This concludes the message I preached during the Feast of Tabernacles at Bundaberg Baptist Church. I pray you will read these notes and receive the awesome blessing of the Lord.
The Greek word for tabernacle is ‘skene’…S-K-E-N-E. It is used in John 1:14 where we read ‘the Word was made flesh and ‘tabernacled’ among us.”
The Apostle Peter used SKENE to describe his own physical body when he was about to die. In 2 Peter 1:13-14 he wrote about putting off his ‘tabernacle.’
I feel like my tabernacle is being put off on a daily basis. I recall days when I ran, played sports, and burned energy without thinking. Now my mind is much fitter than my frame.
Our bodies are not permanent. We live in what Peter thought of as a ‘tent’ or Sukkah – a temporary dwelling.
Consider the Lord Himself – He left His heavenly home and came to earth and lived in a human body for 33 years.
The Apostle Paul wrote about our physical bodies. 2 Cor. 5:1 “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
This is life on earth is not our permanent condition. Earth is not our eternal home. We need the Lord and our perspective should look forward to eternity. It is only through faith in Him we will find ‘the peace of God that passes all understanding.’
The Jews to this day believe, if it rains during or shortly after the Feast of Tabernacles it’s a good omen. The farmers rejoiced because good rains meant abundant crops.
I remember our Jewish friends happily declaring rain at this time, to be an indication, God is with them. They sang and danced for joy!!!
It’s also interesting that the Feast of Tabernacles is known by another name – THE FEAST OF THE OUTPOURING OF THE WATERS. And that name requires an explanation. The feast takes place in the Hebrew month of Tishri, after the harvest had been gathered in. Now the land waits hopefully for what is called ‘the latter rains.’ No doubt you’ve heard that phrase before.
Each day the priest gathered water from the pool of Siloam. He did this while the people sang from the Hallel psalms 113-118.
The water was poured onto the corner of the altar throughout the Feast and this procedure simulated the importance of rain for the harvest. That rain meant life itself.
Then comes this…
John 7:37,38 “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his
innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”
This verse is often quoted. It is very well known. Consider the context. Have we stopped and considered how much courage was needed for Jesus to make this very loud proclamation, at this time, before these people?
Jesus makes His declaration even while the people were singing the Psalms and praising God for His blessings.
They were singing verses like this…..
Psalm 113:1-3 “Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, Praise the name of the LORD. Blessed be the name of the LORD. From this time forth and forever. From the rising of the sun to its setting
The name of the LORD is to be praised.”
Psalm 118:14-15 “The LORD is my strength and song,
and He has become my salvation. The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous;
The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.”
These Psalms are sung as the Priest gathers the water into a golden pitcher. The instruction comes from Isaiah 12: 3
Isaiah 12:3 “Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation.”
At this very moment and in this incredible context Jesus proclaims Himself to be the river of life. What a wonderful moment!!! How bold of Him?
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink .”
In this proclamation at this particular feast, Jesus declares that He fulfills every requirement them.
He repeats the promise of the Father.
Isaiah 55:1 “Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.”
Right at the end of their worship, the celebrants sang Psalm 118:25-27
I pray these words speak to your own heart and soul. Maybe you have a fragile sukkah moment. You may be living in a time of difficulty and your life feels vulnerable, uncertain and insecure.
You most likely know someone who needs to know the Lord is with them. Be assured today He is with you. Feast on Him
Take these words to heart and allow the rain of His Spirit to minister His love and assurance to you in your hour of need.
“Adonai, please save us! Adonai, please prosper us! Blessed is he who comes in the name of Adonai!
“We have blessed you out of the house of Adonai.
God is Adonai, and he has given us light.”
May God richly bless you and His Spirit bring you a new and refreshing sense of His Presence.