Since the time of Adam and Eve’s drastic choice in the Garden of Eden, humanity experienced exile from God’s immediate and intimate presence. And then God called Abraham, and promised to make his descendants into a great nation, a nation through whom all other nations would be blessed (Genesis 12). The patriarchs of our faith lived as nomads, dwelling in temporary shelters (sukkot), looking ahead to the time when God would provide a land for them and restore them to paradise, just as he had promised. Likewise, their successors, upon exodus from slavery in Egypt, lived in sukkot during forty years of wandering in the wilderness.
Sukkot is a powerful reminder of how God tabernacled with us in the past, how he continues to do so today and how he will ultimately dwell with us forever, through Yeshua (Jesus) who lives and reigns in the hearts of those who believe in him. The Feast of Tabernacles also contains two powerful elements, water and light, that foreshadowed Messiah, who is gives us Living Water and who is the Light of the world. There’s much to unpack regarding Sukkot and you’ll want to “camp out” for awhile.
God’s appointed holidays, described in Leviticus chapter 23, accomplish many purposes. Year by year they pace our lives according to the cycle God has designed into creation. They remind us of the great things God has done in Israel’s history. We should never forget that Messiah Yeshua, the apostles, and the early Messianic Jewish movement celebrated these festivals. In addition, each holiday is a prophecy which looks forward to what God is going to do in human history. If understood properly, the festivals in Leviticus 23 reveal God’s master plan to restore humanity. Learning about these holidays will build up our faith and help us to better understand the entire Word of God.
This is the view from our Sukkah in Israel
Sukkot or sukkos, Feast of Booths, Feast of Tabernacles) is a biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei (late September to late October). It is one of the three biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Hebrews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. It follows the solemn holiday of Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement.
The sukkah is intended as a reminiscence of the type of fragile dwellings in which the Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of travel in the desert after the Exodus from slavery in Egypt. Throughout the holiday, meals are eaten inside the sukkah and some people sleep there as well.