The details about this Feast are found in Leviticus 23:33-44. During this seven-day celebration, no work was to be done on the first or the last day. In between these days of complete rest, offerings were to be presented to the Lord on each day of the seven-day period. The first day was a holy day and the rest of the days were feast days!
For one week, the people of Israel lived in makeshift Booths called SUKKAHs, of leafy branches, symbolizing their journey through the wilderness after leaving Egypt. Feast of Tabernacles celebrates God’s protection and provision in the Wilderness.
The Feast occurs after Israel’s Fall harvest. Also called The Feast of Ingathering, it was the major annual harvest of the year. The spring harvest was very small in comparison to the fall harvest.
All over Israel you will see sukkahs! They build them in their backyards, on their apartment porches, in the back of a truck! Then they invite friends to feast with them in celebration! A sukkah is supposed to be a makeshift structure that is easily moved. Fruit is hung as a reminder that God provides all that we need. Children make chains out of colorful paper. The sukkah provides shade and as instructed, we leave openings between leafy branches on top, so that we can see His glory in the stars at night. God wants to be our shelter and our shade.
Leviticus 23:40 says “You shall take for yourselves on the first day, the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.“You shall take for yourselves on the first day, the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 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 and 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.”
What fun to be told to rest before and after the 7 day feast and to rejoice and have joy! And to eat, eat, eat! Rest, have fun and eat. I like that!
Deut. 16:13-16 Says “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress; and you shall rejoice in your feast. Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the Lord your God…the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely will rejoice.”
In John 7, we see Jesus coming up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles! 1 Corinthians 5:8. Paul encouraged those in Corinth (mostly NOT Jewish) to celebrate the feasts!
God wanted His people to celebrate the fact that He provided shelter for them in the wilderness. Shelters or booths were to be built in which the people worshipped for the week of the feast to remind them of their departure from Egypt and their long journey to Sinai. They were to rejoice in the Lord, during the entire celebration of the feast, giving thanks to God for His abundant gifts and all that He had done. This was the only festival where rejoicing is commanded by God. It is a time for His people to remember that God dwelled with them in their wilderness journey. He guided them with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They would look up night or day and see that He was with them. God tells them to live in booths for 7 days to remind them that He was with them and supplied all they needed.
God has always desired to dwell with us. God wants to be with you. He desires to dwell with His people. He always has and always will.
There is Prophetic Fulfillment in EACH APPOINTED DAY
This feast reminded Israel of God’s blessings in the past. He had led them out of Egyptian bondage, cared for them in the wilderness, and brought them into their promised inheritance. Once they had lived in booths and tents, but in the Promised Land, they would live in houses! Tabernacles represent the Lord’s shelter in the future. The Lord will establish his Tabernacle in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 37:26) and the world will come every year to appear before the King & worship Him. A final ingathering will take place.
In the future, families of the earth (the believers) will come to Jerusalem to annually celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16-19). God is setting up His kingdom and he is going to restore it. There will be a new heaven and a new earth. Revelation 21:3 says “..behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself with be with them and be their God!” God will tabernacle with men! Can you imagine this!?! We will celebrate a spiritual harvest…the Ingathering in that day. The Future Feast of Tabernacles, celebrated on the new earth, with God Himself, will be the most joyous occasion of all time! We can look forward to it!
We can celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, because it speaks of our Messiah! It reminds us of what He has done and what He WILL DO.