You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. (Leviticus 23:42-43)
Very often, the Feast of Tabernacles is referred to as the “Season of our Joy.” Not only is it a time to remember and to rejoice in the fact God provided all that His people needed, it is a celebration of the fact that He is concerned with our well-being, today. Furthermore, considering the ominous nature of Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur — judgment and acknowledgement of sin — Sukkot provided (and still provides) a time for Israel to celebrate and be thankful for God’s mercy, His provision and protection.
So now, as then, we are to remember that God caused Israel to live in temporary dwellings — booths or tents. Nevertheless, as primitive as their living situation was, they did not have to fear the beasts of the wilderness nor dread the heat of the desert; God cared for them in every way. That is not to say that life was always pleasant, but I have learned — as I’m sure most of you have — that God doesn’t always give us what we want but always provides just what we need.
Perhaps that is one of the many lessons to be learned from this particular feast time — God provides what we need and not necessarily everything we want. Frankly, it was in the wilderness that we see just what they wanted — everything that Egypt had offered them. However, that also included the bondage and servitude expected of them by Pharaoh. On the other hand, God promised freedom from bondage but expected His people to serve Him out of love. Thus, just as we might expect from a loving Father, He only gives us what we need because He knows that what we want is probably NOT what we need. Knowing this should bring us joy, not just for a season but for every day.
Blessings and Shalom,