“Rejoice during your festival — you, your son and daughter, your male and female slave, as well as the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow within your gates. You are to hold a seven-day festival for the Lord your God in the place He chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, and you will have abundant joy.” Deuteronomy 16:14-15
Greetings fellow sojourners! This is the week of the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkoth. I love the wording of the above verse. “Rejoice…because the Lord your God will bless you…”. Amen to that! One of the ways people celebrate the Feast is by dwelling in booths (or tents) as a remembrance of the huts the Israelites lived in during their 40 year wildness tarry. Sukkoth is a Hebrew word meaning ‘booths’ or ‘huts’. The biblical command is to “Rejoice” during Sukkoth for the blessing and provision God continually makes available in our lives. It follows the days of the trumpet call to appear before the Lord in repentance and awe (Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement). Since Tabernacles follows the time of introspection and repentance, this Feast represents renewed fellowship with God. Again, it is a time to “Rejoice” because He “will bless the work of our hands and we will have abundant joy.” Let’s thank the Lord this week for allowing us renewed fellowship and for blessing the work of our hands. I am not sure there is greater joy than this!
During the Israelites camp in the wilderness, they lived in temporary coverings. They learned to dwell in their strange new country with a complete dependance upon God. What I am musing is how comfortable have we become relying on what we consider our ‘permanent’ dwellings? Are we purposed to consider the places we lay our heads as our all-surpassing ‘covering’ of provision and protection? No. Have we become so accustomed to this earthly dwelling place we call ‘home’ that we cling to it and therefore our permanent eternal home that we are told to look forward to has slipped from the longings of our heart? How do the following verses instruct you?
“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” John 14:2
“Dear friends, since you are foreigners and temporary residents [in the world], I’m encouraging you to keep away from the desires of your corrupt nature. These desires constantly attack you.” 1 Peter 2:11
“These all died in faith without having received the promises, but they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth.” Hebrews 11:13
“But our citizenship is in heaven.” Philippians 3:20
Let’s not get too comfortable as temporary residents on this earth as we know it. The covering we are able to construct is only temporary and doesn’t come close to the all-surpassing covering God is willing to supply us. Our everlasting covering is not subject to the elements nor any foe we might think poses a threat. Under this covering is where we find our true freedom. It is here we find our sins are ‘covered’ and where we walk out our days on this earth blanketed (sheltered) in a ‘covering’ that is as white as snow. Thank you Jesus.
In His grace,