Experiencing the Feast of Tabernacles
As Christians, we have been grafted in to the rich heritage of Judaism, to the family of Abraham (Rom. 11:17-24, Eph. 2:12-22). For this we are eternally grateful. Part of the rich heritage that we have received includes the celebration of the biblical feasts – Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. During these three feasts, God required His people to stop their normal activities, go up to where His presence resided among them, and worship. These were times of heart searching, sharing together, and rehearsing the Word. The people of God rejoiced, sang, and worshiped in God’s presence.
As the Hebrew pilgrims traveled up to Jerusalem for the feasts, they would sing the Songs of Ascent (Psalms 120-134). The first verse of Psalm 122 says, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’” This verse captures the attitude of heart of the Jewish pilgrims as they made their way up to the presence of the Lord, entering the courts of the Tabernacle (and later the Temple). It also illustrates the attitude of heart we should have as we approach God’s presence.
It is now the season for the Feast of Tabernacles. This feast commemorates the time when God’s presence dwelt among His people in the wilderness. His presence manifested as a canopy to protect the people from the sun, and as a pillar of fire to give them warmth and light at night (Ps. 105:39, Neh. 9:19). Every Feast of Tabernacles, God’s people were to remember and celebrate His presence with them.
The Feast of Tabernacles is rich in history and promise. Pastor John Stevens said, “We can experience God’s same presence with us today. How beautiful to be living always in His courts, ever praising Him. Every one of us can experience the reality of knowing that wherever we go, we have the canopy of His presence over us.”
Our Heavenly Father has made a way for us to experience and abide in His presence. Take advantage of this season. Leave the pull of daily life and be more aware of His presence with you!
John Robert Stevens, “Always Aware” This Week (1977), (North Hollywood, CA: Living Word Publications, 1987), 692.