Feast of Tabernacles, Part 2

Symbols of Jewish fall festival of Sukkot, lulav - etrog, palm branch, myrtle and willow
Symbols of Jewish fall festival of Sukkot, lulav – etrog, palm branch, myrtle and willow

Feast of Tabernacles, Part 2

Scripture, like all other, so-called, religious documents is heavily criticized. The skeptics…and there are plenty of skeptics, claim that what we consider sacred is, in fact, silly. Of course, most of the more reputable and scholarly types wouldn’t put it like that (I only did for the alliterative value 🙂 ). Sure, you will encounter such caustic commentary from the occasional anonymous Internet troll but they really don’t matter. The critics that I believe are the most dangerous are the ones that have all those little letters at the end of their signature line, e.g. PhD, ThD, PsyD. We are conditioned to believe that if there is a “D” associated with someone’s educational credentials then that person is to be listened to unquestionably. Occasionally someone with different letters may nudge their way in. We may have trouble with M.Phil or even the tricky sideways ThM. Many (not all, of course) of these very impressive sounding acronym-defined experts claim that the Bible shouldn’t be taken too seriously; after all it’s “only religious”. Yes, I’m beating that drum again but I’m only doing so because their drums keep getting louder and louder. The critics are increasingly attacking not only the Bible but anyone foolish enough to follow it. Those of us that ignore the experts and do take the Bible seriously are not only being marginalized but, of late, vilified. It seems if you think the Bible is worth adhering to then you are to be considered a bigoted, womanizing, colonizing, murderous, multi-phobe. We’ve even stopped debating or even considering that the Bible may be accurate. It just isn’t discussed anymore as if it has already been “officially” deemed a fable. Now, lest you think I’m merely talking about the pagans and atheists of the world, let me tell you, some of the most vociferous and vicious opponents of a literal interpretation of the Bible answer to “Pastor”, “Reverend”, or “Minister”. Now, I could really go on and on with this attack on the attackers but I don’t want to drift too far from my point.

The key to believing the Bible is believing in Jesus. No, I’m not saying just believe that there once was a person named Jesus but believe in the Jesus that Jesus said Jesus was. If we can come to the conclusion that Jesus was actually everything that He said He was then all else in the Bible falls into place. Once you can accept that Jesus was, for example, the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6) then you would not have a problem believing that Moses struck a rock with his staff and water flowed out of it (Numbers 20:11). You see, both of those passages are there to tell a story about Christ. Not knowing…or believing that that water flowing from the struck rock was a picture of Christ makes it seem like nonsense. Once you know…or believe “why”, the “how” is immaterial. Knowing…and/or, again, believing that Christ is thread that runs throughout the Word of God gives Life and Meaning to it. If you can believe that Jesus was sent of His Father as He said He was (John 20:21 and many others) and that the entire Bible talks about that then Scripture becomes a cohesive narrative like none other…ever. That miracle effectively makes all other reported miracles not only believable, but certain.

The Seven Feasts of Israel exemplify the above Truth in grand and glorious style. In this episode we wrap up our discussion of the Feast of Tabernacles. This is another one of those lessons that will either thrill your soul or cause you to question my integrity. It will either intrigue you or repel you. It is our argument in this episode that a close and objective view of the Biblical…and, surprisingly, traditional details of this festival will lead to the Truth that Jesus is the Coming King. Like all seven of these Feasts, Christ is the object, purpose and fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles. Need some convincing? Then have a listen to today’s lesson.

However, before you do, might I suggest that if you are a saved Christian that you take a few moments to seek the Lord’s Wisdom by going to Him in prayer. Ask Him to reveal to you His Mind on these matters so that you can better uncover the invaluable treasures of Scripture. Pray that God will open your spirit to His as you diligently, honestly and sincerely seek His Truth.

Feast of Tabernacles, Part 1

View Of Jerusalem with the Temple of Solomon by
Philippe de Champaigne, 17th Century
Image in the Public Domain
“View Of Jerusalem with the Temple of Solomon”
by Philippe de Champaigne, 17th Century
Image in the Public Domain

Feast of Tabernacles, Part 1

Throughout Scripture, time and again God is seen stretching a Helping Hand to His people. His entire Book is a record of His love and care for them. God not only chronicled the many times He provided for the nation Israel but He insisted that they celebrate what He has done for them. You see, it’s not only important to God that His children praise Him for His constant provision but it’s also important for His children to remember the many ways He’s supported and cared for them. It is a lesson for all of us because when we remember the Lord’s tender love and help, we call to mind His abilities and willingness to lift us above whatever is pressing against us.

That is precisely God’s purpose in giving the Feast of Tabernacles. In today’s episode we discuss not only the Scriptural but the traditional details of the Feast the Jewish people call Sukkot (or Succoth). God intended this Feast to be a reminder of the time He provided for the nation of Israel when they were fleeing the Egyptians following the Exodus. It is a celebration of God’s Faithfulness and mankind’s total but joyous dependence on Him. (Of course, there is another reason for this celebration but you’ll have to wait for Part 2 to hear about that. Can you guess? I’m sure you can.)

In this podcast we have decided to go into some depth describing the ancient Talmudic traditions that have grown up around God’s original Feast. We learn that Sukkot is greatly loved by the Jewish people and has been for millennia. In this first part we concentrate on the ancient festivities and see that even tradition can be used to shed Scriptural light on Truth.

I want to remind you that we are discussing matters of eternal importance. You may think that these sorts of things are for the Jew only but everything in God’s Word can be applied to everyone; Jew, Christian…even non-believer. It is all so vital and that is why we urge you each time to take a moment to pray before you begin the study. There is so much to learn and so much to meditate on that we must be certain that God is with us, guiding us and showing us what His Word has to say. So, I strongly suggest that you go to the Father in prayer and ask Him to assist you as you hear His Word taught so that you may glean from it every precious gem that will lead you closer to Him.

Rosh Hashanah

A Man Blowing a Shofar
The Blowing of the Shofar

Rosh Hashanah

Perhaps no single event in all of history has had more impact on Judaism than the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D. (we don’t use C.E. around here). Prior to 70 A.D. all the way back to shortly after the return from Babylonian exile and then before that 70 years all the way back to Solomon, all the worship activities were conducted at and within the Temple. After Titus swept through Jerusalem, less than 40 years after the death of Jesus, the devastation was unspeakable and the Temple lay in ruin and remains in ruin to this very day. Without the Temple, Jewish worship was drastically and tragically altered. No Temple, no altars. No altars, no sacrifices. No sacrifices and nothing would be the same. Even the revered celebrations of the magnificent Seven Feasts of Israel radically changed from the original intent to the point that the rich Biblical meaning and symbolism are, now, largely hidden from the typical Jewish worshiper and Christian seeker-after-truth. That’s why it is vital for every child of God to return to Scripture to try and rediscover why God instituted these wonder filled celebrations.

In this episode we renew our series on the Seven Feasts that God gave Israel. This time we begin by talking about the “Fall” festivals, starting with Rosh Hashanah, otherwise known as the Feast of Trumpets. Now, that doesn’t mean the Hebrew phrase “Rosh Hashanah” has anything to do with trumpets. The literal translation is “head of the year” or the more useful and commonly used looser translation, “new year”. Rosh Hashanah is the celebration of the Jewish (civil) New Year. “Then why is it also called ‘Feast of Trumpets'”? Well, here is one of those radical changes to the Jewish system of worship we spoke of a moment ago. To hear the details, join us for this week’s podcast.

But before you press “play” make sure you’re spirit is prepared and your heart is open and your mind is clear. The best way to do all of that…and, frankly, ANYTHING, is to ask for God’s help. Go to God and pray that He will assist you in understanding these crucial, vital, unmatched in the human realm celebrations that He gave His people. Ask for God’s Spirit of Truth to guide you as you strive to grasp what He has presented in His Word. Ask Him to permit you to see all that He is saying so that you can fully honor Him and His Son and come to a saving knowledge of all that He has done to bring you closer to Him.