Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) – Name and Meaning:
Sukkot is the Hebrew name of the holiday Feast of Tabernacles. To tabernacle with someone is to dwell with them. God Tabernacled with the Israelites as they wandered in the desert for 40 years after the Exodus from Egypt and before entering the Promised Land.
During this time, the Israelites lived in small huts or booths (sukkah – singular; sukkot – plural), easily movable as they followed God’s Presence (Shekinah) that manifested as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21).
The holiday of Sukkot is known by various names: the Feast, Feast of Tabernacles, Feast of Our Rejoicing, Season of Our Rejoicing, Season of Our Joy, and Ha Hag (the Holiday). Sukkot is also sometimes referred to as the Feast of Ingathering, marking the final harvest (Exodus 23:16), and also by the Hebrew name Shemhatenu.
Messiah in the Feast of Tabernacles:
We are told in John’s Gospel, “The Word became flesh and dwelt [Tabernacled] among us” (John 1:14). God’s presence came in the incarnate Messiah who was present with His people. He was Immanuel, Hebrew for “God with us.” The word “dwelt” means “Tabernacled.” When He became flesh, Yeshua inhabited the temporary shelter of an earthly body, knowing He soon would be required to leave it. Why did He do this? So that we might find a home in Him – not a temporary shelter in the wilderness, but an eternal home in God’s Kingdom that abides forever.
During prayer time for this Feast, people cry out “please save” or “save now” as part of the prayer liturgy. For believers in Messiah this prayer has already been answered: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMashiach), and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
The cry for salvation at Tabernacles is heard and answered through Yeshua the Messiah, for He came to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
There are many ways that this Feast points to Yeshua. God gave the Israelites manna and water in the wilderness. Yeshua is the spiritual bread and water for all who believe in Him. Yeshua said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst (John 6:35). May all Israel never thirst. May they tabernacle with Yeshua forever.
Yeshua said in John 15:4
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.”
As the Jewish people dwell in the Sukkahs the Bible commands us to enter into joy. In order to enter into the Eternal Tabernacle one must abide in Yeshua’s joy, and only then will he enter into the true Tabernacle.
The Feast of Tabernacles Jerusalem outreach
We of Messiah of Israel Ministries went up to Jerusalem to proclaim the true joy of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. There were many people who came to Jerusalem to celebrate and enter into the beautiful Sukkot. It was wonderful to see so many people rejoicing. As believers were praying, Messianic Rabbi Zev Porat began sharing the true meaning of Sukkot in the Kotel (Western Wall) and inside the Sukkot.
There was a group of Orthodox Jews singing, rejoicing and praying. Zev was greeting everyone “Chag Sameach” (“Happy Holiday”). Rabbi Geffen asked Zev to come and rejoice with them. “Why do we rejoice?” Zev asked. Rabbi Geffen: “Because we were freed from bondage in Egypt.” Zev: “But there is a much deeper picture of Sukkot.” Rabbi Geffen was interested in understanding the deeper meaning. Many were listening, joining in the conversation. Glory to Yeshua!
“What is the deeper meaning?” Geffen asked. Zev opened the Bible and read
13 “You shall celebrate the Feast of Booths seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat; 14 and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and Levites and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns. 15 Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.
After reading this, Zev explained the Sukkahs are temporary like our bodies. In order to really go into Sukkot and Tabernacle with the Lord God forever, we must enter into His complete joy. Walking into a physical Sukkot is not what the Bible is referring to. Although it’s wonderful to have booths, if our heart does not repent and abide in the Written Word of God and enter into His real joy, then we cannot tabernacle with Him and we miss the true meaning of Sukkot. The Rabbi and others were fascinated and asked: “How do we enter into this joy? We don’t understand what you mean?” Zev explained: “We are all sinful and cannot meet God’s standard.” Rabbi Geffen said: “Yes, but we try to do what we can.” Zev: “Trying is not enough. We serve a holy and just God without any sin. Do you believe God is without sin?” At that moment, all answered together: “Yes.” Zev opened the Bible to Psalms 13:5
“But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.“
Zev: “This is how we enter into the true joy of Sukkot, through His salvation available only through the Messiah, who came and died for our sins, rose after three days, and if we repent and believe in Him, we have the Eternal Tabernacle. Rabbi Geffen answered: “I know who you are taking about.” Zev: “I’m sure you do. Yeshua is calling you to partake in His joy, the true Tabernacle.”
We know the hand of God touched the rabbi and the others because they did not deny Yeshua. But they were afraid and just moved away.
We pray that during this Feast of Tabernacles they will receive salvation through Messiah Yeshua and enter into the Eternal Sukkah.
Zev continued to share with many, including preaching Yeshua the Messiah inside the Sukkahs. There were many supernatural conversations.
The Shekinah, the Glory Cloud of the Lord’s Presence, that was with the Israelites was now hovering over the Sukkah in the Kotel. We give all the glory to Yeshua the Messiah.
Many contacts were made. We pray that the people will come to know the true joy of Sukkot available ONLY through Yeshua the Messiah. May they abide in Him and Tabernacle forever with Him. Amen!