On Monday night, September 20th, at sundown, we will begin our celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles. It is called Sukkot (pronounced ‘Sue Coat’) and it means booths. It will last for seven days and end at sundown on Tuesday, September 27th, at sundown. While some say this feast id the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, we need to take a closer look.
The instructions for the feast of Tabernacles are found in Leviticus 23:34-36, 41-43 “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. 35 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation (rehearsal). You shall do no customary work on it. 36 For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation (rehearsal), and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it.
41 You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43 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: I am the Lord your God.
The word ‘convocation’ appears twice in these verses. It means rehearsal. God commanded Israel to rehearse this feast yearly until the end of the age when Jesus would come to fulfill it.
The Jews were told to celebrate these seven days to commemorate the forty years they spent in the wilderness under God’s protection.
If we are disciples of Jesus, the Creator of the Universe has invited us to come together with Him on these feast days as well. It’s a time of family celebration.
In Israel today, families of Jews and Christians are coming together to honor this feast. They are building three-sided structures (sukkahs/booths) to eat and sleep in for the next seven days. These structures will have open roofs except for a few leafy branches over the beams. The reason for the openness is to highlight the fact that God, rather than any man-made covering, was their protector for those forty years, and He still is.
The Feast of Tabernacles is also a thanksgiving celebration for the fall harvest of crops. Fall is the time of the fruit and nut harvest in Israel. The Puritans who came to America were avid followers of the Word of God. More than likely what we now call Thanksgiving they were celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles. They too were thankful for God’s protection and provision.
Ultimately, the Feast of Tabernacles, which is also called the Feast of Ingathering, will be the celebration of the end-time harvest of souls and the celebration of the defeat and removal of the threat of death, hell, and all the enemy waged against mankind.
As Jesus’s Bride, we will someday enjoy a jubilant marriage supper with the Lamb of God. Revelation 19:7 says, ‘Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.’ The Feast of Tabernacles is the only feast that God commanded Israel to rejoice. It is also the only feast mentioned specifically that everyone will be required to attend forever. (Zechariah 14:6)
In the time of Jesus, the celebration occurred in the Temple courtyard of Jerusalem. The priests lit four huge menorahs each night. They were so large that light emanated over the entire city. People danced, played harps, lyres, cymbals, and lutes, and celebrated into the wee hours for the seven days.
There was also a practice called the ‘water libation.’ Libation means the pouring of liquid. On the first day of the feast, the priests got up with a trumpet blast at dawn. Then, accompanied by a gathering of the people, one of the priests carried water up from the pool of Siloam. It was enough to last throughout the seven days of the feast.
Next, the priest carried the water to the Temple with great celebration. Once at the altar, He poured some water out on the altar and another priest poured wine. This was an act of prayer and an expression of dependence upon God to pour out his blessing of rain upon the earth.
Isaiah spoke of this practice in Isaiah 12:3 “With joy you shall draw water out of the wells of salvation.” Jesus’ name means salvation.
In the time of Jesus, John wrote about what happened on the seventh day of the feast in John 7:37-39. On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Let’s look back at Yom Kippur and read Revelation 19:6-9 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
‘Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.’
9 Then the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ And he added, ‘These are the true words of God.’
But when is the Wedding Supper of the Lamb and who are those invited? At this point in the story, Jesus has not returned on His white horse to destroy the enemy and the wicked — the wrath of God.
Then from verses 11-16 of Revelation 19, we see Jesus returning with His army for the final battle.
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS.
Then, in verses 17-21 we read about another supper–the supper of the great God. It is the scene where the beast and his armies are destroyed. So, Revelation 19 speaks of two suppers. One will be a celebration and the other the end of chaos. These are two sides of the Day of the LORD.
Next, in chapter 20, we see satan bound for 1,000 years. He and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire to be tormented forever. Then the Great White Throne Judgement follows.
It is not until chapter 21, that we get a sense that it may be time for the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “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. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Only God can say with absolute certainty when the Wedding Supper will take place. But we can say with certainty that it will, because God doesn’t lie. Still, it looks as if all the preceding mentioned events will take place before the supper can be celebrated. It also is possible that it will be during the Feast of Tabernacles since ALL the people left on earth are commanded to gather in Jerusalem for that feast. Only God knows.
In the meantime, the Feast of Tabernacles is a rehearsal of living in union with God and with one another forever–no more sickness, sorrow or death. No more deception, fear, strife, or regret. Now, for these reasons, we have reason to celebrate.
We didn’t hear the Last Trump this year or the Great Last Trump. So, this wonderful feast is still in our future. When He comes, may He find us ready is my prayer. Have a blessed feast.
(Please forgive the length of this post. In order for you to see it in context all of this needed to be written.)