Although God ordained three major feasts for His people, many Christians are only familiar with the first two: the Feast of Unleavened Bread, or Passover, and the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost. Yet the third also has great significance. It’s the Feast of Tabernacles—a special week each fall when families build temporary shelters outside their homes.
Essentially the idea is to cement in ourselves the fact that we are sojourners. While we may have houses with good roofs over our heads, the reality is that we are here temporarily. And the older I get, the more I understand just how temporary life is.
It’s a yearly reminder that we are looking for a city,
whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:10) All of our efforts here on earth should be oriented toward that place in eternity.
“You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. 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. … The Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice” (Deuteronomy 16:13-15)
Notice that it’s not just for the head of the household—and that twice God gives the command to rejoice. This is a party for everybody!
And it will be celebrated even after Jesus returns. Zechariah 14:16 says,
It shall come to pass that everyone … shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
The Torah readings for this week are called the Intermediate Days. As Christians, we are certainly living in the Intermediate Days between Jesus’ first and second coming. So how do we rejoice during this in-between time? One Torah reading includes God’s promise in Exodus 33:19,
“I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
So, while waiting for the prophetic fulfillment of Christ’s glorious return, rejoice that the Lord has chosen you for His service—and remember that He has compassion and grace for you every day of the year. God bless you!