THE BIBLICAL FALL FEASTS PART 19
FEAST OF TABERNACLES – SUKKOT (part 5)
Yesterday was the first of the eight days of the Feast of Tabernacles (booths), a High Holy Sabbath commemorating the “tabernacling” of God (dwelling) among His people.
Toda is now the first day of seven days living in booths (or huts – the Sukkot) made of tree branches in remembrance of forty wilderness years of living in such temporary portable booths.
It is a time of rejoicing in the fact that God had “tabernacled” among them in the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. They literally feasted on the fruit and produce of the land during this time. The last day was another holy convocation, a sabbath, called by the blowing of the ram’s horn (shofar).
The booths where they lived these seven days were made from citron, palm branches, and myrtle and willow branches. These four are today called “the four spices” and each one carries a special significance as a “prayer of blessing” is said over each one.
The citron is called the “Etrog.” Its fruit has a very sweet taste and a delightful aroma. The sweetness represents the knowledge of the Word of God (Torah, or bible) within us. The delightful aroma represents the good deeds or good works which are produced from true faith upon the word. In essence, it represents the true mature believer.
The palm branch is called the “Lulav,” the date palm. Dates have a sweet taste but no fragrance. The taste represents those who have a knowledge of the word, but the lack of fragrance means they lack the good works that come from true faith upon the word. James 2:20 says, “faith (that is) without works is dead.” Dead faith is no faith, so this palm branch represents those who have a head knowledge (or mental assent to Christ) but lack real faith. They fool themselves if they think they belong to Christ who is only found through faith.
The myrtle is the “Hadas,” and is the opposite of the Lulav (palm). It has the fragrance, but no taste. The fragrance means they have the good works, but without taste means they have little or no knowledge of the word. They “look good and smell good” on the outside, but they lack the word of God within them. We often refer to these as “hypocrites.”
Then there is the “Arava” which is the youngest of the willow branches before it opens. It has neither taste nor fragrance. It represents the unbeliever who has neither the word of God nor the faith that produces good works.
Prayers of blessing are said over all four. This shows that we should pray over all four categories of people. This includes our mature or maturing fellow believers (citron or Etrog) , the “Christ seekers” (lacking either knowledge or faith – palm/Lulav and myrtle/Hadas); and for the unbelievers (willow /Arava) that the Holy Spirit would convict them of sin and draw them into the Kingdom of God.
Our prayers for people do not go unheard. It is our place to pray for them. God will honor the prayers in His own time.
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