Tabernacles is lots of fun to celebrate, sort of a Messianic believers’ Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled into one. Getting prepared for the big week of rejoicing, with food, decor, and the practical side of the holiday can wrap up our time and energy, but let’s not forget the spiritual side of Tabernacles celebrations. This is the most important part of the holiday: setting our hearts in gratitude, thanksgiving, and humility before YHVH. We keep our focus not only on what God has done to dwell with us, but what He will do to dwell with us – He will return, and we will celebrate a seven- day marriage supper of exquisite joy! And our little celebrations now remember the history, and foreshadow the prophecy, expressing that gratitude, that anticipation, that hope, and that joy, in the best way we know how.
feast of tabernacles scriptures – Everything (to my knowledge) written about Tabernacles.
I think there is a two-fold reason for the Sabbath rest commandment on the 1st day of Tabernacles. Resting from our daily labor allows us to focus our time and attention on YHVH, on His appointed day. He has made an appointment to meet with us, and we honor that appointment by setting aside our cares and concerns and to-do lists, clear our plate of responsibilities, and meet with Him! That there is another Sabbath rest commanded for the 8th day opens and closes our season of joy and rejoicing with our our focus on Him.
Secondly, Sabbath rest foreshadows the gospel of grace. What we earned for ourselves by our sin, was painful toil, but what YHVH has provided for us as a gift of grace, was rest from labor and work(s). On every Sabbath we proclaim the gospel and confirm it with our witness!
appearing before YHVH
We already mentioned resting on the annual Sabbath so that we can focus our attention on YHVH, on His appointed day. Since the feast day, moed, is His day He has appointed to meet with man, how do we meet with Him and appear before Him, this far away from Jerusalem, and with the Temple not standing?
Today, Yeshua, who is Immanuel, God with us, dwells with us:
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.” Rev 3:20
This is what we do to open our door and invite Him in to dine and dwell with us on the feast day. We open our feast meal with corporate prayer:
“Father, we recognize You and acknowledge You as our Creator, God, and Father, Savior, and Redeemer, on Your hallowed day. We have set this day apart to meet with You according to the commandment. Please, we ask You, as we humble our hearts before You, let Your presence come and join us around this table, in the day of our joy; joy, we say, because You have been good to us, blessed us, and rescued us with an outstretched arm in this past year. Thank You for it, Father!”
And He does!
The only comment I need to add to the above explanation, for our modern-day feast observance, is that since most of us receive income more than three times in the year, we set aside our firstfruits tithe – the first 10% of our income, before any bills are paid or expenses taken out – to tithe on the feast day.
the sin sacrifice
Yeshua is our sin sacrifice, Amen?
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Heb 9:14
When we have communion, which we do on all feast days (keep reading), we acknowledge Yeshua our sin sacrifice, and thank Him for our forgiveness, salvation and new life.
the whole burnt offering
We dedicate our hearts in love to YHVH, and offer our lives as a living olah, a living whole burnt offering, to Him.
bread and wine
The grain and drink offerings, even those, remain for us to observe on the feast. The grain offering was of bread, and the drink offering was of wine. This is why our family celebrates the Lord’s supper (1 Cor 11) in remembrance of Messiah Yeshua and the Messianic significance of the day, on every feast day.
the holy convocation
What is a holy convocation? The scripture reveals it to us in Nehemiah 8 and 9.
dwelling in booths
In this too, we have something to look forward to, and something to look back on. The day is coming, with the return of Messiah Yeshua, and after we enter the eighth millennium, when we will dwell with YHVH again, just as Adam did in the Garden. All the work of the enemy, which he did to separate us from God, will be undone, for we will physically dwell with Him and not be separated from Him ever again. And even that foreshadow looks back to the Garden. When we are feasting in our booths, surrounded by our decorations of beautiful boughs and abundant fruits, is that not a picture of the time we dwelt with God in the Garden, with lovely greenery and abundant fruit all around us?
Finally, we are to rejoice before YHVH with thanksgiving and great joy on this feast above all the feasts. We have to remember that this feast is a prophetic proclamation of the return of Messiah Yeshua, and we are united to Him as His bride in the marriage supper of the Lamb – a week-long feast of great joy.
But beyond the our joy which looks ahead, we have our joy which looks behind. We have been delivered from the kingdom of darkness, and set free from sin, death, and all the power of the devil, as surely as Israel was delivered from slavery in Egypt, and dwelt in booths in the wilderness. It is a wonderful deliverance and worthy of great joy!
Moreover, it is good for us and our children to look back on the past year just concluded, and recount all the goodness of YHVH which He bestowed on us. Even if it was a hard year, if you ask YHVH to open your eyes, you will be able to find His goodness, His blessing, His love, His grace, and His favor in many myriad and tangible expressions. Take the children of Israel for your example. They complained all through the wilderness journey, but in reality YHVH was leading them as a Father leads His children whom He loves, and as the Good Shepherd leads His sheep to green pastures and still waters. It just takes a realignment of our perception at times!