Feast of Tents began today! Okay, so it’s not really called Feast of Tents, it is called Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot, but essentially the term tent is accurate since tabernacle means dwelling and sukkahs are temporary shelters. Thus, Feast of Tents is understood by our daughter who expresses great joy in the simple hanging of blankets and sheets!
Celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress. Be joyful at your festival—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns. For seven days celebrate the festival to the Lord your God at the place the Lord will choose. For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.
Deut. 16:13-15 NIV
“ ‘So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the Lord for seven days; the first day is a day of sabbath rest, and the eighth day also is a day of sabbath rest. On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. Celebrate this as a festival to the Lord for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. 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.’ ”
Lev 23:39-43 NIV
If setting up temporary tents for a week sounds labourous, consider what the Israelites went through as they traveled by the couple millions through a desert! “That was the best camping trip ever”…said no Israelite ever! Have you read through the account lately? I’ll remind you what it entailed…travelling, complaining, people dying, Moses praying, God revealing His glory…repeat 10 times…or something like that. It wasn’t exactly the finest moment for the Israelites nor did it seem joyful in the moment, yet hindsight is 20/20 and the Jewish people recognize how God sheltered and provided all the way to the promised land.
Feast of Tabernacles is to be a joyous celebration of God’s provision and protection. So, go ahead and share the story with your kids as you build some amazing tents. Remind them that our home here on earth is temporary like a tent and that Jesus is preparing a place for us in heaven. Here are a couple links to help explain Feast of Tabernacles to your kids.
Jenn and John