For the week of October 11, 2003 / 15 Tishri 5764
Torah: Vayikra / Leviticus 22:26 - 23:24; and
Bemidbar / Numbers 29:12-16
Haftarah: Zechariah 14:1-21
Originally published the week of October 14, 2000 / 15 Tishri 5761

Thanksgiving Is Not Enough

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 Festival of Tabernacles (in Hebrew: Sukkot) is the only Torah festival that will one day be celebrated by all the nations of the world. Examining what this festival is about helps us to see why.

During Sukkot, the people of Israel were to move out of their permanent dwellings and live in temporary shelters for a week. This national camp out was to remind the people of their forty years of wandering in the wilderness prior to entering the Promised Land.

During that time God protected them and provided for them in great miraculous ways. Once they entered the Land, they lived a more or less normal existence, living in houses constructed to protect them from the elements and providing for themselves through agriculture.

This festival was to remind them that even though they lived in houses of stone and other strong materials, and while they worked so hard all year in their fields, it was still God who protected them and provided for them.

And so they were to rejoice before him, giving him thanks for his protection and provision.

One of our most basic spiritual needs is to be thankful to God. When we do so we are acknowledging who he is and what he does for us.

But it is not just a state of thankfulness that we need.

Notice that the nations will actually celebrate this very festival - the festival of God's provision and protection of the people of Israel long ago. And they do so in Jerusalem.

We need to acknowledge and thank the true God. It is the God of Israel that has been providing for us all along. It is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and Yeshua whom we need to thank. The nations will journey to Jerusalem because this God, the same God who initiated this feast in the first place, will dwell there.

As we get in touch with how God has taken care of us, let us also realize who that God really is.

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