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Sukkot 5764

Written by Sue Thurston on . Posted in Sukkot

Leviticus 23:14 The Lord said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the LORD, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies."

And ADONAI instructs Moses in the observance of His holy assemblies. At Leviticus 23:39 ADONAI proclaims the Feast of Tabernacles shall occur on the 15th day of the seventh month (Tishrei). Tishrei 15 in the year 5764 is October 11, 2003. The Feast of Tabernacles, also called Sukkot, is a time so joyous that it is referred to among the other feasts and festivals as "The Feast."

"Dwelling" is a theme associated with Sukkot." Journeying through the wilderness, GOD dwelt with the Hebrew tribes. As a pillar of fire by night He was warmth, and as a cloud by day He protected them from the desert sun’s heat. ADONAI structured the Feast of Tabernacles as an eternal remembrance for the Israelites, "so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt" Leviticus 24:43. ADONAI told the Israelites to construct makeshift huts, also called sukkahs or booths, to loosely pile foliage on top, and live inside the hut for seven days during this festival. The Feast of Tabernacles begins and ends with a Sabbath day of rest, with sacrifices and celebration in the interim. The Israelites are to take choice fruits and foliage and "rejoice before the LORD your GOD for seven days." This eight-day harvest festival was a time for the serious worship of an awesome GOD, and joyous thankfulness for the provision from His hand.

Traditionally the hut, or sukkah, is festively decorated with fruit and colorful items often made by children. This festival is so anticipated that construction often begins immediately upon the conclusion of Yom Kippur, the most solemn occasion of the year. During mild weather it is customary to take meals and spend the night in the sukkah.

Also called the Feast of Ingathering, Sukkot marks the end of the fall harvest season and is replete with harvested grains, fruits and produce. Some theorize that the American Thanksgiving was patterned after Sukkot as the Puritan colonists were adept students of the Hebrew scriptures.

We read at Zechariah 14:16 that the Feast of Tabernacles will continue to be observed in Jerusalem by the nations during the Messianic reign. At that time Israel and the world will accept the Messiah who will bring peace to the world.

Some believe that ADONAI designated Sukkot as a rehearsal for the birth of the Messiah. One thing is certain. An early Temple celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles involved a priest pouring water onto the alter amidst dancing and singing throngs of worshipers, signifying the anticipated pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon GOD’s people. Yeshua stood during the height of the celebration at the last and greatest day of the Feast, and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." John 7:37-39.

Sukkot is also called Zman Simkhatenu, the Time of Our Rejoicing. As believers we rejoice because Yeshua our Messiah has atoned for our sins, and the Spirit of GOD dwells within us. We present the sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips that confess His name (Hebrews 13:15), the name of Yeshua. And we present ourselves as living sacrifices. Believers are both the Temple where GOD dwells, and the little hut with earthly life so fleeting, yet we rejoice because we are certain that GOD’s promise is true, that He will again dwell in the midst of his peoples at His appointed time.