Summary: This sermon demonstrates that relevance of the Feast of Tabernacles by explaining the feast’s purpose and applying the spiritual reality of this celebration to believers today. Learn from the words of Jesus, as He celebrated this feast in John 7-8.
The Feast of Tabernacles
“Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits” (Ps 103:1-2).
That is, in essence, what the Feast of Tabernacles is all about. The Feast of Tabernacles begins this evening at sunset and lasts for seven days.
There is an additional 8th day event that is a distinct holiday itself. It is known as Shemini Atzeret which literally means “the assembly of the eighth (day).” Even though it occurs immediately following the Feast of Tabernacles, it is celebrated in a very different way. And since it is not a part of the Sukkot proper, we will not deal with it in the message today. Leviticus 23:33-36 establishes the Feast of Tabernacles and then verse 36 also calls for a sacred assembly on the 8th day (Shemini Atzeret). Follow with me as we read those verses.
“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 34 ‘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. 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, 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.”
I want to first share some biblical teaching about the Feast of Tabernacles and talk about how the underlying purposes of that feast applies to us today.
During the Millennial reign of Christ, the Feast of Tabernacles will not only be celebrated by Israel; but it will be celebrated by the whole world. Turn with me to Zechariah 14. After the Battle of Armageddon, after the Second Coming of Christ (which is described in the first part of this chapter), Jesus’ throne will be established in Jerusalem; He will reign over all the earth. All nations will be required to pay homage to Him and required to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. Follow as I read verses 16-19.
“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 17 And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain. 18 If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the LORD strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
So during Millennial (thousand-year) reign of Christ after the tribulation period, the Feast of Tabernacle will be enforced with swift and sure punishment to all the nations. I share that verse to point out two things: (1) the Feast of Tabernacles ultimately has significance for gentile nations as well as Israel and (2) the relevance of the Feast of Tabernacles did not end with the Old Testament. During the current Age of the Church we are not required to keep the Law; and we are not required to keep the Feast of Tabernacles the way nations will be required to do it during the Millennial. But we would do well to understand and appreciate why God established this feast to begin with and cooperate with the eternal principles behind the ordinance. This message is designed to help you do that.
The Feast of Tabernacles is about REMEMBERING—Remembering God’s faithfulness in our past.
One thing that got Israel in trouble was forgetting God—forgetting that He was the One who took care of them—forgetting His goodness and provision. Forgetting God in that way led to their captivity. God states His complaint to Israel in Hos 2:13 “I will punish her For the days of the Baals to which she burned incense. She decked herself with her earrings and jewelry, And went after her lovers; But Me she forgot," says the LORD.”
In chapter 13:5-6 God says to them,”I knew you in the wilderness, In the land of great drought. 6 When they had pasture, they were filled; They were filled and their heart was exalted; Therefore they forgot Me.”
Moses had warned of this in Deut 8:11-20