Sukkot

Sukkot

Read Leviticus 23:33-44

Leviticus 23:33-44 – Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the LORD. On the first day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work of any kind. For seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to the LORD; it is an assembly. You shall do no laborious work. These are the appointed times of the LORD which you shall proclaim as holy convocations, to present offerings by fire to the LORD–burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each day’s matter on its own day — besides those of the sabbaths of the LORD, and besides your gifts and besides all your votive and freewill offerings, which you give to the LORD. On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the LORD for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day. Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.'” So Moses declared to the sons of Israel the appointed times of the LORD.”

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Sukkot at ARIEL is one of the most joyous festivals of the year – and is essentially a time of camping and celebrating with one another. Several families and individuals pitch their tents at ARIEL and stay for some or all 7 days. “Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!” – Psalm 133 (NASB)

Sukkot was, and is, a time of rejoicing –  a commanded feast to Yahweh. It is a time of celebrating Yahweh’s great provision and protection over the children of Israel, during their trek through the wilderness. The people were commanded to build for themselves a sukka, or “tabernacle”, which is a temporary dwelling place in which they would live for 7 nights. Often times, these  were makeshift lean-to’s made of tree limbs, branches, walls of lattice, and covered with shrubbery. As the week progresses, the once green shrubbery and sturdy branches become weak, dry and brittle. Building and living in these “sukkot” teaches us the practical life lesson that our earthly dwelling place (our body) is frail, weak, and temporary. We are to trust in Yahweh for protection and provision, not in any man made concoction (gods). How wise and compassionate is our great Elohim!

SukkotChipGrilling-1024x768Here at ARIEL, folks celebrate the festival of Sukkot with a week long time of feasting, fellowship and camping, similar to the way the children of Israel would have done. Some have built sukkas in a similar fashion as described in Torah, and others pitch their more contemporary tents. Some stay for a night, many stay for the entire 7 nights. Either way, it is a joyous time of food, fellowship and much fun and laughter for all throughout the week. From impromptu praise and worship, scripture reading and sharing, tzit-tzit making and games and activities for the kids, Sukkot at ARIEL is one of the most anticipated festivals of the year.

Through this season, one of the many blessings we experience is how the congregational family grows closer to one another. Some have come away from the festival saying their lives have been changed. In any case, Yahweh does all things well, and when brothers and sisters come together to worship Him in spirit and in truth, the blessings will continue to flow.

There are also prophetic implications of Sukkot, in that Yahweh’s Word, which is eternal,  came to dwell among us in the flesh, which is temporary. As such, we at ARIEL believe that the Messiah in coming to earth and dwelling among us, is a direct fulfillment of this festival.

You can read more about other appointed times of Yahweh by clicking here.