When I camp with Dad He provides everything I need.
Sukkot texts: Exodus 23:16; Leviticus 23:34-43; Deuteronomy 16:13-15; 1 Kings 8:2, 65; Matthew 17:1-4; Zechariah 14:16-19; Ezekiel 37:26-28; John 7:1-10, 37-39, 8:12-20; Revelation 21:22-23;
Sukkot (Temporary dwellings) is rich with symbolism and filled with potential for spiritual growth. Often we teach numerous aspects and principles, illuminations and halakhic principles based on the variety of kinetic practices that make up our observance of this feast of feasts. However, many only read about Sukkot, theorize over it, wonder at its prophetic significance and debate its purpose. In doing so the joy of remembrance is lost to the business of theology, resulting in the rotten fruit of human understanding rather than the joyous (simchah) fruit of HaShem’s Spirit.
Within the discipline of Yom Kippur (The fast) I find myself guilty of sin and am delighted at the sound of the Shofar (The voice of the Messiah Yeshua) in which I find a confirmation of the forgiveness I’ve received through His substitutional sacrifice. It’s in the practice of fasting that my soul is afflicted for good. The same is true of our Sukkot joy. It’s not in study alone but in the kinetic worship practice of Sukkot that we truly behold the light of Messiah as He illuminates the purposes of HaShem to us.
It’s in the act of constructing my sukkah that I become aware of the present Messiah, the ultimate ushpizin (guest) building alongside me. I consider His formerly frail earthly body and His eternally strong resurrected body and am reminded that this sukkah is temporary but the future sukkah it represents is eternal and unshakable.
I feel the rough hands of the builder (Hebrews 11:9-10) as He guides the nails and selects the palm branches for the roof. He speaks to my nefesh (soul), that central part of me that I chose to afflict five days prior as I fasted for Yom Kippur, He suggests that I look through the openings in the ceiling of the sukkah toward the stars. I’m filled with eternal hope, as I observe the messengers of HaShem gliding through space and time on their way to visit my temporary shelter.
“Look”, says Moshe, “Understand”, says Eliyahu, “the Kingdom of G-d has come” (Matthew 17:1-4).
As I wave the lulav (willow, myrtle, palm and citron: the wave offering), I treasure the work of G-d at every point of the compass, and in the heavens above and sheol below. The fragrance of the citron inspires zest for life, its shape, purity of heart and the palm branch celebrates the coming King.
Ruth (The Gentile believer) lights the festive candles of observance and remembrance and the light breaks out in supernatural awe as the Mashiyach speaks:
“I am the light for the world! The one who follows me, will not walk in darkness. You will have the light that gives life” –Yochanan/John 8:12
As the seven days begin I ask, “Yeshua, is Abba here?” It’s not Yeshua but the Father who answers from behind me, beside me, above me, beneath me and within me, “I’m here my son, I’m well pleased in you.” The temporary sukkah and the world itself evaporates. I am standing in the Olam Habah (World to come) alongside me are many brothers and sisters, G-d and His Messiah are the light of this incomparable hope, seven days have become forever, a complex unity of life eternal, I no longer need to prepare my camping gear, when I camp with Dad He provides everything I need.
“On that day the branch (Messiah) of Hashem will be beautiful and glorious; and the fruit of the land will be the pride and splendour of Israel’s remnant. 3 Those left in Zion and remaining in Yerushalayim will be called set apart, and everyone in Yerushalayim written down for life… HaShem will create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a smoking cloud by day and a shining, flaming fire by night; for the Glory will be over everything like a chuppah (Wedding canopy). A sukkah will give shade by day from the heat; it will also provide refuge and cover from storm and rain.” –Yishaiyahu/Isaiah 4:2-6
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! G-d’s dwelling place is now among humanity, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and G-d Himself will be with them and be their G-d.’” –Revelation 21:3
© 2015 Yaakov Brown
Spiritual leader of Beth Melekh Community, Auckland, Aotearoa, N.Z.