The Feast of Tabernacles – Sukkot

The Feast of Tabernacles – Sukkot

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the children of Israel, saying: The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD. On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a sacred assembly, you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” - Leviticus 23: 33-43 (NKJV)

The Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot celebration begins at sundown Sunday, September 23 through nightfall Sunday, September 30, 2018. It was the last of the seven biblically mandated feasts or celebrations. It was also the most joyful and was the only feast in which the Israelites were commanded by God to rejoice. (Deuteronomy 16:13-15)

The feast was a celebration of the final harvest of the year and God’s provision for His people. During this feast, the Israelites were required to leave the comfort of their homes and live in tabernacles or booths.  In this way, they would remember how their ancestors had lived in tents when they were freed from slavery and came out of Egypt. This feast was celebrated with great joy. The joy was twofold, commemorating God’s past goodness and provision during their wilderness sojourn and God’s present goodness and provision with the completion of the harvest.

In modern Israel, right after Yom Kippur, many families start building and decorating their booths in their yards or on their balconies. They spend as much time in it as possible during Sukkot, taking the evening meal together under the leafy roof and the stars of God’s glorious creation.

The ultimate fulfillment of this feast will come after the return of our Lord, when God will once again dwell, or tabernacle, with His people.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. - Revelation 21:3

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