And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. (Leviticus 23:40)
Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles, is known for many things. It is associated with the coming Messianic Kingdom; it is very often called the Season of our Joy. Along with those titles, the Feast of Tabernacles is also referred to as the Feast of Ingathering. As a matter of fact, it is referred to in this way very early on in Scripture and is connected to the times when the people would gather in the fruit of their labors, specifically that which grew on the trees.
This connection between the season and the harvest of the fruit trees is why God commanded that Israel was to bring the different types of branches to their celebration of Sukkot. Even today, these so-called “four species” are waved before the LORD as an acknowledgement of obedience to this command. I have, on many occasions, had the opportunity to be part of such a gathering and it is amazing to see hundreds of worshippers waving these branches to the LORD in celebration. It was on one of these occasions that it struck me just what the prophet meant when he said, “And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12).
We must understand that, in Scripture, people are often likened to trees. Think about it, both men and trees have trunks and limbs. The Hebrew word for tree is also related to the Hebrew word for bones. Now consider that the prophecy in Isaiah alludes to the future Messianic Kingdom when we shall “go out with joy and be led forth with peace.” There can be no doubt that on that day — when Messiah sits upon the Throne in Jerusalem — that His people will break out in a resounding shout of joy, waving our palms (hands) and limbs in glorious exultation as we celebrate the King of Kings and LORD of lords. In short, God has instructed us to practice, now, for the day that is surely coming. That, I believe, is something we should be happy to celebrate and rejoice.
Blessings and Shalom,