Hello Friends! As I wrote this article originally, I had been having a GREAT time celebrating and studying The Word with friends and family during the first few days of Sukkot 2020. However, I’ve found that these thoughts can be useful in future years as well so I’m sharing with you today in hopes of adding more encouragement to keep our Father’s feasts. The good news about this feast is that it lasts 8* days, so even if you get a late start, you may still have time to participate. Want to know how? Let’s go!
First, I want to tell you that this feast has several names. If you have not heard of Sukkot, perhaps you have heard of The Feast of Tabernacles or The Feast of Booths. I have even heard it called The Feast of Tents. The word “Sukkot” is a plural Hebrew word meaning “Tabernacles,” “Booths,” or “Tents.” I like to call it Sukkot, but you call it the name that you are most comfortable with. Deal?
Now that you know those things, I would like to invite you into my sukkah and share with you a bit about Sukkot. At my house at the time of publishing, we will celebrate Sukkot 2022 from sundown on October 9th to sundown on October 17th. As we’ve mentioned before, there are different calendars so I’m just sharing the dates we observe based on the calendar we use.
Have your bible handy, as my opinion doesn’t count. May The Word of YHVH be our guide!
The first thing I share with guests in my sukkah (besides food of course 😉) is my testimony…how I came to know about Sukkot and the other Feasts of YHVH. Here is the short version:
A few years ago, I found myself with a little extra time and the knowledge that in my 40 years I had never read The Word of God from Genesis to Revelation. The Father put it upon my heart to make a commitment to read His Word, cover to cover. When I got to Zechariah chapter 14, The Father got my attention.
Zechariah 14:16 reads:
Then all the survivors from all the nations that attacked Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, Adonai-Tzva’ot, and to celebrate Sukkot.
Hmmmm….”What is Sukkot?” I pondered.
Zechariah 14:17 continues:
Furthermore, if any of the nations on earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, Adonai-Tzva’ot, they will have no rain.
I realized 2 things I had never seen or heard before:
1) There is a thing called Sukkot that gentiles will come to Jerusalem to celebrate in a time that is future to us now; and
2) Nations who do not participate will be punished by a lack of rain (bringing famine and economic destruction).
I decided right then and there, at 40 years old, in Zechariah 14, that I did not want to be the only person standing in Jerusalem at this thing called Sukkot, not knowing what was going on.
So my search began. Want to seek with me?
Let us look at Leviticus 23:39-43. Here we learn that YHVH commanded Israel to keep the feast of Sukkot. As you read this passage of scripture, keep in mind that the seventh month is not speaking of our “July” but of the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar. Sukkot comes in the Fall either in September or October on our calendar.
We learn from this passage:
- That the feast lasts for 7 days with one additional day added at the end;
- That the first and last days are days of rest;
- That fruit tree branches are to be used to rejoice before YHVH;
- That participants are to live in sukkot for 7 days;
- That Israel is to participate in order to remember that the Sons of Israel had to dwell in sukkot when YHVH brought them out of the land of Egypt.
Now let us move on to Deuteronomy 16:15 where we learn that during Sukkot, participants are to be completely filled with JOY!
JOY — it’s a command! Isn’t that wonderful!?
But Debbie, it’s been a rough couple of years…who could possibly be joyful?
And here it is Friends — This is an opportunity for us to take off our “gloom and doom glasses” and look up to YHVH in complete faith. When we look around these days, there is so much fear and lack of joy in our world. But during this week of Sukkot, The Father gives us the opportunity to remember that He is mightier than anything that this world can throw at us. We can turn off our cell phones, go out into our yards (or campgrounds, or back porches) and unplug from the fear of the world and reconnect to the JOY that comes from true faith in The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Does that sound nice?
If so, you are really going to love celebrating this special feast.
Want to know more?
I plan to be back soon with a bit more about The Feast of Sukkot. I hope you will continue to seek with me!
*Note: This is actually a 7 day feast with an additional 1 day feast at the end. So, it is actually 2 separate feasts. However, most participants lump them together and refer to all 8 days as Sukkot. For simplicity, that is how I have approached it in this series.