The Feast of Tabernacles
This week marks the celebration of the biblical Feast of Tabernacles, also known as Sukkot and the Feast of Booths. This feast is one of the three annual pilgrimage festivals recorded in the Torah. It celebrates the end of the agricultural cycle of growing and harvesting crops, and it serves as a remembrance of God as the One who brings the blessing of fruitfulness. It is also a remembrance of the time when Israel lived in tents in the wilderness with God’s presence tabernacling in their midst.
God tabernacled among men
John the Beloved referred back to the events of God dwelling with His people as he wrote in his gospel, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt [or tabernacled] among us, and we saw His glory…” (Jn. 1:14). The word “dwell” has the meaning of “to live in a tent” and “to take up residence.” In addition, the Apostle Paul wrote that “God was [dwelling] in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us [literally placed in us] the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:19). The Feast of Tabernacles reminds us be thankful as Christians that God came and dwelt among men through Jesus Christ. It also reminds us of God’s continual abiding presence and that we should pay attention to let His Word richly dwell with our hearts (Jn. 15:7-8; Rom. 8:9-11; Col. 1:27, 3:16).
Expectation of a Future hope
Finally, in this time we can look forward to the future hope where God will once again tabernacle in the midst of His creation.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, [note how the next verses describe the effect of God dwelling in His creation] and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Revelation 21:3-5.