The LORD's Feasts and Holy Days

Tabernacles 2016: Meanings of the Feast

lulav waveTabernacles 2016: Meanings of the Feast

Prelude Music

Opening prayer

Opening hymns

Hymn 1:  p. 35 – Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

Hymn 2: p. 225 – Joyful at the Feast     

The story of God's people is by and large, a story of redemption and future hope and restoration for mankind.  This kind of hope differs from an ordinary man-made expectations which are subject to change and even failure. On the contrary, the Christian hope is rooted in God Himself and in His eternal purposes fully anchored in His words.

For the believers, this is the Faith that drives us not only to be living expectantly for the coming Kingdom, but also to live the future intensively in the here and now (present) through a life that is shown by its fruitfulness.

 In many ways that hope are expressed in the festival that we celebrate today: the Feast of Tabernacles.  

The Feast of Tabernacles completes the sacred festivals of the seven month of the Hebrew calendar. In contrast to the subdued or somber mood of the feasts of Trumpets and Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles is a season of rejoicing.

From the time it was revealed to ancient Israel, the Feast of Tabernacles or “Booths” has been the source of inspiration that strengthens their faith and nourishes their hope in the outworking of God’s plan of redemption.

The Feast of Tabernacles is known by different names in the Old Testament. Because of its familiarity, the feast was simply referred to as “the feast”—1 Kings 8:2; or “the feast of the Lord”—Lev 23:39. This is indicative of its prominent role and of its rich meanings.

For our Songs and Scriptures, we will be going thru each of these names as we look at the lessons and the many ways the Feast was understood through its traditional, historical and prophetic significance. So we will be looking at the various ways the Feast has been described  or named with through its many rich attributes providing us analogy/typology lessons in history and as future promises unfolds.

Our first batch of bible readers will be giving some these introductory narratives as the children of Israel received the instructions and how/when to keep it.

Bible Reader 1 – a Sacred Assembly

Exodus 5:1-2; Exodus 10:9

Exodus 23:14-17

Bible Reader 2 – a Sacred Assembly

Leviticus 23:33-44

Thank you bible readers. Brethren, let’s all stand and sing the following hymn…

Hymn 3. p.120 – Behold, the Day Will Come

Hymn 4. p.226 –The Feast is Spread 

B. The Festival of Ingathering (Heb. Khag HaAsif).  As the name “ingathering” suggests, this festival was to take place once the produce of the vineyards and product of the threshing rooms was collected. “Feast of Ingathering” and the “Feast of Booths” were the two most common names for this feast. These two names of the feast reflect its dual meaning and function. With reference to the harvest, it is called “the Feast of Ingathering” (Ex 23:16); and with reference to the history of Israel, it is called “the Feast of Booths” (Deut 16:13, 16; 31:10) because it commemorated God’s protection of the people as they dwelt in booths during their sojourn in the wilderness. Both of these features are preserved in the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Similarly, the Feast of Ingathering commemorated the historic preservation, sustenance and divine protection during the wilderness sojourning of Israel. It was timed/calibrated to be joyfully celebrated at the completed “fruit” harvests during Fall. So it is noted that this seasonal harvest settings was very intentional to help the people better conceptualize and adapt the spiritual realities as typified by these feasts in their practical and day-to-day life.

Our next set of Bible readers will be providing us some of these events and applications:


Bible Reader 3 – Feast of Ingathering

Exodus 23:14-17;

Exodus 34:22-23

Bible Reader 4 – Feast of Ingathering

Numbers 29:12-40

Thank you reader. Please all rise as we sing

Hymn 5 p.2.50 Deeper than the Sea

C. Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). The Hebrew sukkot, which literally means “booths” or “huts,” is

rendered in the Latin Vulgate as tabernacula, from which we derive the English designation of the “Feast of Tabernacles.” The term “Tabernacles” is somewhat a modern adaptation of the originally unstable “huts”. Tabernacles convey the idea of “tent structures” like the Tabernacle in the wilderness which is more stable structures.

Our next Bible reader will give us some of these terrifying messages and visions as trumpet’s warning :          

Bible Reader 5 – Feast of “Sukkot”

Deuteronomy 16:13-16

Deuteronomy 31:9-13

Thank you reader. Please all rise as we sing responsively…

Hymn 6p.25 How Filled with Honor is the Place

Hymn 7p. 27The Lord’s My Shepherd


D. “Feast of Shelters” or Booth. In reality, sukkot refers to temporary “booths” or “huts” made especially for the feast, not of canvas, but of branches of leafy trees. That is why, to be consistent with the meaning of the name in the Old Testament, “the Feast of Booths” or “shelters” is the more appropriate name.  Temporary “booths” as shelters symbolized man’s need to depend on God for the provision of food, water, and shelter. If this is true physically, then this is also true in spiritual realm. For without the provision of His presence and power, all men would be left naked and destitute. 

Moreover, the analogy of “booth” reminds us of our temporal nature looking for a more perfect tabernacle or “tent” only God can bestow or “clothed” upon us in His Kingdom.

Our next bible reader will read verses pertaining to this.

Bible Reader 6 Feast of Booths

Genesis 33:10-17

Nehemiah 8:13-18


Thank you Bible Reader. Brethren, please all stand as we responsively offer our next hymns:

Hymn 8: p.124 In Days of Old


Watch And Pray: Thank you, brethren. Let us pause now as we hear the news that we need to watch and pray for.

Thank you for the special music offering and for our watchman.

E. A “Pilgrims Feast.” Jesus and His family kept the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7). The apostles and the early church also kept the Holy Days. In fact the Church began on the Day of Pentecost (also known as the Feast of Weeks).

In addition to their historical legacy, these Holy Days offer “a shadow of things to come” in the plan of God (Colossians 2:16-17). Both Paul and Peter referred to our physical human body as a “tabernacle” that we dwell in during our journey as pilgrims toward the promised Kingdom of God (2 Peter 1:13-14).

When Jesus Christ returns to earth to establish that Kingdom of God on earth, the dead in Christ will be resurrected to eternal life and will rule with him for a thousand years (Revelation 1:6; 2:26, 3:21; 5:10).

Our next bible reader will provide us more on these spiritual applications...

Bible Reader 7– A “Pilgrims Feast.”  

Exodus 6:1-9

1 Chronicles 29:10-15

Psalm 42:1-4

Psalm 84: 1-5


Reader 8 A “Pilgrims Feast.”  

Hebrews  11:8-16

2 Peter 1:12-15

2 Corinthians 5:1-8

Thank you Bible Reader. Brethren, please all stand as we responsively offer our next hymns:

Hymn 9:  p.60 Guide Us, O Thou Great Redeemer

Hymn 10: p.134 Israel, The Beautiful


F. The “Season of Our Joy”. The Feast of Ingathering also came to be known as “The Season of Our Joy.” Three times in the command to keep the feast, we are enjoined to “rejoice”, “enjoy”, to have full of “joy”. Deuteronomy 16:14-15 says to “Be joyful at your Feast for the Lord your God will bless you and your joy will be complete.”

Moreover, the agricultural fruit harvests at year-end added the momentum, the crops were gathered into the storehouses. The work was done, the harvest was over, and the joy that was unleashed at the end of long, hard labor found its perfect outlet for expression.

The significance of the Tabernacles or Sukkot, was so great that it came to be known simply as “The Feast”. The Hebrew word “hag” comes from the root word which means “to dance or to be joyous” and applies exclusively to the three festivals of Passover, Shavout (Pentecost), and Sukkot (or Tabernacles).  No wonder, this most loved of all holy days, the final feast in  the annual cycle, was indeed high point in the life of believers. This is “the Feast” that God blessed us to keep today!


More on these verses from our final Reader…


Reader 9 – The “Season of Our Joy”

Deuteronomy 12:1-7

Psalm 100

Psalm 147

Revelation 19:6-10

Revelation 21:1-4

Thank you readers. That concludes our Song Service.

Hymn 11: p.126 When Christ Shall Come

Hymn 12: p.127 There is Joy in My Heart

Closing prayer.

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