The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

The Feast of Tabernacles is the seventh feast listed in Leviticus 23 and celebrates God’s presence with His people. It was celebrated in the fall five days after the Day of Atonement. It was a pilgrim festival which means, if possible, a devout Jew would travel to Jerusalem and the Temple to celebrate the Feast.

God Demonstrated His Presence in the Wilderness

 God visibly showed His presence with His people as He guided them out of Egypt and through the wilderness. Exodus 13: 21 The Lord went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night. 22 And the Lord did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from its place in front of the people.[1]

After they left Egypt, God gave Moses instructions to build the Tabernacle. This tent was always to be in the center of camp. When it was finished, it was a visible demonstration of God’s presence. Exodus 40: 34 Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. 35 Moses could no longer enter the Tabernacle because the cloud had settled down over it, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle[2]. Thus, the cloud by day and pillar of fire by night was now over the Tabernacle in the center of camp.

The Feast of Tabernacles was a time to remember that God had done this. People would camp out in small structures made of branches to remember their time in the wilderness.

Jesus was God Present with His People

John presents Jesus as the Word that had been present with God the Father from the beginning. Then he goes onto describe how Jesus became human and walked this earth. John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. We looked upon His glory, the glory of the one and only from the Father, full of grace and truth.[3] Most Bible translations say the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. But the word used for dwelt is really the Greek word for tabernacle.

The reference to Jesus tabernacling with humans refers back to God living in the Tabernacle during the wilderness journey. Just as God had shown His presence to the people through the pillar of fire and cloud, now Jesus was a visible presence of God here on earth. John 1: 17 That is, the law was given to us through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. The only Son is the one who has shown us what God is like. He is himself God and is very close to the Father. [4]

To hear more about God’s presence with His people, listen here:

[1,2] Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. 

[3]Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.

[4] Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: