Hebrew Roots/Holy Days/Tabernacles/Tabernacles/Constructing a Sukkah
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SUKKAH
The instructions for the Festival of Tabernacles (Sukkot) is at the end of the religious year, in Leviticus 23: 34-36. "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, 'The fifteenth day of the seventh month shall be the feast (festival) of tabernacles for seven days unto Yahweh. On the first day shall be an holy convocation; you shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh; on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you, and you shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh; it is a solemn assembly, and you shall do no servile work therein'."
He amplified these commands concerning the keeping of the festival in verses 39-43, saying, "Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruits of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto Yahweh seven days: on the first day shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath. And ye shall take unto you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook, and ye shall rejoice before your God seven days. And you shall keep it a feast unto Yahweh seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations and ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths: that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths (tents, temporary dwellings) when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am Yahweh your God."
We are instructed to take various tree branches and make a 'booth' (sukkah) and dwell in and rejoice before God seven days in it. It is to be a representation and memorial of dwelling in 'booths' in the wilderness. What is the significance of this?
- ===WE BUILD THE SUKKAH===
The designated trees are understood to be the myrtle, the olive, the palm and willow branches. Nehemiah 8:15
The myrtle for joy and fruitfulness, the olive to represent the anointing, the palm as a symbol of the victorious life, and the willow for weeping, i.e. trials, testings by which the flesh is purified.
With these components we construct a temporary shelter to last the seven days. By so doing we exercise faith in the elements of His redemptive plan for us which was established by Him, firstly when He established the pattern of redemption, coming in His Father's name to Israel in the wilderness to lead them out of bondage in Egypt to an eternal inheritance in the promised land. Then in its initial fulfillment, when He came as the Word made flesh and tabernacled among us in the form of humanity, to bring that plan to reality and provide redemption for us so that He could dwell/tabernacle within us by His Spirit. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, and glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" John 1:14
Y'shua poured out His life so that a canopy of His Presence would be established for Him to dwell with His people forever. His constant "tabernacling" as a canopy in us and over us is through His indwelling Spirit which unites us as a corporate Body. (Matthew 28:20; Ephesians 2:22)
We build the sukkah as a representative Canopy of His Presence over us.
- ===WE ENTER THE SUKKAH===
By entering the sukkah we are walking out a living representation of coming under His sheltering Hand and trusting Him as our divine source of Protection and Providence. The sukkah reminds us of our total and complete dependence on Him throughout our lives, and our need for His divine Presence on a continual basis.
Yahweh is our true, eternal shelter. His protection and providence is a daily need for each one of us. He is the canopy over our heads, not only in the natural realm but also our protection from the evil one.(Matthew 6:13; Psalm 91)
True security comes only by faith in Yahweh as our shield, guardian, protector, sustainer, and provider! He is the One who both sees and comprehends our situation, our needs, our utter and complete dependence upon Him! Our security and trust needs to be in His protection of us. Psalm 27: 5; 91:1, 9; Isaiah 4:5-6
Therefore, the sukkah has a spiritual meaning for believers to remind us of the spiritual "sukkah", the Cloud of His Presence over us and our dependence and reliance upon Him in every area of our lives.
- ===WE SIT IN THE SUKKAH===
The sukkah is a statement of our faith in Y'shua as our Redeemer and Shepherd for our journey through life. By living in the sukkah we demonstrate our faith in the divine hand of God to lead and guide us to our final destination and into the spiritual inheritance which He has promised us.
The impermanence of the sukkah reminds us that life on earth is unstable and transitory - that our pilgrimage here in this life is but temporary, where we have no permanent dwelling and wait for that which is to come and that we need to trust and rely upon Him in all things in this pilgrim journey. Hebrews 11:13-16; 2 Corinth. 5:1-5; 1 Peter 2:11
“For in your presence we are temporary residents, just passing through, as all our ancestors were our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.” I Chronicles 29:15
Even our earthly body is but a tabernacle for this present era. John 14: 2-3
It is therefore a declaration of our faith in the life to come by 'leaving' our worldly possessions and coming to live in the sukkah for the duration of the feast and 'await' with joy that which is to come.
- ===WE REMAIN IN THE SUKKAH UNDER HIS CANOPY===
The sukkah is a symbol of the Wedding Canopy which the Bridegroom constructs for His Betrothed. Y'shua went to prepare a place for us in His Father's House and will come again to receive us as His Bride. John 14: 1-3
Staying for seven days in the sukkah represents our faith in His promise to return and consummate the union with us as His Bride. It is a prophetic declaration that we are ready and waiting for Him according to the covenant He made with us. Matthew 25: 1-13
In Biblical customs, the seven days is the time period of intimacy between them before the Bride is presented to the guests, for the wedding supper to commence. After seven days in the "chuppah," the bride and groom join their special guests for the marriage supper.
As Y'shua’s bride, we will someday enjoy a jubilant marriage supper with our Bridegroom. "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." Revelation 19: 7
“After this, I looked; and there before me was a huge crowd, too large for anyone to count, from every nation, tribe 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; and they shouted, ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” Revelation 7: 9-10
It also pictures the future new earth where Yahweh God will once again dwell with His people the latter "House" would be greater than the former. (Haggai 2: 5-9; Isaiah 2: 1-3; Zephaniah 3:15; Zechariah 8: 3; Ezekiel 37:26-28; Isaiah 24:23)
"Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them" Revelation 21: 3, 22