THE GRAND FINALE
The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast
of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. (Lev 23:34)
The Feast of Tabernacles (Succoth) was the final and by far
the most festive and joyous of the Lord's festivals. History
records that four huge candelabras were constructed, lighted,
and attended by young men ascending ladders periodically with
pitchers of oil to keep them burning. The light from these lamps
illuminated the whole city of Jerusalem, and around them danced
distinguished men with torches in their hands, singing hymns
and songs of praise. The dancing as well as the music continued
until daybreak. It was an extravaganza! Scholars suggest that
Jesus referred to this custom when he spoke those well known
words, "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12).
The harvest was completed, the work was done, hearts were filled
with gratitude. For these reasons, this festival is also known
as the Feast of Ingathering (Ex. 23:16). They came with rejoicing
bring in the sheaves!
This festival was called the "Feast of Tabernacles"
(Lev. 23:34) because the Israelites actually "camped out"
in temporary shelters in remembrance of how God had been their
provider (Jehovah Jireh) in their wilderness journeyings, having
supplied all of their needs; food, shelter, clothing and good
health. It also became a designated time for giving special
thanks for the harvest of the fields and newborn livestock of
the year. It could be rightly viewed as the biblical "Thanksgiving"
Spiritually the celebration of Tabernacles represents the fullness
of Christ in His Church. It reminds us that He is our shelter
and our refuge in the time of storm:
"For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion;
in the secret of his TABERNACLE shall he hide me; (Ps. 27:5).
"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold,
the TABERNACLE (dwelling) of God is with men, and he will dwell
with them, (Rev. 21:3).
PRAY FOR THE LATTER RAIN
During the Feast of Tabernacles in Old Testament times, a priest
would pour out in the temple pitchers of water, taken from the
pool of Siloam, to signify Israel's gratitude for the rain that
had produced the harvest, and to pray for rain to return in
the coming year. There is a spiritual lesson in this demonstration.
The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ should be in special prayer
for the rain of God's Holy Spirit and the revelation of restored
truth. for our day and time
"Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain;
so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers
of rain, to everyone grass in the field" (Zech. 10:1).
"Be glad then ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the
LORD your God; for he hath given you the former rain moderately,
and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former
rain, and the latter rain in the first month. And the floors
shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine
and oil. AND I SHALL RESTORE..."(Joel 2:23-25).
My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil
as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the
showers upon the grass" (Deut. 32:2).
Interestingly, it was at this very celebration of Tabernacles,
during the pouring out of water and prayers for the latter rain,
that we read:
In the last day, that great day of the feast, (Tebernacles/SimchatTorah)
Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst let him come
unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture
hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."
(St. John 7:37-38).
Prophetically, this festival celebrates both the first coming
of the Messiah (a brochure on Jesus' birth is available). and
His final appearance Rabbis have called it "Messiah's Feast"
because of the following words of the prophet Zechariah:
"And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of
Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount
of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east
and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley;
and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and
half of it toward the south. And it shall come to pass, that
every one that is left of all the nations which came against
Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to WORSHIP THE
KING, the LORD of hosts and to KEEP THE FEAST OF TABERNCLES"
Since the Church is the "...true Tabernacle, which the
Lord pitched, and not man" (Heb. 8:2, and since our Lord
is the thirst quenching "water of life" (St. John
4:13-14), Believers have much to celebrate at this festival
Jesus is coming again! If we are to participate in the WORSHIP
of the King as described by Zechariah, it is important that
the Church receive a clear understanding of this Biblical celebration
day. It is appropriate that all Christians begin now to make
this celebration a vital part of their appointed times for special
Worship and Praise.
ACKNOWLEDGED BY JESUS
As the Feast of "Ingathering", this festival also
demonstrates the ingathering of God's "elect" from
the four corners of the earth, about which Jesus prophesied.
Jesus said, "Go ye up unto this feast..." (St. John
7:8). Our Lord celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles during His
Judean ministry and encouraged His disciples to do so. Therefore,
it should continue to be celebrated by the Church today. It
is "Messiah's Feast."