The next Old Testament festival of the year is the Feast of the Tents. (Other names: Feast of Booths, Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot.) No matter what you call it, this is a fun festival! It is a reminder of the time that the Israelites spent following God through the wilderness. On the good side, God provided for their every need and He was literally camped with them in a tent of His own. On the bad side, their entire lifestyle was temporary. Everything they owned they had to carry along with them, without a permanent place to stay. Every campsite was temporary. Their homes were temporary. They went to bed every night knowing that tomorrow they might have to pack up, break camp, and start moving again. Every morning, for 14,600 mornings, they woke up wondering if it was time to move on! Can you even imagine that?
Live in temporary shelters for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in such shelters so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’” (See Leviticus 23:33-43 for more details.)
Hold On Loosely
That brings us to us. Do you see the world around you as temporary, or permanent? How about your stuff? Your home? Even your own body? Paul told the Corinthians “…we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven…”
Keep that in mind.
We are aliens and pilgrims on this earth.
We are here on a temporary assignment.
This is not our Home. (Hebrews 11:13-16)
Why does this perspective matter? Here are just a few reasons:
- It helps us to avoid greed. (Build up treasure in Heaven.)
- It helps us to fight anxiety. (Don’t worry – it’s all going to burn someday anyway. Worst case scenario, it just burns a little early.)
- It helps us to avoid arrogance. (It’s a gift from God, and it’s temporary.)
- It helps us persevere through anything. (This bad stuff is temporary and manageable.)
- It helps us resist temptation. (Sin’s pleasure is temporary.)
No Tents in Heaven
John 14:1-3 (NLT)
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”
Don’t let the temporary ebbs and flows of this life captivate you, or get you down. On this feast of tents, let’s celebrate the fact that we can look forward to a permanent home! And when I say “permanent,” I mean “PERMANENT!”
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Jews For Jesus: Sukkot
Jew FAQ: Sukkot
Pictures from our Feast of Booths Celebration – Camping in the Basement!
Luke helping build the tent
The boys, pretending to be asleep…