Leviticus 23:40-43. On the first day you are to take choice fruit, palm fronds, thick branches and river-willows, and celebrate in the presence of ADONAI your God for seven days. 41 You are to observe it as a feast to ADONAI seven days in the year; it is a permanent regulation, generation after generation; keep it in the seventh month.
On Sukkot, we bind all the branches together – willows, palm branch, and myrtles (This is called the Esrog and Lulav). We hold this bundle in our right hand, and then lift them together with the Esrog. We then shake them all together, three times in each of the cardinal directions.
Holding these four in a tight bond represents the unity that is God’s goal for the His People. The bond represents the convergence of separate individuals into a unified people, a One New Humanity, with common vision, common goal, and common purpose of service to our King. While waving the Esrog and Lulav three times in each of the cardinal directions we recite the following blessing:
“Baruch ata Adonoy, Elo-heinu Melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu bi’mitzvo-sav, vi’tzivanu al ni-tilas lulav.”
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who sanctified us with His mitzvot, and instructed us to raise up the Lulav.
When we celebrate the Moedim, the Feasts with others, we experience the power of communal worship with those who have the same zeal and heart for God! Sukkot is one of the three pilgrimage festivals that was commanded by God to be celebrated in Jerusalem when the Temple existed, or as scripture states, wherever the Lord chooses to have you celebrate it! Some erroneously believe this feast is only to be done by Jewish people in the land of Israel, however that does not reconcile to scripture:
Leviticus 23:42. You are to live in sukkot for seven days; every citizen of Isra’el is to live in a sukkah,
Once again, who is Israel?
Ephesians 2:19. So then, you are no longer foreigners and strangers. On the contrary, you are fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s family.
Sukkot is a profound connection to our past, our present, and our prophetic messianic future. Sukkot represents the Millennial Reign, the Millennial Shabbat, the wedding feast. Sukkot is about the in gathering of the Nations. Sukkot is the prophetic rehearsal for the establishment of Adonai’s Kingdom here upon this earth! Zechariah 14 records Earth Shaking events that lead to the establishment of Jerusalem as the center of the world, the place in which Yeshua will reign as King upon this earth! The New Jerusalem with the Heavenly Temple descends from heaven. Adonai Himself is the Holy of Holies as Yeshua ascends His throne to rule in Jerusalem. After this great battle:
Zechariah 14:16-18. Finally, everyone remaining from all the nations that came to attack Yerushalayim will go up every year to worship the king, ADONAI-Tzva’ot, and to keep the festival of Sukkot. 17 If any of the families of the earth does not go up to Yerushalayim to worship the king, ADONAI-Tzva’ot, no rain will fall on them. 18 If the family of Egypt doesn’t go up, if they refuse to come, they will have no [annual] overflow [from the Nile]; moreover, there will be the plague with which ADONAI will strike the nations that don’t go up to keep the festival of Sukkot.
Everyone shall celebrate Sukkot when the Lion of Judah, Yeshua returns to establish His Kingship upon this earth, or they will suffer a plague! Yeshua will return for us, His bride, those whose names have not been blotted out and remain in the Sefer HaChaim, The Book of Life after Yom Kippur the day of purging! The book of life is the invite list for the wedding feast. Sukkot is the rehearsal for the Wedding feast:
Revelation 7:9. After this, I looked; and there before me was a huge crowd, too large for anyone to count, from every nation, tribe, people and language. They were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palm branches in their hands;
To pursue an intimate relationship with God in Yeshua we must arise from our place of Comfort and enter in to meet the King who has risen from the throne to meet us on His Appointed Times. Everyone is invited to the wedding feast, but only those who have prepared and are in their wedding clothes will be allowed to remain in the invitation book. Many will respond to the invitation but only those who remain in the book will be able to attend, for many are called, but few are chosen.
Isaiah 4:3-6. Those left in Tziyon and remaining in Yerushalayim will be called holy, and everyone in Yerushalayim written down for life. 4 When Adonai washes away the filth of the women of Tziyon and cleanses Yerushalayim from the blood shed in it with a blast of searing judgment, 5 ADONAI will create over the whole site of Mount Tziyon 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 hupah. 6 A sukkah will give shade by day from the heat; it will also provide refuge and cover from storm and rain.
The Prophet clearly makes the connection between the wedding feast (Chupah) and Sukkot. Sukkot gives us a glimpse into the World/Age to Come. It’s interesting that verse 6 states the Sukkah will give shade during the day and refuge and cover from the storm so unlike the legalistic Orthodox way of building Sukkahs without a protective roof. A biblical Sukkah protects one from the elements, its waterproof! Sukkot enjoins us through the span of time to all Israel, Past, Present, and Future through Yeshua. Adonai teaches us and guides us regarding the path we should take:
Isaiah 48:17-18. Thus says ADONAI, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Isra’el: “I am ADONAI, your God, who teaches you for your own good, who guides you on the path you should take. 18 If only you would heed my mitzvot! Then your peace would flow on like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
We see a prophetic connection in our relationship between Adonai, Rivers, and Shalom. He teaches us for our own good, He guides us on the path we should take! If we choose to obey His commands, mitzvahs, and His word, our Shalom will flow on like a river. Shalom as we know is a complex word meaning lack of conflict, to be complete, whole, like a brick wall missing no bricks and having no cracks or holes. Shalom conveys something complex, with lots of pieces that are whole like a brick wall without cracks or missing bricks. The one new man from Ephesians 2:15 says by making Jew and Gentile one, Yeshua thus made Shalom! There is a direct connection between this prophetic passage, Sukkot, and Yeshua! The result is the invasion of the natural by the supernatural. We know that there is also a connection between Yeshua, living water, and Shalom:
John 7:1-2. After this, Yeshua traveled around in the Galil, intentionally avoiding Y’hudah because the Judeans were out to kill him. 2 But the festival of Sukkot in Y’hudah was near;
Yeshua was encouraged to go to Jerusalem to celebrate Sukkot, but He said not yet, His time hadn’t come until:
John 7:14-19. Not until the festival was half over did Yeshua go up to the Temple courts and begin to teach. 15 The Judeans were surprised: “How does this man know so much without having studied?” they asked. 16 So Yeshua gave them an answer: “My teaching is not my own, it comes from the One who sent me. 17 If anyone wants to do his will, he will know whether my teaching is from God or I speak on my own. 18 A person who speaks on his own is trying to win praise for himself; but a person who tries to win praise for the one who sent him is honest, there is nothing false about him. 19 Didn’t Moshe give you the Torah? Yet not one of you obeys the Torah! Why are you out to kill me?”
What’s happening here? Yeshua is teaching what we teach and establish here at Congregation Zion’s Sake. The Judeans weren’t obeying Torah! It’s not legalistic observances, its obedience to God’s word that establishes worship in Spirit and Truth! Yeshua revealed a supernatural mystery at Sukkot 2,000 years ago:
John 7:38. Whoever puts his trust in me, as the Scripture says, rivers of living water will flow from his inmost being!”
When we put our trust in Yeshua, immerse ourselves in Him, when Yeshua is manifest within us and we are in submission and obedience to Adonai rivers of living water will flow from our inmost being. May you be a source of living water and shalom this Sukkot!
Rabbi Eric S Carlson