Sukkot 5759
For the week of October 10, 1998
20 Tishri 5759

Sukkot Is for Everyone!

Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16).

The significance of the Feast of Tabernacles (Hebrew: Sukkot - this year: October 7-14), is emphasized by the fact that it is the only Torah festival that will be celebrated one day by all nations.

Sukkot is a reminder of the 40 years that Israel spent in the wilderness prior to entering the Promised Land. During that time the presence of God was clearly evident through the pillar of fire and cloud that both led them and protected them.

Also at that time God provided food for them miraculously. Everyday (except the Sabbath) a bread-like substance called manna formed on the ground. We also read of miraculous provisions of meat and water at various times. When the people entered the Promised Land the manna stopped, for they were in a place where they would live a so-called normal life of planting and harvesting.

During the days of Sukkot the people Israel were to live in temporary shelters to remind them of how they were completely dependant upon God during their wilderness wanderings.

The other main aspect of Sukkot was that the people were to take various growing things and celebrate before the Lord. This was a great harvest thanksgiving festival. The remembrance of the past helped them to appreciate the present.

The people needed to understand that whether they were living in tents and wandering in the wilderness, or living in permanent dwelling in the Land of Israel, either way it was God who was their provider.

We need to understand that our blessings come from God and are not a result of our own doing.

To be thankful requires our acknowledgement of the One to whom thanks is due.

Lack of thanks lead to corruption:

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened (Romans 1:20,21).

We need to give thanks to God. To neglect thanks is to cut ourselves off from the truth and from the love of the One who has given us life. When we neglect to gratefully acknowledge, God we actually are claiming to have given ourselves existence and insist that we can fully depend on ourselves for life. This in effect cuts us off from the very source of life and we become corrupt.

By returning thanks we walk in truth, understanding the real source of the good things of this life. Relating properly to our Creator allows us to live in his creation in the way we were meant to.

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