Encouraging Words Regarding Sukkot

Today, I want to share encouraging words from a group called Blessed Buy Israel. In 2017, a non-Jewish family took up the battle against Antisemitism by marketing goods from Judea and Samaria (targeted by the BDS Movement) in the United States and around the world via a web presence.

One way to support Israel is to purchase Israeli products. Everything from olive oil, honey and cosmetics to soap, jewelry and ceramics are offered at BlessedBuyIsrael. It is a practical way to show love and support of Jewish people living in Judea and Samaria (West Bank), and under the constant threat of BDS.

From their latest newsletter, here are some encouraging thoughts regarding Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), currently ongoing in Israel and in Jewish homes around the world. Enjoy….

In Deuteronomy 16 God gives us a command concerning the Festival of Sukkot⁠—Tabernacles. He says, “And you shall rejoice in your feast…you [shall] surely rejoice.”

Sukkot is a festival where God commands us to rejoice! This festival was to be a reminder to Israel, as God spoke in Leviticus 23, “that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

Each year (for a week) we live in “a booth⁠—a tabernacle—a sukkah,” as a reminder of the children of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt; it is a festive time of reliving the experience of those who have gone before. A reminder of the freedom that God brought to the nation of Israel and His desire to “tabernacle among His people.”

When we read through the Bible, we see from the very beginning until the very end, God’s desire has always been to “Shochein⁠—Dwell” among His people. The word “Shochein⁠—Shachan” is a Hebrew root-word, which means, to “Dwell, Tabernacle, or Reside.”  It is from this root word that we get the words “Mishkan” and “Shekhinah from.

The first word “Mishkan” is a word we read in Leviticus 23, where it says, “…let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may ‘MishkanDwell’ among them.” What makes this verse even more interesting is that the words “among them” in Hebrew, can also be translated as “inside of them.” God’s desire has always been to dwell inside and among His people.
The Tabernacle in the Wilderness; illustration from the 1890 Holman Bible
The second word is even better known. The word “Shekhinah” (as in the “Shekinah Glory”) describes the dwelling or settling of God’s divine presence. In Christianity we often refer to the Shekhinah as the “Holy Spirit.”

It is at this time of year, right after the “Day of Judgment and Atonement” that we remember God’s promise to once again tabernacle with us as the people of God.

It makes me excited to think that someday soon we could hear a voice from heaven, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes…” (Rev.21)

In conclusion, I would like to end with a story. It is about the coming of the Messiah, who we know will bring in the Messianic Kingdom, when God will once again “dwell—tabernacle” with mankind. The story goes like this, “Rabbi Joshua ben Levi (who lived in the first half of the third century), while meditating near the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai, was visited by the Prophet Elijah. “When will the Messiah come?” asked Joshua. “Ask him,” replied the Prophet. “The Messiah is at the gates of Rome, sitting among the poor, the sick and wretched…Joshua went to Rome and met the Messiah and greeted him, saying “peace upon thee, Master and Teacher” and the Messiah replied “peace upon thee, O son of Levi.” Joshua then asked, “When will you be coming?” and was told “Today!” Joshua went back to Elijah and…said that the Messiah had not told him the truth, because he had promised to come “today” but had not. Elijah explained “This is what he said to thee, Today, if ye will hear his voice.” (Psalm 95:7)

What we learn from this story is that Yeshua is ready to come back “today.” But He cannot and will not until we “hear (obey) His voice.” Every day God desires to come and tabernacle among His people. Everyday is a day we have the opportunity to invite Him a little closer into our world. So that one day soon, God’s tabernacle will once again be with mankind!
 
Chag Sukkot Sameach! Happy Holiday!

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