Summary: When God lives among us, life is one eternal party. Tabernacles brings joy.
Tabernacles: The Party Begins When God Is With Us
1. We had a great time at the Ladies’ Banquet last Wednesday.
2. As a church, we have gotten better at having a good time.
3. Celebrating and having fun is an important part of life: don’t believe the killjoys out there who say otherwise.
4. Today we will look at the Feast that was meant to be a big party: the Feast of Tabernacles.
5. Three sets of feasts: Passover/Unleavened/Firstfrutis
Tabernacles was the final feast of the original seven. Let’s read about it in Lev. 23:33-43
Main Idea: When God lives among us, life is one eternal party. Tabernacles brings joy.
I. Tabernacles Over the Centuries
A. In OLD Testament Days
1. Names include BOOTHS or the Hebrew Sukkot
• the feast of ingathering, like our Thanksgiving
• 7 day feast in Sept/Oct
• 8th day a solemn assembly
2. The JOY and FREEDOM when the Jews left Egypt
3. Solomon’s TEMPLE dedicated on Tabernacles
4. People commanded to REJOICE (Deut. 16:13-17)
(1) no work 1st and 8th day
(2) making booths and live in them (eat)
• the predecessor to the camper
(3) collecting 4 species of foliage
(4) rejoicing 7 days
B. As Developed BETWEEN the Testaments
1. Pouring out of WATER
2. The 4 Menorah lamp stands: A Great LIGHT
• 150 feet high in the air….lit the entire city of Jerusalem; wicks made from worn-out priests garments
• There was a ladder for each and young priest climbed up to fill four great bowls that held over 20 gallons of oil in each one.
• the predecessor to night baseball games…
3. The Torah DANCE
• “He who has not witnessed it [the Torah dance] has not seen what real festivity is”
• Men would juggle torches as they danced…
“The celebration of the Water-drawing was a highlight of the Feast. It was a happy, even ecstatic occasion, with a torchlight parade, including musicians, jugglers, and dancers, marching to the Temple, at night, as the whole city of Jerusalem was lit up by giant torches and the light of giant menorahs. As the lyres, drums, cymbals, trumpets, drums and horns played, the Rabbis entertained and clowned, adding to the joy. Not one day of Sukkot passed without joyous festivities that celebrated the happiness of the harvest, and the joy of community.”
• Lots of clowning and humor: Judaism is the ultimate source of comedy, and some of that reverence for comedy may originate in this feast which elevated fun to a religious level…
C. AFTER the time of Christ
1. Building of a “Sukkah” next to the Synagogue
2. A 9th Day Added: “Simchat TORAH”
(Simchat means “joy”)
Application: Do you give others around you the impression that living the Christian life is a joyful experience? Are you free to have good clean fun, or do you think God is more concerned about production than He is enjoying your life with you?
When God lives among us, life is one eternal party. Tabernacles brings joy.
II. Christ, God “Tabernacling” With Us
A. John 1:12, “dwelt” literally means “TABERNACLED”
• skanoo = to live in a tent, “to take up ones temporary dwelling place”
• God’s glory/shekinah “tabernacled” in Christ…
• During the Transfiguration it displayed itself a bit
B. God “set up His TENT” with man (Isaiah 7:14)
Matthew quotes and interprets Isaiah 7:14:
Matthew 1:23?" BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, " GOD WITH US."
C. How Jesus used the CUSTOMS to describe Himself
1. John 7:2, 10-11, 37-41 (IF TIME, TURN THERE) refers to the pouring of WATER
2But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near… 10However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11Now at the Feast the Jews were watching for him… 37On the last and greatest day of the Feast [Hoshana Raba], Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." 39By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
40On hearing his words, some of the people said, "Surely this man is the Prophet."
41Others said, "He is the Christ."
Still others asked, "How can the Christ come from Galilee?
2. John 8:12 refers to the great Menorah LIGHT
12When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."