Oct 1 began the Feast of Tabernacles. This joyful fall celebration of seven days is commanded in scriptures as one of the “appointments” God wants to have with His children every year. It is the time to remember how the Israelis lived in temporary “booths” for 40 years after fleeing Egypt. It has come to be a time to celebrate with family by eating and even camping outside in a temporary structure built with a roof covered with natural branches so one can see through them into the sky and view the stars at night. Sukkot is also called the Feast of Ingathering, a time to celebrate the harvest and remember all the blessings God has reigned down on us over the past year.
Sukkot is also marked by great joy. We are commanded to be joyful in the succah! Joy usually is an emotional response to something good or something we like. But in this case we choose to be joyful in obedience to God’s instructions. We can command our emotions to be thankful, joyful.
The final day of Sukkot is the most joyful day of the year—Simchat Torah. This is the day when Jews finishing reading through the Torah for the year and begin reading Genesis 1 for the coming year. It is a joyful celebration of God’s gift of His Word to us marked by huge celebrations of music, dancing with the Torah, food, etc. There are many other layers of meaning and symbolism that surround the Succah. It is a picture of our bodies being a temporary dwelling for our spirits while we sojourn on this earth, but our real home is the eternal body we will receive when we step into eternity.
I believe we ought to join with our Jewish Cousins in celebrating joyfully God’s great gift of the Word. The Bible is the greatest source of wisdom and life to us and is God’s love letter to every Believer. But we ought to take this celebration to new heights by celebrating the Word made Flesh, Yeshua, Messiah. Here is the greatest reason for joy. Here is truly our harvest of the heart.
May you be joyful this Sukkot!