God commanded Israel to keep certain appointed times. One of these holidays we are even supposed to make temporary dwelling places and yet again remember leaving Egypt. It's been an awfully long time since leaving Egypt. And we already have Passover to remember our deliverance, so why do we have the Feast of Tabernacles?
What relevance does the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) have to you and me? Let's first remember that it had a few purposes even in the days of Moses:
- Cancelling of debts
"At the end of every seven years, at the time of the year of the cancellation of debts, at [Sukkot]" (Deut. 31:10).
- Coming before God
"when all Israel has come to appear before the Lord your God in the place which He will choose ... Gather the people together" (Deut. 31:11a-12a).
- Reading the Word
"You must read this law before all Israel in their hearing" (Deut. 31:11b).
Our congregation, Ahavat Yeshua, has gathered together during Sukkot every year at least once to celebrate. But this year, in addition to coming together and reading from our Torah scroll, we took another step in fulfilling the biblical significance of Sukkot.
The prophet Zechariah foretold of a time when all nations will ascend to Jerusalem every year to "worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to celebrate [Sukkot]" (Zech. 14:16).
Last year, we noticed that so many visitors came to join us during this appointed time that we could hardly fit in our meeting hall. So this year we took a leap of faith and rented a facility more than twice as large as our normal space. We had great success! We estimate about 300 people attended our service, which normally has about 100-120 people. We departed from our normal practice of only speaking Hebrew from the stage by providing English from up front. It was an amazing privilege to host the nations and see the beginning of prophecy fulfilled. So while Israel may not need another holiday to remember leaving Egypt, we do see that this holiday is meant for connecting the nations to Israel and giving us the opportunity to host all our friends!
We will definitely host the nations every Sukkot. Maybe you will join us next year?
This article originally appeared at tribe.reviveisrael.org.
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