Today is the 15th day of Tishri, the first day of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles). It was on this day that, according to tradition, Abraham sent his servant to Nahor in order to fetch a wife for his son, Isaac. This is recorded in Genesis 24:3-4:
“And I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”
It was very important to Abraham, and later just as important to Isaac, that their son not be married to the inhabitants of the land. Later on, Isaac was very disappointed in his son, Esau, because he married two women from the daughters of Heth (Gen. 27). It’s also very clear that, though Abraham’s servant leaves Canaan to fetch a wife for Isaac and, later, Jacob goes to Padam-Aram for the same reason, Abraham’s and Rebecca’s family were idolators, as well. So what was the big difference?
It’s interesting that, for both Isaac and Jacob, the search for a bride was conducted outside the land that would one day be called Israel. In other words, and this is particularly obvious in the case of Rebecca and Isaac, the bride for the promised Son was sought out in the nations, which is to say, among the Gentiles. It seems obvious that this is to be understood as a pattern for what would come later: the Heavenly Father, by His Spirit, is searching the nations for those who are to be betrothed to the Promised Son, the Messiah.
Among other things, the Feast of Tabernacles is a memorial of the Kingdom. It’s portends the time when the Bride will be joined to the Bridegroom. Leading up to this special time, she makes herself ready in anticipation of being joined to her husband. Tabernacles is also the festival to which the nations are called. Zechariah 14 makes this very clear in Zechariah 14. And so, it’s a feast that memorializes the Kingdom, hints at the union of the Bride and Bridegroom, and is a feast that those who live outside of the land are called to.
On this very first day of Sukkot, we are reminded that we have been set apart, unto the Messiah, as a Bride unto her husband. We are not to be joined to those of the world as Esau was to the daughters of Heth. We are not to be joined to the culture and all of its enticements and snares that would lure us astray. We are to be faithful to our commitment to Messiah in anticipation of being joined to Him, face to face.
To all those who observe this time, have a great Feast of Tabernacles. May His Presence be with you and may it be said of you and your family what was said of Israel long ago:
“How lovely are your tents, O Jacob? You dwellings, O Israel!” (Numbers 24:5)