Sukkot (The Feast of Tabernacles or Booths) … a season for rejoicing
By Les’a Cole
“The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Lord’s Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work,” Lev 23:33-35, NIV.
God designed each festival to be unique. Yom Teru’ah, a joyous celebration. The Days of Awe and Yom Kippur, a quiet and pensive time. And, now we have the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), a remembrance of the Hebrew children’s 40 years in the desert. It is a feast we are to celebrate Forever! He tells us to:
“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 … Live in booths for seven days,” Lev. 23:41-42, NIV.
“These are the appointed feasts of the LORD that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are My appointed feasts’” Lev. 23:2, NIV… “These are the LORD’s appointed feasts, the sacred assemblies [often translated holy convocations] you are to proclaim at their appointed times,” Lev. 23:4, NIV.
Note: how many times God calls us to His appointed feasts! Refer to Lev. 23:2-4.
Are only Jews to celebrate Sukkot? Let’s see what God says:
“Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain. If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The LORD will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles,” Zech 14:16-19, NIV.
Note: Three times in three verses He states the penalty for not celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). …. I’m thinking we should each heed His admonition!
Sukkot is a festival which God Himself instituted. It lasts for 7 days. Sages and rabbis call this “The Season of our Rejoicing,” based on Lev 23:40c. (English: Season of our Rejoicing; Hebrew: Z’man Simchateinu, זְמַן שִׂמְחָתֵנוּ)
In light of this being a season of rejoicing before our YHVH, are we willing to cast off all negative thoughts, feelings, and offenses? Are we willing to rejoice in our King of Kings? Are we willing to let Him change our attitudes into rejoicing and follow His command to “rejoice” for seven days!!
Verses upon which to meditate: Sukkot is not just for “Jews”, it’s for us all …..
- “And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the bough of leafy trees, and the willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days,” Lev 23:40, NKJV.
- “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 … Live in booths for seven days,” 23:41-42, NIV.
- “You turned my wailing [mourning] into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,” Psalm 30:11, NIV.
EXERCISE: Traditional greeting for Sukkot:חָג שָׂמֵחַ Chag Sameach! (Have a joyous festival)
“The Holy One of Israel! You have shared Your holy days with us! What an honor. What a blessing it is to partake in Your mo’adim (appointed times). Thank You! We look forward to this time of joy. We rejoice in all You have done in our lives in the last year! We intercede for those who are recovering from surgery, We pray for those family members who are struggling with various issues. Bring each of us to a point of understanding our total dependence upon You. Help us to understand Your Holy Days and to revere them, even as You do. In Your most holy Name, we pray!”
Immediate Prayer Requests:
- USA: Wisdom for our leadership, their health, and their direction. Prayer for their safety.
- Prayer for total healing for all who are struggling physically.
- Israel: peace and righteousness.
- Protection of the persecuted church.
- Pray for healing and direction of the US
- Pray for Israel!
- Protection of the persecuted church
- Prayer for our soldiers and those in uniform: that they might be spiritually, mentally, physically, & emotionally whole!