2
Oct

Tabernacles Introduction

Tabernacle 2004 Sunset

The Feast of Tabernacles

Here is a brief introduction of what The Feast of Tabernacles is all about. This is some of what we talked about at our (Sukkot) Tabernacles Celebration.

Three times a year all of Israel was to appear before the Lord in Jerusalem to keep the appointed feasts. No matter where they lived in all the countryside, they had to leave their homes and travel towards Jerusalem to be present before the Lord.

As they journeyed, they would meet one another on the way and become great traveling crowds. As these groups traveled together, they would spontaneously break out into singing. What has come down to us today as Psalms 120-134 became their singing repertoire. These psalms of ascent, enlivened and inspired them, as they climbed the hills, descended the valleys, and ascended towards Jerusalem and Mt. Zion.
Psalm 122 gives us a glimpse of the excitement they must have felt in their hearts.

I rejoiced with those who said to me,
"Let us go to the house of the LORD ."
Our feet are standing
in your gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is built like a city
that is closely compacted together.
That is where the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD ,
to praise the name of the LORD

The Feast of Tabernacles was always one of the most joyous of all the festivals that they celebrated. All their crops had long been stored, and the fruits gathered. They now awaited the softening and refreshment of the latter rain to prepare the land for a new crop. This feast of the 7th month was like a Sabbath to them. After they had finished their all their harvest labors, joy and thankfulness welled up in their hearts as they looked upon all the good things the Lord had provided for them.

Dwelling in booths is a picture of the tents their forefathers lived in for 40 years in the wilderness. The gathering crowds are a picture of all the nations gathered to worship the Lord in Jerusalem in the final harvest.

As their journey continued, Jerusalem always became the focus. At first they would catch a glimpse of the city far off in the distance, high upon the mount. As they came closer, the city for a time might have been completely hidden by a ridge of Mount Olivet. But as they made the turn, they would catch a glimpse of the whole city.

Jerusalem, with its valleys and hills, its walls and towers, palaces and its many streets - was almost like a vision from another world! But surpassing it all was the Temple Mount!

Alone - and isolated in all its grandeur, terrace upon terrace, its courts rose high above the city. Cedar roofed and richly ornamented, the Temple itself stood out a mass of snowy marble - and of Gold! Glittering in the sunlight, against the half encircling green background of Mt. Olivet.

When the pilgrims arrived, the city would already have had a festive aire about it. The colorful booths on the roofs, in the courtyards, as well as roads and gardens, within a Sabbaths day journey - gave the city an unusual picturesque appearance.

When each pilgrim arrived, they would find a place to build their booth. They would make booths out of branches from olive trees, myrtles, palms and shade trees. They would live in their booths for 7 days...

More about Tabernacles later...

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