The Blessings of Observing the Feast of Booths
Exodus 23:14-17; Deuteronomy 16:16-17
Through Moses, God instituted and established three major feasts. They were the “Passover,” the “Feasts of the First Fruits," or “Pentecost,” and the last feast called the “Feast of the Ingathering," or "Feast of the Booths.” Today we call it Thanksgiving. Through these three feasts, God established a special time and a special place to meet with His people. Today we have to seek the Lord while He may be found and call upon Him while He is near (Isa 55:6). Wherever they were scattered around the world, the people would stop all of their daily lives and make their way to Jerusalem to sacrifice to God. God provided protection over their land as they left their homes to come and worship (Exod 34:24). The people came up three times a year to celebrate and as they made their way to Jerusalem they sang “songs of ascents.” They sang these songs as they ascended to the temple, Mt. Zion.
Israel, the center of the world
Israel was at the center of the world and among Israel, the temple was in the center of Jerusalem. Even within the temple, the Holy Place was the center of all places—it was the most holy place. Therefore, when the people came to the temple, they were at the very highest place at the center of the universe. As you worship here and as you give your service, you are at the very center of the universe and God’s attention and his face is upon you today. The Bible declares that God’s mountain will be established above all of the mountains and all nations will stream to this mountain (Isa 2:2). It is from this mountain that people will learn the Word of God. More than the earthly places around the world, this place right now in Shiloh is the very center of God’s attention and the very center of the universe. And there is a special grace today for those who came.
The observance of the Feasts of Booths
The Feast of Booths was the very last feast out of the seven great feasts. On the first day of the 7th month (the month of Tishri on the Jewish calendar) which is the “new moon,” they started the Feast of Trumpet. Then on the 10th day of the 7th month was the “Day of Atonement.” On this day, the high priest went into the holy of holies once a year to make atonement for all of the people. After the Day of Atonement, the very last feast was the “Feast of Ingathering," also known as the "Feast of Booths.” From the 15th day until the 22nd day, the Israelites spent time in “shelters” or “booths.” They would remember the time that God delivered them from Egypt and their 40 years of wilderness journey as they spent their time in the booths. For the first seven days, they offered up sacrifices to God every day. The 8th day was another holy convocation, a holy assembly lifted up to the Lord and on this day, they offered up even more sacrifices to God in thanksgiving. As the people gave their offerings, God came closer to them. The 8th day symbolizes the “new day.” Jesus resurrected on the 8th day. After the Sabbath, the Sunday, or the Lord’s Day which we keep now, is the 8th day, the “new day.” Therefore, it is a symbolic day for the new heaven and new earth and new creation; and they all gathered and celebrated before God.
Our celebration has to be multidimensional
We have to be able to give thanks in various ways. A wife and a husband express their love for one another in different ways with expressions such as “thank you” or “I love you” and through acts of service toward one another. This also includes spending time with each other and through physical affection such as holding hands. In the same way, we need to express our thanksgiving to God in different ways. First of all, we can do this with our hearts (Psa 9:1). Even when we go through things that are not pleasant, we need to show God our thanksgiving. We can also express our love and thanks through the words we speak with our lips (Heb 13:15). We also give thanks to God with our service, dedication and offerings (Psa 116:12; Matt 6:21). In Psalm 50:14-15, 23 it says, “Pay your vows to God and in the day of trouble God will rescue you.” There are great blessings when we give our thanksgiving to God.
Conclusion: On a redemptive historical level, the Feast of Booths and Ingathering is a foreshadow of the harvest at the end of the age, or the end time harvest (Matt 13:39). Therefore, it is the harvest of the souls that God is really interested in. God our Father is preparing a house for us, the kingdom of God, and Jesus Christ is the door to heaven. Therefore, when we give thanks, the prosperity and the blessings are in Christ.