This Sabbath’s video Torah study at 4pm Central Time with the staff and friends of Sabbath Keepers Fellowship.
Here is the Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/4731209848
This week’s parasha is:
Hasukkoth- פרשת חג הסכות- “Sukkoth”
Torah reading: Sh’moth (Exodus) 33:12-34:26, B’midbar (Numbers) 29:17-31
Haftarah reading: Yechezqel (Ezekiel) 38:18-39:16 and Qohelith (Ecclesiastes) All
Ketuvym Hatalmidym reading: Eph’siym (Ephesians) 2:1-22
Shalom aleykem, achym, b’shem YHWH Sh’kanoteynu ~ Peace to you, my brothers, in the name of YHWH our Dwelling Place.
Chag Hasukkoth ta’aseh l’ka sh’vath yamym b’as’p’ka mygar’n’ka umiyqbeka. V’samackta b’chageka atah u’vin’ka u’viteka, v’avad’ka v’amatheka v’halevy v’hageir v’hayathom v’ha’almanah b’shareyka ~ “The festival of booths thou shalt perform for thyself seven days, after thou hast gathered in from thy threshing-floor and from thy winepress; and rejoice in My festival, thou and thy son and thy daughter and thy manservant and thy maidservant and the Levy and the sojourner and the fatherless and the widow that are within thy gates…”
That is a lot of people rejoicing!
The Festival of Booths, also known as the Festival of Ingathering, is the largest and most joyous of all the festivities of the Hebrew calendar year. Each family leaves their permanent home to dwell temporarily in a booth, or sukkah, for seven days in remembrance of the time of the wilderness journey by the people of Yisrael. Food, drink and all sorts of festivities fill the entire week, and it is a command of YHWH that everyone should enjoy themselves at this festival.
But there is an apparent contradiction within the pages of scripture regarding exactly who should observe this festival each year. In the book of Vayyiqra it is written specifically that, kal ha’ezrach b’Yisrael yeishvu b’sukkoth–“All of the home born in Yisrael shall dwell in booths.” That does not seem to necessarily include one’s manservant or maidservant, nor the sojourner with you. Moreover, Zekaryah hanavi prophesies that, in the end of days: “And it shall come to pass that everyone left of all the nations that come against Yerushalayim shall go up from year to year to worship the King, YHWH Tzava’oth, and to observe the Festival of Sukkoth.” So, if in the prophets it is foretold that in the future all nations will observe the feast, how is it that in Torah only the home born Yisraeli is commanded to do so? The answer to this seeming impasse is that revelation is progressive, and so was the order of salvation.
When the children of Yisrael were first called, they consisted of only the descendants of Ya’akov. By the time of the departure from Mitzrayim, a “great multitude” of others had joined them. Throughout history, many more groups and individuals have attached themselves to the people of Yisrael and have been absorbed by them. After the resurrection of Messiah Yehoshua, gentiles were evangelized by the thousands. Since then, people from every nation in the world have joined themselves to the children of YHWH. Though it is written, “To the Yehudy first, and then to the Greek,” eventually the entire remaining population of the world will accept YHWH as the great Sovereign and His Messiah as their savior and be joined as one people. When they do, they must all come to worship the King at his set-apart city and observe Chag Hasukkoth—the Festival of Booths.
So then, who is it that should keep this festival today? The answer is, it depends upon who one is. Sukkoth symbolizes increase and plenty. It also symbolizes the wedding festival of the bride of Messiah, and a time of completion and millennial rest for all those who are his at his coming. This bride, and those wedding guests who have been invited to that festival banquet—they who were called the “commonwealth” and the “whole house of Yisrael”—are the people today who should observe Chag Hasukkoth. To them, and them alone, were given the covenants and promises of salvation and everlasting life in the Olam Haba–the World to Come. This festival belongs to them.
And what about you? Should you observe Chag Hasukkoth? Do you belong with the people of Yisrael? Are you indeed a Yisraeli? If you have been saved by grace through Messiah, if you have his testimony and keep the commands of YHWH, if you have left your former life and been reborn under his covenants, then the answer to these questions is yes, for: “Therefore remember that you, once nations in the flesh, who are called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called ‘the circumcision’ made in the flesh by hands, that at that time you were without Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Yisrael and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Elohym in the world. But now in Messiah Yehoshua you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens of the set-apart ones and members of the household of Elohym.”
May your wedding garments be found clean and white when he comes, brethren. I hope to see you all there.
B’Shalom, Ovadyah Ben Yisrael