|The view from my favorite writing spot |
during this Feast of Tabernacles
I'm celebrating by spending a few days in the mountains with my family. However, I confess that I'm not living outside all week in a makeshift booth...
Even so, I'm feeling joyful in the midst of God's creation, which is appropriate, because the nickname for this feast is Zeman Simchateinu, the Season of our Joy.
Why is Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, so joyful? For starters, God actually commanded His people to rejoice and celebrate!
The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Lord’s Festival of Tabernacles begins...you are to...celebrate...rejoice...celebrate...celebrate... Leviticus 23:33-34,38-41
Now, you may or may not know that the heart of Sukkot is God's command to live in temporary, primitive booths for the whole feast (refer to past blogs for more on this).
So why would living for a week in flimsy booths made from branches cause someone to rejoice? God Himself gives the reason:
"'[S]o your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’” Leviticus 23:43
Living in flimsy huts calls us to rejoice because it reminds us that when we think there's not enough food or water, or when we're being ambushed by enemies, or tricked by our own, or surrounded by complainers, our hope is not in things or in people, but in God Himself.
Living in flimsy huts calls us to rejoice because we remember that our protection and our well-being isn't secured by giant stone walls or vast mighty armies. Or by safe cars or fat retirement accounts. Or by career politicians or supreme courts of law.
To be perfectly honest, I can't think of better timing for the Feast of Tabernacles than the eve of this troubling election. The angst and anger flying across social media and coffee shops tempt a person to think that the fate of all future generations hangs in the balance of one human being. But it doesn't.
God knows exactly who will move into the White House in January. But He will still occupy the Throne of Heaven. And in one thousand years, when 2016 is ancient history, our holy God will still be sitting on His Throne. And those who love Him will be with Him.
So trade your angst and anger for joy. Because we have an eternal, immortal Avenu Malkeinu - Father and King - Who sustains and protects us, no matter what swirls around us.
So speak the peace. Have eternal perspective. And rejoice!