Leviticus 23: 33-36; 39-43 33And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 34"Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths[a] to the LORD. 35On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. 36For seven days you shall present food offerings to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall hold a holy convocation and present a food offering to the LORD. It is a solemn assembly; you shall not do any ordinary work. 39"On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the LORD seven days. On the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest. 40And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. 41 You shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It is a statute forever throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” Ex 23: 16; Deut. 16: 13-15 – “… 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.”
Three Remembrances for the Israelites A look back: Israelites to be reminded that their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness was due to unbelief and disobedience, but also that their booth-living experience was temporary. A look forward: the sukkahs were to be loosely constructed and with openings in the roof. They were to see through the roof to the stars -- God’s canopy – to remind them they were pilgrims passing through this life and that God had an even greater rest for them in the future when He would come and dwell (tabernacle) with them permanently. Provision: This was the major harvest festival. Israel was to trustfully, and joyfully consume the harvest in celebration helping them remember that God was their Provider. It was another reminder and opportunity to rest in God’s abundance.
Abraham Our Model Pilgrim Hebrews 11: 8-10 -- 8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. Like Abraham and the Israelites before us, while we dwell in the sukkah, we are to look back at our homes and say, “that is not our home, God is our home!”
Personal Application Tabernacles is the last feast and the seventh feast. The number 7 in the Bible represents, completion, wholeness, and maturity. The Feast of Tabernacles, therefore, represents the completed or finished work of God in both this present age in which we live and in the lives of individual believers. It corresponds to the seventh step in our walk with God to reach spiritual maturity and rest in our souls.
Jesus is the Fulfillment of Tabernacles John 1:14 – “And the Word became flesh and dwelt (= tabernacled”) among us, …”Jesus is the ultimate tabernacle or dwelling place of God in human flesh. Matthew 11: 28-30 – “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”Jesus doesn’t merely give us rest. He gives us Himself. And because He is Rest itself, we receive His rest.
Prophetic Fulfillment of The Feast of Tabernacles Revelation 21: 1-4 - 1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Sukkot is a dress rehearsal for the second coming of Jesus when He will consummate His kingdom and God’s Rest for His people will be complete. Paradise will finally be restored!
Messianic Observances Build and dwell in a sukkah Gathering and Waving the lulav– The Four Species - etrog(lemon-like fruit) - lulav(palm branch) - hadas(mrytle branch) - aravah(will tree branch) Rejoice! Other traditions include blessing recitals at meals, torah readings, and singing Psalms.