  You see the booth that God commanded us to dwell in is feeble and very fragile; it could easily be brought down by just a gust of wind. Rabbis say it is supposed to remind us that we are weak and feeble, as well. In a sense, we are like the succah, but this is supposed to remind us that just as we are feeble and weak, God is the one who sustains us. 

In my opinion, the Feast of Tabernacles is also supposed to remind us of a future deliverance:  a time when the world will be delivered from sin and Messiah will reign. And how we need His deliverance today! When I look at the condition of the world and the direction in which it is moving; how the world embraces sin more and more while people reject the teachings and the values of the Bible; and more and more people who were once disciples of Messiah turn away from Him, I yearn for Messiah to come back and establish His kingdom here on earth. And when He does, Scripture tells us that the whole world will celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles!  Look what Zachariah has to say about this:

Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of armies, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths [Tabernacles].
Zachariah 14:16

What a blessed time this will be!  Can you imagine it?  All the nations of the world will come to Jerusalem to worship the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings!  The prophets give us a detailed description of how the world will be when Messiah reigns. Consider what Isaiah writes in Isaiah 65:

For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.  But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create. For behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing And her people for gladness.  I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people;
And there will no longer be heard in her the voice of weeping and the sound of crying.
Isaiah 65:17–19

First, Isaiah tells us that Jerusalem will be a place for rejoicing!  No longer will people have anything to fear, and there will be no weeping or crying!  Isaiah continues:

No longer will there be in it an infant who lives only a few days, or an old person who does not live out his days; For the youth will die at the age of a hundred, And the one who does not reach the age of a hundred will be thought accursed.
Isaiah 65:20

There will be no more sickness!  No longer will mothers and fathers worry about their sick children; we will not see pictures of children in ICU's anymore. We will not have to worry about hospitals, doctors, and medical procedures, as there will be no more sickness. How wonderful will that be?

Even the way the Lord relates to us will change significantly:

It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will listen.
Isaiah 65:24

No more waiting, no more wondering, no more worrying about anything, for the Creator of the Universe will answer our prayers immediately! We will have a more intimate relationship with Him.

Perhaps the most wonderful thing of all is that the consequences that sin brought to this world will disappear because Messiah will reestablish His kingdom here on earth. The evils of this world will disappear and even creation will be brought back to harmony as the following verse explains:

The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will do no evil or harm on all My holy mountain,” says the LORD.
Isaiah 65:25

It is so easy to look at the condition of the world today and despair for our children's future. I have a baby daughter and as I think of the future, sometimes I worry. But then I am reminded by scriptures like these, that one day Messiah will establish His kingdom and we will be delivered from sin and its consequences.  And when we all go up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, we will have much to celebrate! 

Until that glorious day, we can celebrate Sukkot — the Feast of Tabernacles- dreaming of and looking forward to that day.


Did you know? — Lone Soldier

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