This week our Jewish friends are celebrating Sukkot or better known as the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Tabernacles is a happy celebration where God’s people rejoice in God’s forgiveness and material blessings. Many still set up booths or temporary outside housing structures built with wood or canvas. Many times they use branches and leaves for the roof and leave enough open space to see the stars. The booth many times would be decorated with fall flowers and leaves, fruits and vegetables. Many Jewish people still will set up these booths in their yards or some even on their balconies. They will try to eat at least one meal during the time outside as these booths commemorate and bring to recall the 40 years of wondering in the wilderness for the nation of Israel. Even in our own day for almost 2000 years the people of Israel wandered around without a homeland. So these booths are to commemorate the greatness and the grace of God in providing for his chosen people. The temporary booths are left up and for eight days there is festive celebrations as they reflect back on the kindness and goodness of God. The feast of Tabernacles was one of three occasions that all Israelite men were required to go up to Jerusalem to attend. It was a feast that Jesus Himself celebrated and practiced in accordance with the Old Testament Scriptures. We see this in the seventh chapter of John’s Gospel where Jesus is celebrating the Feast of the Tabernacles.
What I found most amazing about my study in the Feast of the Tabernacles is that this is actually going to be a feast that we will be celebrating when the Lord Jesus Christ is reigning from Jerusalem for 1000 years. We find this recorded in Zechariah 14 where we read: “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 Feast 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 plagues he inflicts on the nations that do not go up upon up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles”, (Zech.14:16-19 NIV). This ancient festival will be celebrated into the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. When this passage talks about the survivors of all nations that attacked Jerusalem it is probably referring to those enemy nations who came out and campaigned during what will become known as Armageddon. All though the armies are destroyed the people of those nations will be represented at the Feast of the Tabernacle by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. These are not a Jewish remnant but rather a remnant of the nations that tried to defeat Jesus Christ at Armageddon.
During this time, the thousand-year reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited and the glorious living water will flow out of Jerusalem to heal all the land. Gentile nations will come up to Jerusalem because that is the place where God has chosen to dwell. It was the place where the Temple was and it is the place where Jesus Christ will establish His reign. So during the millennial reign of Christ the nations will celebrate the Feast of the Tabernacles. How interesting is that. When our Jewish friends celebrate the feast of the Tabernacles by setting up booths in their yards they are commemorating the deliverance their people experienced during those 40 years of wilderness wondering. When we gather during the millennial reign of Christ we will be commemorating and celebrating the great salvation that God has provided for us through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. But it is only the Feast of Tabernacles that we’ll be celebrating for all other feast find their fulfillment in the 1st advent of Lord Jesus Christ. We won’t be celebrating Passover because the Lamb of God has already shed His blood as a payment for our sins. We don’t need the day of atonement because our atonement has been completely purchased by the Lord Jesus Christ as we saw in last week’s blog. The King who is being worshiped in this passage is the Lord Jesus Christ who will be ruling on the throne of David. God will use natural resources like rain and drought to punish any nation that does not come up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles and worship King Jesus. I would like to suggest to you that if that’s what we’re going to be doing in the millennium that’s what we should be practicing in the here and now. In the millennium we will be celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem as we worship the Lord Jesus Christ. But I believe every day in the Christian life is a day to celebrate the abundance and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. We need to celebrate the Lord Jesus Christ and worship Him on a daily basis for what He is done for us. We are going to experience a unique opportunity to have a large-scale worship service this coming Friday evening (Oct.28th, 8PM-?) at NDC by hosting the JC4NJ rally with some of our sister churches. This will be a celebration of the awesome grace and love that God has bestowed upon us and we will be lifting up corporately the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We’re practicing our worship for eternity, won’t you come out and join us? We have great reason to celebrate and rejoice in the goodness of our God and we don’t even have to wait for the Feast of Tabernacles in the millennium.
Pastor Rich Sivo