The Significance of the Feasts: Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)

It’s bittersweet to come to the end of a series; however, we’ve saved the best for last! Throughout this study, we have learned that the Lord’s timing is EVERYTHING! Nothing He does is coincidental. There is a purpose, plan, and significance behind all of it. Yet, so many believers are missing these incredible revelations because they’re so quick to throw out the Old Testament (Torah), deeming the commandments inapplicable to our lives today. However, they couldn’t be more wrong. Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, is a prime example of this. Not only is it the final feast the Lord instructed His people to observe, but it will also become a GAME CHANGER in the coming days!

What is Sukkot?

Leviticus 23:33-36, 40-43, “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Lord’s [NOT THE JEWS] Festival of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. For seven days present food offerings to the Lord, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present a food offering to the Lord. It is the closing special assembly; do no regular work. On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days… Celebrate this as a festival to the Lord for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. Live in temporary shelters for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in such shelters so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

Throughout the Scriptures, we read about God’s people celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles, a time to celebrate the Lord tabernacling (dwelling) among us. It’s incredible to read how this holy day continually falls at essential moments in Israel’s history.

The Dedication of the First Temple

After building the Temple for seven years, Solomon called for “the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefs of the Israelite families, to bring up the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Zion, the City of David. All the Israelites came together to King Solomon at the time of the festival in the month of Ethanim, the seventh month.” (1 Kings 8:1-2)

During this time, the glory of the Lord filled the Temple — tabernacling among His people. Not only is Solomon’s prayer of dedication perfect to recite as we intercede for Israel and the nations during Yom Kippur, but it’s also a great proclamation of praise that we have become His Temple and have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us (1 Corinthians 3:16-17), and that one day soon, Yeshua will return to fulfill this appointed feast!

1 Kings 8:33-34, “When your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you, and when they turn back to you and give praise to your name, praying and making supplication to you in this temple, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land you gave to their ancestors.

The Second Temple – Exiles Return

In 559 BC, Cyrus, the king of Persia, allowed more than 42,000 Israelites to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. In Ezra 3, we read, When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, the people assembled together as one in Jerusalem. Then Joshua son of Jozadak and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his associates began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, in accordance with what is written in the Law of Moses the man of God. Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening sacrifices. Then in accordance with what is written, they celebrated the Festival of Tabernacles with the required number of burnt offerings prescribed for each day.”

Nehemiah 8:14-18 adds, They found written in the Law, which the Lord had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites were to live in temporary shelters during the festival of the seventh month and that they should proclaim this word and spread it throughout their towns and in Jerusalem… So the people went out and brought back branches and built themselves temporary shelters on their own roofs, in their courtyards, in the courts of the house of God and in the square by the Water Gate and the one by the Gate of Ephraim. The whole company that had returned from exile built temporary shelters and lived in them. From the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day, the Israelites had not celebrated it like this. And their joy was very great. Day after day, from the first day to the last, Ezra read from the Book of the Law of God. They celebrated the festival for seven days, and on the eighth day, in accordance with the regulation, there was an assembly.”

While Yom Kippur is a quiet day of reflection and intercession, Sukkot is one massive party. For seven days, we are to live in temporary dwellings, proclaim the Word of the Lord throughout our towns, and spend time together thanking God for His mercies and promises!

Yeshua’s Birth

While many Christians have adopted the December 25th as Jesus’ “birthday,” His birth was actually on the first day of Sukkot! How do we know this? Well, God is not in the business of random. There is purpose in everything He does, including the season His Son came to earth! After all, John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and TABERNACLED among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, whom came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Sukkot has multiple levels, especially concerning God’s timeline, so it would be far from coincidental that the TRUE Temple — Yeshua (John 2:18-22) — would do something significant during the Feast of Tabernacles. Moreover, there are eight days during Sukkot — the final day is often known as the Last Great Day. According to God’s commandments, when a baby boy is born, he is to be circumcised and named on the eighth day of his birth, which Yeshua was. Luke 2:21 states, “On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named [Yeshua], the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.”

What better time is there for Yeshua to be born and named, if not within the Feast of Tabernacles and on the LAST GREAT DAY?! Especially when we look at what will happen on this day in the possibly near future!

The Second Coming – The Fulfillment of the Feast

During Yeshua’s time on earth, He spoke of His return and raising the dead back to life. John 6:38-40 says, “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the LAST DAY.

We also see this clearly pointed out in John chapters 7-9, when Yeshua went to Jerusalem during Tabernacles and preached in the Temple’s courts. Notice the parallel of what Yeshua proclaims in John 7:37-38 and Revelation 21:6-7 (when the last trumpet has been blown – Yom Teruah – judgment is complete – Yom Kippur – and the Bride is dressed for the Marriage Supper – Sukkot/Last Great Day):

John 7:37-38, On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’

Revelation 21:6-7, It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.”

It is the final declaration, the final piece to be accomplished before entering the Millennial Kingdom! THIS is why the feasts are so important!! Not only do they remind us of all that God has done since the beginning of time and what Yeshua did during His time on earth, but they also prepare us for the End when we will not only see the Messiah’s return but receive our reward of salvation!!

Revelation 22:17, “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”

How Should We Celebrate This Feast?

Sukkot is one of the most exciting festivals of the Lord, not only because we are waiting in hopeful anticipation to attend the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, but because it is a great opportunity to come together and worship our Messiah! Whether you stay at home or join a group of friends camping, this is a joyful week of celebration, fellowship, and praise for the Lord’s faithfulness, Yeshua’s birth, and His marriage to us!

Knowing these are the appointed times of God brings a whole new outlook on our year and lives! Though I know people love their traditions, the more I study the Scriptures and recognize the selfish indulgences of popular holidays compared to the Lord’s feasts, the more I desire to cling to His ways. The God of the Old Testament is the SAME God of the New; the only difference is that we have been blessed with a second chance to return to the Messiah and be made one after our sin and disobedience separated Him from us.

I have loved going through this study and sharing what the Father has revealed about His timing and the significance these feasts play in our lives today. I hope you have enjoyed this series as much as I have!

Final Prayer

Lord, I want to thank you for this opportunity to get to know you more and understand the timing of all you have done and have yet to do. Thank you for your Son, Yeshua, and the sacrifice He made for us so we could return in covenant with you! We worship you, Lord, and desire to be a representation of you. Take away the worldly desires of our hearts and put your Spirit in us to lead us in the ways of purity, faithfulness, obedience, and humility. I pray that through this series, others will understand why your feasts are so important and draw closer to you as they meditate on what has been written. “May the words of [our] mouths and the mediation of [our] hearts be pleasing to your sight, oh, Lord!” Finally, we ask that Your Will be done! Bring your people back to you, back to the Land, opening the eyes of the blind and unshackling the chains of sin that so many remain restricted by. Bring an awakening that will shake the foundations of this world, destroying the strongholds of religion to reveal your promises and truth! In Yeshua’s mighty name. Amen!

1 John 5:1-5, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

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