Sharing the Harvest of Sukkot
In the previous two articles concerning the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we discovered that, through the Living Word, God may have given us future prophecies concerning the return of Yeshua. Is it possible Sukkot represents the final message and prophecy concerning the final harvest, when He returns to “Tabernacle” and dwell among His people?
The Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot marks the end of the month-long celebration of the High Holy Days in Israel. It is a week-long celebration of the fall harvest and a time to build “sukkot” or booths that symbolize God’s faithful protection and provision during their deliverance from Egypt.
“You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”
Every biblical holy day given to the Jewish people points to a remembrance of God’s faithfulness, and Sukkot is no exception. It serves as a reminder to Israel that they once dwelled in makeshift structures during the forty years of wandering in the wilderness. The Sinai desert was an extremely harsh environment, with little water or food, yet during that time, God was faithful to provide water, manna, quail, and everything else they needed to sustain them in the barren country.
Sukkot was one of the three pilgrimages where every able-bodied person was required to go to Jerusalem for the celebration of this fall harvest festival. Each family brought the necessary elements needed to erect small temporary shelters (booths) where they would sleep and eat their meals. They would spend a total of eight days together in the city, worshipping, making sacrifices, and rejoicing in the Lord.
It is the Jewish custom to begin building the sukkah (booth) immediately after the conclusion of Yom Kippur, although some begin sooner. There are many ways to build a sukkah but certain guidelines must be met in each structure. The roof must be made from natural elements that have grown from the ground. Most people use either palm fronds or bamboo with wooden beams as support. It is also important that the roof is thin enough to let the stars shine through so they can look up and see the heavens.
These guidelines are reminiscent of the instructions the Lord gave to His people concerning the building of His Tabernacle. In Exodus 25:8-9 God tells the Hebrews that His desire is to dwell among them and gives precise instructions or “pattern” to build His “tabernacle.”
In the Jewish synagogues, the Book of Zechariah, chapter 14 is read often read aloud. The passage of scripture foretells the return of the Messiah and His saints. It speaks of the Messiah’s reign, God’s exaltation of Jerusalem, overcoming Israel’s enemies, and all nations pilgrimaging to God’s Holy City for Sukkot.
Jesus – Our Tabernacle
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The word “dwelt” in this verse (Greek, σκηνόω) relates back to the Old Testament wilderness wanderings of Israel where the glory of God dwelt among the people in a movable tent called the Tabernacle. This passage literally tells us that Jesus, the very glory of God, “tabernacled” among us.
When Jesus came, he changed the definition of both the tabernacle and the temple. God is now dwelling (tabernacling) with us through the Holy Spirit and we are now the living temple where God resides. He will continue living with us till the Last Days when the New Heaven and Earth will be introduced. Then, we shall be with God forever and ever.
The message of the Feast of Tabernacles is one of the future – the second coming of Messiah. It symbolizes the prophecy of Yeshua’s return to earth to “tabernacle” or dwell with those who know Him. When the Messiah comes, He will collect the final harvest for the Father’s Kingdom. Sukkot represents the final harvest when all nations will share in the joy and blessings of God’s kingdom. During that time, all believers will celebrate this feast together. (Zech:16-19)
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell among them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”
Read our Feast of Tabernacles article for more details.
Sharing the Harvest
By Pastor Israel Pochtar
The harvest is a symbol of blessings and abundance. It is a time of celebration and reaping of the fruit of the land, but it is also important to remember that harvest times in Israel are always connected to spiritual harvest. This is the season when we can look back at the year and at the harvest before us and count our blessings. If we have enough, we are blessed. If we have more than enough, we are beyond blessed.
Sukkot – Feast of Tabernacles is all about shelter. Days prior to Sukkot, Israelis begin to build small tabernacles all across the country. That “sukkah” (tabernacle or booth) is where families will spend the festive week of Sukkot, gathering to share meals and remembering God’s deliverance and goodness. When we’re sitting in our Tabernacles, under the Lord’s covering and protection, we make sure that people around us are experiencing the same joy and gratitude, so we often invite guests to join in our celebration. In this way, we honor the Lord with our actions.
“And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates.”
God makes it clear that joy can only be complete and pleasing to Him if no one is left behind or excluded. Everyone is to be made part of the blessings. He wants us to allow them to come in under the covering of our tabernacle and be given the opportunity to partake in the Lord’s blessing during this festive day.
To honor that commandment and tradition, we want to make sure we don’t leave any families in need or hungry during the week of Sukkot. Our humanitarian focus this year will be on widows and orphans, the most vulnerable and unprotected in our society. We will be distributing very special and festive food baskets to them this Feast of Tabernacle as a way of bringing them into the “tabernacle” of God’s protection and deliverance.
There is no greater way to reflect God’s love than to share His goodness and blessings with those who have less. This Sukkot season, join us in sharing God’s goodness with those who have less. God’s blessings are always meant to be shared. When you give it to others, you are filled with so much more. That is the beauty of God’s endless love and generosity. You can’t possibly out-give Him!
You can’t imagine how a small donation on your part to help feed a mother and her children and fill her heart with gratitude, because YOU shared your blessings with them. You might be the difference that can change a life!
May God show you He alone is your true Tabernacle as you share the security He gave you, with Israeli families in need.