UCGia Bible Insights Thursday, September 16 2021
This seven-day biblical festival, called the Feast of Tabernacles, gives us a preview of the age to come. This year the festival is observed from September 20-27, when Christians around the world take time off to gather together at specified locations to worship God and Jesus Christ.
In giving His laws to Moses, God said: “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The ﬁfteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord,” (Leviticus 23:34).
This was not just an Old Testament commandment, it also applies to Christians today.
Jesus Christ, set the example by observing this feast: “But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, ‘Where is He?’ . . . Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught” (John 7:10-11,14). It was His lifelong practice to keep God’s festivals, even when His life was threatened, and the early Church continued to follow His example and also celebrated these feasts.
In order to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, God told the Israelites to do something that might seem strange. They were to observe the Feast with “tabernacles” or “booths,” which is a temporary sheltering structure or similar dwelling. Christians today observe the Feast by leaving home and temporarily living in other accommodation in order to assemble together to worship God and be taught. These temporary dwellings remind us that we are strangers and pilgrims on this earth, and that this world isn’t our real home. Our goal is eternal life in God’s Kingdom, and we are exhorted to come out of the present world.
For the Israelites, the Feast of Tabernacles was a celebration of the large late summer and autumn harvest in the land of Israel, and behind the celebration of the harvest is an incredible spiritual lesson that foreshadows a large spiritual harvest. The Feast of Tabernacles symbolizes the time when Jesus returns to rule the world for 1,000 years, during a time of unparalleled peace and harmony. People will say: “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in his paths . . . They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:3-4).
God gives us physical lessons to teach us spiritual truth and this is why ‘the feasts of the Lord’ (Leviticus 23:2) are for all mankind. God's plan for mankind involves restoration and the Feast of Tabernacles symbolizes that restoration process, which will start with the return of Jesus Christ, pictured by the Feast of Trumpets, and the banishment of Satan, depicted by the Day of Atonement. Once these events have taken place the foundation is in place for the restoration of the creation to peace and harmony with God.
Beyond Today Magazine