Shalom! Yesterday, September 23, 2018 was the beginning of a seven day Biblical Jewish Feast, called in the Hebrew: Sukkot… or as we in the western world know it: Feast of Tabernacles or Booths.
For the first time, my wife and some friends celebrated this festival (the picture is our home “Tabernacle” at dinner). Why did we celebrate it?
Well, this festival was God given in Leviticus 23:34 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the LORD.”
So, Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles was to be observed on the 15th of Tishri. The feast memorialized the Israelites living in tabernacles when the LORD brought them out of Egypt (Lev. 23:43) and dwelt or “Tabernacled” amongst them in the dessert.
Many scholars believe that this feast day points to the Lord’s promise that He will once again “tabernacle” with His people when He returns to reign over all the world (Micah 4:1-7).
Sukkot is also very interesting because in Zechariah 14:16-21 it says that when our Lord returns to rule in the Millennial Kingdom, everyone will go up to Jerusalem year after year to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles… it says in part: Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went up against Jerusalem will go up year to year to worship the king, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.
Since the church will be coming back to earth with Jesus (Revelation 19:11-14)… we will then be with Jesus at this celebration.
So, the Feast of Tabernacles is significant in this regard… because it is the festival which looks forward to the Millennial Kingdom of the Messiah. Additionally, this feast will be a memorial and a celebration of the Messiah’s reign and His eternal provision and tabernaceling amongst us… Jew and Gentile will celebrate this together in Christ’s Millennial reign on earth.
Whether or not a Christian celebrates the Jewish feast days would be a matter of conscience for the individual Christian. Colossians 2:16-17 tells us, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”
Christians are not bound to observe the Jewish feasts the way an Old Testament Jew was, but we should not criticize another believer who does or does not observe these special days and feasts (Romans 14:5).
But, this I know. Jesus celebrated the Festivals, and Sukkot will be celebrated by Jew and Gentile in the Millennial Kingdom.
So, I view the Sukkot celebration as anticipation of what is to come… a time when we all will “Tabernacle” with our great God and Savior Jesus!