In Leviticus 23, the words: “I Am the Lord your God” are only mentioned on two Feasts – Shavuot (Known as Pentecost) and Sukkot (Known as Tabernacles).
We celebrate two major groups of holidays in the course of the year
1) The High Holy Days, or the holidays in the month of Tishri
2) The three Pilgrimage Festivals
* Passover = “The Time of Our Freedom”
* Shavuot (Pentecost) = “The Time of the Giving of the Torah and the Ruach Hakodesh”
* Sukkot (Tabernacles) = “The Time of our Rejoicing”
Sukkot is a double festival, belonging to the High Holy Days, and to the Pilgrimage Festivals, uniting both. It also is known as “The Feast of Booths” called Sukkahs
The Sukkah also provides a powerful bridge between the most sacred day of the year, Yom Kippur and the harvest festival and joy of Sukkot. Between Yom Kippur and Sukkot, temporary booths are built around the Jewish world.
At the completion of Yom Kippur, we are commanded to build a Sukkah. It is this Sukkah that stands for peace, faith, shelter, and the eternal optimism of human behavior.
The booth we build on Sukkot mirrors the heavenly Sukkah THE LORD spreads over us. It is an expression of hope in our future
How does a Sukkah become a “Sukkah of Peace”?
If THE LORD wanted to protect us, we should have an iron shield of peace or a stone arch of peace. In the time of fear, we would love to have that iron shield or that concrete overhead, but it is a Sukkah
Who would trust something as flimsy as a Sukkah to protect us?
Yet in the festival of Sukkot, Jews go outside precisely to expose themselves to the elements.
The Sukkah of Peace is not made with armor or steel, but with FAITH.
The Sukkah is said to be a harvest hut, but it is also a reminder of the Sukkahs THE LORD provided the children of Israel for the Exodus from Egypt
Some Rabbis teach that when the children of Israel arrived at Sukkot, THE LORD made “booths” for shelter, for the Children of Israel.
Other Rabbis teach that the “booths” THE LORD made for them consisted of seven clouds of Glory which enveloped them and became their protection
- One cloud was placed under their feet like a carpet
- One was above their heads like a shelter
- Four encircled them from each side
- And the seventh cloud went before them to show them the way
All Israel dwelled in one Sukkah – the Sukkah of the clouds of Glory.
The “Clouds of Glory” that surrounded the Israelites were removed after the sin of the “Golden Calf”.
The Israelites repented and THE LORD forgave them on Yom Kippur.
The “Clouds of Glory” re-appeared five days later on Sukkot
Sukkot is a picture of the Messianic age of Rest, the 1000-year reign of the Messiah. The Lord God tells us through Zechariah the Prophet that in that Messianic age, everyone will go up to Jerusalem from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to keep Sukkot.
The Feast of Sukkot – also known as the GREAT FEAST - symbolizes the very presence of Yeshua the Messiah. Yeshua is the very “Tabernacle of God” that will be kept by all nations.
In Ezekiel 38:23, the Lord declared, “I shall magnify Myself, Sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they shall know that I am the Lord”
Whether in blessing or judgment, THE LORD intends to show the nations that He is the true God
The original reason for celebrating the Feast of Sukkot was not just to remember that Israel lived in tents in the desert for forty years. It was to celebrate that THE LORD lived in the desert with them for forty years, manifesting as the Cloud by day and the Pillar by night, over the Tabernacle sanctuary.
Not only will THE LORD come again to tabernacle with us for 1,000 years, but the books of Revelation and 2 Peter state that THE LORD will create a new heaven and earth.
What does that mean?
Even the millennial reign of Messiah is just one more age, and stage for THE LORD’s kingdom manifesting here.
Why did THE LORD choose Sukkot as the test of obedience for the Gentiles?
In every age, THE LORD gave His people obligations. It is their opportunity to worship Him as well as His test point for their obedience.
At the Feast of Ingathering, it is the correct time for THE LORD to gather the human fruit for His kingdom. If the nations were not willing to worship THE LORD in Jerusalem, He would withhold the provision of food as well as His Blessing.
There will be no rain for those families of the earth that don't come up to Jerusalem to worship the King. According to Zechariah 14:16-18, the Lord God singles out the Festival of Sukkot as the most important Festival in the reign of the Messiah.
Zechariah 14:16 reads, “Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went up against Jerusalem WILL GO UP from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to CELEBRATE THE FEASTS OF BOOTHS”