Speak to the children of Israel, saying: “The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord.” (Leviticus 23:34)
The seventh of the seven moedim — “appointed times” — is the Feast of Tabernacles, or as it is known in Hebrew, Sukkot. This is the plural form of the Hebrew word that means “booth” or “Tabernacle” and refers to a seven day festival that marks the end of the yearly feast cycle. Looking backward this is a festival that commemorates the season in the wilderness when God provided for Israel in the wilderness. When the pillar of Cloud would arise and move, the people would strike their tents and move to the next campsite. Through all of it, God provided shelter, food, water and every other physical need, not to mention that He dwelt with them in the camp.
Looking forward, Sukkot is commonly associated with the coming Messianic Kingdom, or as most of us would refer to it, the Millennial Kingdom. In that day, the LORD will be King over all the earth and, in order to pay reverence, the nations will be summoned to come up to Jerusalem to worship. As it is written:
“It shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations … shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.” (Zechariah 14:16)
Until that time, we as followers of Messiah, experience a sampling of what it will be like in that day. In other words, if He dwells in us and we in Him, we already know what it means for Him to “tabernacle” with us. We have been gifted with His indwelling Spirit that leads and teaches us, serving as a guarantee of what is to come in the future. Therefore it seems fitting, in acknowledgement of the day when He lives — “tabernacles” — among us once again, to close with this verse:
“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.” (Revelation 21:3)
Blessings and Shalom,