SUKKOTH – BOOTHS OF REJOICING AND BLESSING!

13th of the 7th month 2018/2019

Shalom all,

In just a couple of days we will be ‘performing’ the Festival of Sukkot and with that in mind I want to once again highlight the joy of guarding the Appointed Times of our Master and Elohim, and remind us that we are to be strengthened in His joy and be bold in our rejoicing in His Truth.

Each year I share on the importance of guarding to keep each of the Appointed Times of our Creator and therefore, I will once again be sharing a brief overview of Sukkoth and the importance of us being ready and excited to perform this Feast with great joy!

As we see from the following passage, regarding the festival of Sukkoth, we are commanded to ‘perform’ this Festival! Are you ready to do just that?

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:13-15Perform the Festival of Sukkot for seven days after the ingathering from your threshing-floor and from your winepress, 14 and you shall rejoice in your festival, you and your son and your daughter, and your male servant and your female servant, and the Lĕwite, and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are within your gates. 15 “For seven days you shall celebrate to יהוה your Elohim in the place which יהוה chooses, because יהוה your Elohim does bless you in all your increase and in all the work of your hands, and you shall be only rejoicing!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘perform’ comes from the primitive root verb עָשָׂה asah – Strong’s H6213 which means, to do, work, make, produce, to act with effect, to observe, to bring about, institute and can also mean, celebrate, which I think is very fitting.

This word is often translated as ‘works’ and is a clear reference to what one physically and practically does.

It is truly a great joy TO DO the laws and right-rulings as prescribed, and more specifically in terms of the Feasts of יהוה, it is a joy for us to ‘perform’ them as we are instructed to!

So many today think that it is a huge burden to do what is commanded, yet that is so far from the truth!

When we diligently observe and guard to do all that our Master and Elohim commands us to do, we quickly discover that it is indeed a great joy and a delight and is not heavy at all!

 

A derivative of this root word עָשָׂה asah – Strong’s H6213 is the word מַעֲשֶׂה ma’aseh – Strong’s H4639 which means ‘a deed, work or acts, accomplishments’. The Book of Acts is known in the Hebrew as ‘Ma’asei’, which is a record of the ‘Acts of the Apostles’!

The “Acts” of the Apostles speaks of the deeds or acts of that which the Apostles did and records their ‘acts’ of obedience, from which we are able to learn many great and valuable lessons from.

We shall be known by our fruits, based on our proper reverence and submission to our Master, which shall be evidenced in our “acts of obedience”, as we walk in righteousness, guarding to do all He has commanded us to do, all the time!!!

 

We are to become doers of the Word and not just hearers only!

So many may study much on the Appointed Times of Elohim while lack the proper obedience to do what is instructed and we learn very quickly how greater understanding of the Word comes in the doing of the Word, for without the proper doing or performing of the Word we can be in danger of being easily deceived by falsehood, which highlights the urgency that we are to have in being diligent in having our ears attentive to the Torah of Elohim, so that we can delight in guarding to do all that He commands us and express a true and proper love for Elohim in complete obedience to His Word.

Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:22-25 “And become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror, 24 for he looks at himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what he was like. 25 But he that looked into the perfect Torah, that of freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer that forgets, but a doer of work, this one shall be blessed in his doing of the Torah.

As we consider this root verb עָשָׂה asah in terms of our need to be doers of the Word, we recognise that we can only be proper doers if we are in fact looking intently into the Word, and when we see this word in the ancient pictographic script we gain further understanding of what it is to be a proper doer of the Word!

In the ancient pictographic script, the verb עָשָׂה asah – Strong’s H6213 looks like this:

 heyshinayin 

Ayin - עָ:

The original pictograph for this letter is:ayin and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’ as the eye is the window of knowledge.

Sin - שָׂ:

This is the letter ‘sin/shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as: shin, which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth, as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.

Hey - ה:

The ancient script has this letter as hey  and is pictured as a man standing with his arms raised up and out as if pointing to something, and in essence carries the meaning of ‘behold’ as in when looking at something very great. It can also have the meaning to ‘breath’ or ‘sigh’ as when looking at a great sight and having your breath taken away so to speak! It also has the meaning of ‘revelation’ or to reveal something by pointing it out, as well as ‘praise’ through the lifting up of our hands in complete awe and surrender.

When looking at this word עָשָׂה asah in the ancient pictographic form, we are able to further understand how critical it is for us to be doers of the Word and so perform and do that which is instructed for us to do. From this picture we can see the meaning of:

LOOKING AT THE WORD THAT HAS BEEN REVEALED!

This clearly teaches us that we are unable to DO or PERFORM the Word if we are not looking intently at the Word!

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us! The clear revelation of the Word, יהושע Messiah, has been made known to us; and as we look to the Princely Leader and Perfecter of our belief we are able to lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and be enabled to run, with endurance, the race set before us, as we look at the Word and actually DO IT!!!

 

Now, in terms of the Feast of Sukkoth, we recognise that the clear instruction given to us is to perform it!

The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak (O.T.)) for ‘perform’ is the ποιέω poieō – Strong’s G4160 which means, to make, do, accomplish, keep, work, acts, and is translated as ‘does’ in:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does them, shall be like a wise man who built his house on the rock

A derivative of this word is ποιητής poiētēs – Strong’s G4163 which means, a doer, a maker, which is translated three times as ‘doer’ in the passage I read from Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:22-25.

I certainly do hope you are already getting the clear picture of how important it is for us to be doers of the Word, which we can never be if we are not looking intently into the Word and meditating on it day and night!

When we become diligent doers of the Word we learn that we must be meditating upon, studying and doing the Word day and night so that it can be the proper light to our path and lamp to our feet!

 

With the Festival of Sukkoth, we are commanded to perform this Feasts for 7 days after the ingathering from the threshing floor and winepress; and this highlights the clear timing that shadow pictures when our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, will gather His Ready Bride, after having trampled the winepress in His wrath, when He comes out of the Most Set-Apart Place on Yom Kippur.

The Festival of Sukkoth celebrates the joy of a Bride being gathered to Her Returning Husband and Saviour, and that is certainly something to celebrate!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘ingatheringcomes from the root word אָסַף asaph – Strong’s H622 which means, to be gathered, assemble, to be brought in or into (association with others).

The Festival of Sukkoth celebrates us being gathered together as a unified Bride in Messiah and highlights the importance of gathering, and doing so with rejoicing!

As we look intently into the clear instructions given to us, in regards to performing the Feast of Sukkot, we take note that a key component of our performing this Feast is one of rejoicing!

The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘feast’ is the noun חַג ḥag – Strong’s H2282 which means, a festival, feast, sacrifice, festival gathering, solemnity, which comes from the root verb חָגַג ḥagag – Strong’s H2287 which means, to make a pilgrimage, keep a pilgrimage, celebrate a feast, observe a feast, dance’.

 

This Hebrew word חַג ḥag – Strong’s H2282 which means, a festival, feast, sacrifice, festival gathering, solemnity, in the ancient pictographic text looks like this:

 gimelchet 

etחַ:

The ancient script has this letter as chet  which is a tent wall’, and carries a meaning of SEPARATION’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, and separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, having been separated from the world and built up in the master!

 

Gimel – ג:

This is the letter ‘gimel’, which in the ancient script in pictured as – gimel  –which is ‘a foot’ and carries the meaning to ‘walk, gather, carry’, as clearly referring to the functions of a foot; and it can also give the meaning of a gathering of people, and we know that ‘feet’ in Hebrew speaks of one’s walk and ability to keep the Feasts of יהוה, and represents one’s ‘walk, and therefore also pictures for us the idea of ‘gathering’.

 

This word in its ancient pictographic form can have the meaning of:

SEPARATED GATHERING

 

This teaches us the necessity of being gathered together as commanded, in order to properly guard and perform the Feasts of יהוה.

 

We take note from the text that we read from in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:15 that we are to celebrate for 7 days to יהוה our Elohim in the place which יהוה chooses!

We, as a growing fellowship, are so thankful to יהוה for choosing for us a wonderful place for us to perform and celebrate His Feast of Sukkot each year, and this also emphasises the importance of unity and fellowship within the body, teaching us that we should not neglect the gathering of the set-apart ones, as some are in the habit of doing, and we therefore need to be obedient in gathering where יהוה has chosen!

We are extremely blessed as a small fellowship to have what יהוה has given us and chosen for us in terms of our ability to gather together every Sabbath and Feast; and to neglect the instruction to gather where He has chosen for each of us is to neglect the instruction to perform as we should!

 

There are many around the world that do not have the opportunity to gather as we do, and therefore we should not overlook the joy it is to have that which He has caused for us to have as a small ATFOTC family!

This past year we have seen how others across the world have been able to join in with us on the Sabbaths, via the internet streaming that we began to do… and so, we are able to celebrate the joy of having others who are unable to find a suitable gathering place, join us live on Shabbat for our separated gatherings!

 

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘celebrate’ is חָגַג ḥagag – Strong’s H2287 which means, to make a pilgrimage, keep a pilgrimage, celebrate a feast, observe a feast, dance, which is the root verb of חַג ḥag – Strong’s H2282, and is also used in:

Shemoth/Exodus 23:13 “Three times in the year you are to observe a festival to Me:

Keeping the Feasts of יהוה are to be done with exceeding joy – after all, they are His FEASTS – and a feast implies a joyous occasion with singing and dancing!

ARE YOU READY TO PERFORM THE FEAST OF SUKKOTH?

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:41-43 “And you shall celebrate it as a festival to יהוה for seven days in the year – a law forever in your generations. Celebrate it in the seventh new moon42 ‘Dwell in booths for seven days; all who are native born in Yisra’ěl dwell in booths, 43 so that your generations know that I made the children of Yisra’ěl dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Mitsrayim. I am יהוה your Elohim.’” 

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘dwell’ comes from the root verb יָשַׁב yasha – Strong’s H3427 which means, sit, dwell, remain, abide, inhabit, sitting still; and a modern word derived from this root word, which is translated as ‘school’, is ‘yeshiva’.

And so, ‘sitting’ in the Hebraic min-set is an idiom for learning; and therefore, we recognise that it is at the Master’s Feet that we come and sit and drink of His Pure and Clear Living Water and get great clarity and insight and strength to sojourn with joy! The idea of sitting in the Hebrew mind-set here is to learn, and not to simply sit and vegetate but rather sit and pay attention to the instructions of their teacher.

This word also highlights for us our need to dwell in Truth and in being obedient to dwelling in booths for 7 days, reminds us that we are to continually stay in the Master as we sojourn here as strangers longing for His soon return.

So, for 7 days a year we get to dwell together in the Master’s presence, away from all the hustle and bustle that we face each day, so that we can focus on the pure joy it is to serve and worship the Most-High, while learning a great deal about Him as we guard to perform His Feast with joy!

 

The Hebrew word for ‘booths’ is סֻּכֹּת Sukkoth, which is the plural of the root word סֻכָּהsukkah’ H5521 which means, a thicket, booth, shelter, hut, temporary shelter, canopy, tent which comes from the noun סֹךְ soḵ – Strong’s H5520 which means, a thicket, lair, hiding place, booth, den, which comes from the primitive root verb סָכַךְsaḵaḵ’ H5526 which means, ‘to overshadow, screen, cover, hedge or fence about or to entwine as a screen, weave together, knit together’, and helps us understand a little more of just how important this performing of the Feast of Sukkoth is, for we are being knit together as a body of Messiah, under whose wings we find rest, shelter and safety! Now that is something to rejoice about!

This root verb סָכַךְsaḵaḵ’ H5526 is translated as ‘shelter’ in:

Tehillah/Psalm 5:11 “But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them ever shout for joy, because You shelter them; and let those who love Your Name exult in You.

Other translations have translated this word סָכַךְsaḵaḵin this verse as ‘defend’ or ‘protect’, which speaks not only of יהוה being our defender and protector but also pictures for us how His Boothing or dwelling with us brings that protection in which we can freely rejoice.

The Hebrew noun סֹךְ soḵ – Strong’s H5520 which means, a thicket, lair, hiding place, booth, den, in the ancient script, is written as:

 kaphsamek

Samek - סֹ:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as samek, which is a thorn and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield, protection’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose their flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing.

Kaph - ךְ:

The ancient form of this letter is kaph - meaning ‘the open palm of a hand’. The meaning behind this letter is ‘to bend and curve’ from the shape of a palm as well as ‘to tame or subdue’ as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand), as an open hand symbolises submission. The picture of the palm of the hand also represents ‘covering’.

 

When we look at these two pictographic letters we are able to see that the thorn that represents protection and the hand that represents covering, we get a combined meaning of:

PROTECTED COVERING!

Having said that, when we look further at the word סֻּכֹּת ‘Sukkoth’, we take note of the additional letter – ת – ‘taw’ that is added and looks like this:

 

tawkaphsamek 

Taw – ת

The ancient script has this letter as tawwhich is pictured as two crossed sticks, and can represent for us seal, covenant, mark or sign; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah in the renewal of the Covenant in His Blood that brings the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah together in Him, as One, for He is not only the ‘aleph’, but is also the ‘taw’ – the beginning and the end of all creation!

Can you see the clear significance of Sukkoth? With the additional of this letter ‘taw’ that has the meaning of covenant or seal we take note that the Word סֻּכֹּת ‘Sukkoth’ in the ancient pictographic lettering can render for us the following:

PROTECTED COVERING OF THE COVENANT!

I hope that by now you are enjoying these word pictures that help us gain a greater understanding of how vital it is for us to be ‘guarding to do’ this Feast of Sukkoth with great rejoicing, especially when we understand how Sukkoth is the final festival/Appointed Time of the 7 Feasts/Appointed Times of יהוה and therefore pictures for us the completed protection of His Covenant with us, as we are covered in Him, and with great joy look forward to His boothing with us!

 

I would like to therefore take a look at one more word in the ancient pictographic alphabet, and that is the word for ‘rejoice’, as we are told in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:14 that we shall ‘rejoice’ in our festival!

 

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘rejoice’ is שָׂמַח samaḥ – Strong’s H8055 and means, ‘to rejoice, be glad, be joyful, delight in and be elated’, and can also carry the meaning ‘to brighten up’, giving us the picture how we are to carry His joy as the light of the world and let praise and rejoicing abound!

In the ancient pictographic script this word שָׂמַח samaḥ looks like this:

chetmemshin 

Shin - שָׂ:

This is the letter ‘sin/shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as: shin, which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth, as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food. This can give us the meaning of WORD or Words.

 

Mem – מַ:

The ancient script has this letter as mem  and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. This also carries for us the picture of washing, as we understand the function of water being that which cleanses us and sustains us, showing us how we are washed and sustained by the Living Waters of the Word! This letter also can represent any liquid, especially blood!

 

etח:

The ancient script has this letter as chet which is a tent wall’, and carries a meaning of SEPARATION’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, having been separated from the world and built up in the master!

 

When looking at this word in its pictographic form, in terms of our command to rejoice, we are able to see why we are able to rejoice as we recognise the following:

 

THE WORD THAT WASHES US HAS SEPARATED US AND SECURED US!

 

This is a clear reason to rejoice, for as long as we allow the Word to wash us and keep us clean, we are able to confidently make our boast in Elohim, whom we praise and rejoice in, as we are built up as living stones in the Master; living stones that offer up lives as a daily living offering with rejoicing praise!

 

A derivative of the verb שָׂמַח samaḥ is the adjective שָׂמֵחַ sameaḥ - Strong’s H8056 and carries the meaning, glad, joyful, merry, pleased, rejoicing.

Both words are used in the command to rejoice in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:14 & 15, where שָׂמֵחַ sameaḥ is translated as ‘rejoicing’ in verse 15, when we are clearly told that we shall ONLY be REJOICING!

The Hebrew word translated as ‘only’ is the adverb אַךְ aḵ – Strong’s H389 which means, surely, only, alone, nevertheless, verily, and is often a word that is not translated yet it is used to convey emphasis, and in this instance it is used as an affirmative emphasis that is translated as ‘only’ and in other translations it has been translated here as ‘surely’ or ‘altogether’, which makes it clear in regards what is being instructed for us in regards to the proper performing of Sukkoth, and that is that it can only be properly performed with rejoicing and gladness!

 

The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak – O.T.) in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:14 & 15 for ‘rejoice’ and ‘rejoicing’ is εὐφραίνω euphrainō – Strong’s G2165 which means, to cheer, celebrate, rejoice, make glad, joyous livingand comes from two root words: 1) εὖ eu – Strong’s G2095 which is an adverb meaning, good, well done and 2) φρήν phrēn – Strong’s G5424 which means, midriff, heart, mind, thought, thinking.

It can be therefore understood that this word εὐφραίνω euphrainō can have the meaning of, to put in a good frame of mind. This word denotes the mood of joy and involves an inner process that affects the outward physical well-being, especially in situations which give rise to a mood of common cheerfulness and joy!

This makes perfect sense as we recognise the joy of coming together for the purposes of rejoicing in our Master and Elohim – where the mood of cheerful joy is expressed by all due to the inner process of recognising the greatness of the occasion!

 

Another word in the Greek word that is translated as ‘rejoice’, in giving reference to the rejoicing at harvest time, is χαίρω chairō G5463 meaning ‘to be full of cheer, be delighted and be glad and is used in:

Yoḥanan/John 4:36He who is reaping receives a reward, and gathers fruit for everlasting life, so that both he who is sowing and he who is reaping rejoice together.

 

This Feast is known as the Feast of Ingathering as it is a picture of the harvest being brought in with great joy after the threshing and winepress phases are completed and the true fruit is offered as accepting. First Fruits was already offered guaranteeing us the harvest to come where we will rejoice with our Maker and Husband, aměn!

Will you obey the command to rejoice? This will mean putting aside your worries and fears; as it is time to throw off all the excuses and simply worship יהוה as He has commanded us too, and embrace delighting in יהוה.

 

This Greek word χαίρω chairō G5463 is also used in:

Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:16 “Rejoice always

With the command to rejoice while dwelling in tents for 7 days helps us to be reminded how we are to be a people that are rejoicing always!

As you ready yourself for this rejoicing festival of Sukkoth, come before the Master with great joy and give Him your all – do not come empty handed, come before Him with a rejoicing heart and make this Feast truly a Feast of note! After all, we don’t need pagan festivals of giving, we have יהוה’s – it is now time to rejoice – it is a command – will you obey?

As you look intently into the revealed Word of Elohim take heed to the instruction to be separated for gathering together unto יהוה, with the full assurance and promise of His protected covering of His Word that washes, protects and secures us in His Covenants of Promise to which we have now been brought near to by the blood of Messiah!

 

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:42-43 tells us that we are to dwell in booths for 7 days so that we know that יהוה made Yisra’ĕl dwell in booths when He brought them up out of Mitsrayim, and is also a joyous reminder how He has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light:

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:9-10But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light, 10 who once were not a people, but now the people of Elohim; who had not obtained compassion, but now obtained compassion.

The Greek word translated as ‘you should proclaim’ is ἐξαγγέλλω exaggellō – Strong’s G1804 which means, tell out, proclaim, publish, declare, make known by praising or proclaiming, and we see this word being used in the LXX (Septuagint) and translated as ‘we show forth’ in:

Tehillah/Psalm 79:13 “And we, Your people and the sheep of Your pasture, we give thanks to You forever; from generation to generation we show forth Your praise.

The Greek word used in Kěpha’s letter for ‘praises’ is ἀρετή aretē – Strong’s G703 and it carries the meaning of moral excellence, virtue, purity, praise etc. In essence this can carry the understanding of being faithfully set-apart, as well as our ability to bring the proper rejoicing praise to Elohim in declaring the excellence of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light and are now the sheep of His pasture, who hear His voice and gather and rejoice at His command!

As you approach this coming Feast of Sukkoth, I trust that you are prepared to rejoice, and shall only be rejoicing; for this Feast is the Booths of Rejoicing. As you consider the few pictographic words that we have looked at in this brief message, I hope that you will see the clear simplicity of the command to rejoice, and do just that, as we faithfully and boldly proclaim the praises of our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, our soon coming King!

 

In Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:15 we are told that we are to celebrate for 7 days in the place where He chooses for He does bless us in all our increase and the work of our hands!

Why would anyone not want to guard to keep Sukkoth when we recognise His blessing that is upon us when we do keep it as instructed!

 

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘blesscomes from the root word בָּרַךְ baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 and means, to abundantly blessand literally carries the meaning, to kneel or bow down, to show respect, to bring a gift to another while kneeling out of respect.

The ancient script has the Hebrew word for blessבָּרַךְ baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 pictured as:

 kaphreshbeit

Beyt בָּ:

The ancient script has this letter as beit, which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself.

 

Resh – רַ:

The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as resh, which is ‘the head of a man’ and carries the meaning of ‘top, beginning, first, chief’, as in being the top of the body or the head of a tribe and the one who rules; and also speaks of possession or inheritance that is decided by the chief.

 

Kaph – ךְ:

The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as kaph– which is a picture of an open palm of a hand and can symbolise that to which submission is given – ‘under the hand

From the pictographic rendering of this word we are able to clearly see who it is who blesses us –

THE HOUSE/ASSEMBLY OF ELOHIM IS BLESSED AS THE HEAD/CHIEF, COMES DOWN AND EXTENDS HIS OPEN AND REVEALED HAND TO HIS OWN!

 

Our Mighty Master and Elohim came down to bless us and redeem us from all lawlessness! That is more than enough reason for us to respond positively to the call to rejoice, shout for joy and exult in יהושע Messiah, our Master, Elohim, Saviour and King!

This Festival of Sukkoth celebrates the sure hope that we have of Him coming again in order to dell in our midst forever!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘increase’ in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:15 is תְּבוּאָה teḇuah – Strong’s H8393 which means, increase, revenue, produce, crops, fruit, yield, and in essence refers to what one earns or produces through work.

 

Keeping His Feasts as we should, comes with the sure promises of His blessed provision in our work!

When we simply obey His Word and guard to do all HE commands and joyfully celebrate His Feasts then we need not worry at all about what we are to eat, where we are to sleep or what we are to wear as we have the full assurance of our complete provision in Messiah being made secure as we stay in Him and be joyful doers of His Word

 

In Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 14 we are told that the Feast of Sukkoth will still be celebrated during the Millennial Reign, as those nations that do not come up to Yerushalayim will not receive rain.

In Scripture, rain is also symbolic for provision, as well as speaking about the two comings of Messiah as the former and latter rains – the latter rains symbolising this time of year when our Provider comes and dwells with us – Forever!

Now, in also understanding rain as pictured for provision, as we rehearse and perform this Feast each year, I too believe that it also prophetically carries for us the promise of His faithful provision in our lives. And so, to neglect to keep this Feast would not be very wise, especially as we desire to grow in knowledge and be equipped with joy to properly keep His Feasts, expressing our love for Him through our diligent obedience.

The Feast of Sukkoth is an annual reminder of יהוה’s provision, protection, presence and promise during the 40 years in the Wilderness from Mitsrayim/Egypt to the Promised Land – the land of milk and honey!

For it was during these years that Yisra’ĕl lived in tents; and during this journey יהוה gave them water from the rock, manna from heaven in the morning and quail in the evening (all symbolic pictures themselves of the coming Messiah).

During that time יהוה was before them on their journey in a pillar of fire by night and pillar of cloud by day.

Sukkoth is a festival of REJOICING! And the reason for this is:

1 – It commemorates יהוה’s goodness and provision during the wilderness wanderings of Yisra’ĕl and reminds us that we too are sojourners here as we await the Promise of dwelling in His Presence fully when He comes again.

2 – It commemorates יהוה’s present goodness and provision with the completion of the harvest and reminds us of His daily provision and that we are truly not to worry, but place our full trust in Him

3 – It looks forward to the future and the fullness of the harvest that is to come – He is coming again – יהושע has offered up a first fruit offering of the harvest that is to come, and so as this is also called the feast of ingathering as it was the culmination of the years harvesting of fruits that we have the assurance that we too will be gathered together to dwell with Him forever!

Sukkoth, as we see in Scripture, was celebrated at the dedication of the Temple under King Shelomoh/Solomon, as well as at the time of the rededication of the Temple when Neḥemyah/Nehemiah brought Yisra’ĕl back and the fulfilment of this festival will take place when the New Yerushalayim comes down from Heaven and יהוה dwells permanently with His people! And, as the voice declares from Heaven, as recoded in:

Ḥazon/Revelation 21:3See, the Booth of Elohim is with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and Elohim Himself shall be with them and be their Elohim.

This is certainly something to rejoice about!

The command to dwell in ‘booths’ or ‘tents’ is so that we are reminded how יהוה made Yisra’ĕl dwell in booths when He brought them out of Mitsrayim. The frail sukkah, or temporary booth reminds us of the frailty of life, and so surviving the winds and elements reminds us of His great love and His favour for us, as we become living testimonies of the work of יהושע in our lives, as we too are living in a body that is temporary, which is the flesh that will one day be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and how now as we go through the storms and winds of life, we are guarded by His great love!

 

The Sukkah is a testimony of our confidence, hope and faith in יהוה Yireh (our Provider) – who is the source of our strength and salvation, and reminds us once gain how we are to depend on יהוה for provision of food, water and shelter, just as He provided Yisra’ĕl in the Wilderness journeys! For יהושע is the Bread of Life, He is the One who satisfies the thirsty through giving of Living Waters and he is our refuge and shelter, aměn!

Sukkah’s/Booths were typically made very rough signifying man’s weakness and they would be made out of branches that Yisra’ĕl had gathered on their journey that would symbolise the various aspects of their journey from Mitsrayim to the land flowing with milk and honey.

We take note of the command given in:

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:40 “And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of good trees, branches of palm trees, twigs of leafy trees, and willows of the stream, and shall rejoice before יהוה your Elohim for seven days. 

1 - fruit of good trees: These came from the fertile hillsides – reminding them of יהוה’s provision and the Land that they were Promised would be fruitful, as well as the abundant fruit they were to produce, in righteous living, being offered up before Him with praise.

2 – Branches of palm trees: These symbolised the oasis in the wilderness – that is, those places of refreshing and rest from the sun amidst the hot dessert – showing us a clear picture of provision in the hottest climate.

3 – Twigs of leafy trees: These were in the mountains, which reminded them of the rough terrain and mountainous routes that were taken and how יהוה was with them through the rough and hilly times.

4– Willows of the stream: Trees that are typically found at the places of streams, or wadis, in the desert – places that they could find refreshing and restoration. ‘En Geḏi’, where Dawiḏ found refreshing is a ‘wadi’ in the dessert – a place where there is a waterfall, lush trees and pools of running water, where one could find fresh living water and be strengthened for the road ahead and

All of these reminded them of the various terrains that had been travelled in the wilderness. So, we too take various branches and trees and fruit from our surrounding terrain and rejoice before our Mighty Master and Elohim!

 

We also take note of that which we read about at the time of restoration under the leadership of Neḥemyah as governor and Ezra as scribe, when Yisra’ĕl did according to the commands regarding Sukkoth:

Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 8:14-18And they found written in the Torah, which יהוה had commanded by Mosheh, that the children of Yisra’ěl should dwell in booths in the festival of the seventh new moon15 and that they should announce and proclaim in all their cities and in Yerushalayim, saying, “Go out to the mountain, and bring olive branches, branches of oil trees, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written.” 16 So the people went out and brought them and made themselves booths, each one on the roof of his house, and in their courtyards and in the courtyards of the House of Elohim, and in the open space of the Water Gate and in the open space of the Gate of Ephrayim. 17 And the entire assembly of those who had come back from the captivity made booths and sat under the booths, for since the days of Yěshua son of Nun until that day the children of Yisra’ěl had not done so. And there was very great rejoicing. 18 And day by day, from the first day until the last day, he read from the Book of the Torah of Elohim. And they performed the festival seven days. And on the eighth day there was an assembly, according to the right-ruling.

 

As you will notice in verse 17 of the above text from Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 8, there was a very great rejoicing!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘gladness’ is שִׂמְחָה simḥah – Strong’s H8057 which means, joy, gladness, delight, festival, pleasure, and comes from the root שָׂמַח samaḥ – Strong’s H8055 and means, ‘to rejoice, be glad, be joyful, delight in and be elated’, which we have already looked at, giving us the picture how we are to carry His joy as the light of the world and let praise and rejoicing abound!

In the ancient pictographic script this word שִׂמְחָה simḥah – Strong’s H8057 looks like this:

heychetmemshin 

 

Shin - שָׂ:

This is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as shin, which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth, as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food. This can give us the meaning of WORD or Words.

 

Mem – מַ:

The ancient script has this letter as mem and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. This also carries for us the picture of washing, as we understand the function of water being that which cleanses us and sustains us, showing us how we are washed and sustained by the Living Waters of the Word! This letter also can represent any liquid, especially blood!

 

etח:

The ancient script has this letter as chet  which is a tent wall’, and carries a meaning of SEPARATION’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, having been separated from the world and built up in the master!

 

Hey – ה:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as hey, which is ‘a man standing with his arms raised out’. The meaning of the letter is behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation; from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender, as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!

When looking at this word in its pictographic form, in terms of our command to rejoice, we are able to see why we are able to rejoice as we recognise the following:

BEHOLD, THE WORD THAT WASHES US HAS SEPARATED US AND SECURED US AND IS TO BE PRAISED!

This is a clear reason to serve with gladness, for as long as we allow the Word to wash us and keep us clean, we are able to confidently make our boast in Elohim, whom we give continual thanks and praise to with much gladness, as we are built up as living stones in the Master; living stones that offer up our lives as a daily living offering with rejoicing praise and obedient thanksgiving!

 

Once again, the commands that we see regarding the keeping of this feast – and one thing that you will notice here in the passages that we have looked at – is that there is a clear command to rejoice!!!

We are to celebrate! Now people typically celebrate that which they are happy about – well, we celebrate the joy of יהוה and we celebrate the coming of our Redeemer and King – יהושע Messiah!

Let me ask you – “Is it a joy for you to celebrate Him?

Again let me ask you, “When you come to celebrate His Feasts – who are you appearing before, when you celebrate His feasts - are you just making sure that you are seen by others, so as to appease your conscience that you were there and can tick of a to do list, or are you truly coming to worship the maker of Heaven and Earth?

What are you bringing to the Creator and King?

When it speaks here of an offering made by fire – it speaks here of a worship with passion – wholehearted worship is an offering made by fire to יהוה. It is an all or nothing deal – once again I ask – “Is it a jot for you to worship and celebrate יהוה our Maker?”

The essence of Sukkot is joy – and being joyful in His provision – and joyful in our deliverance that He has brought to us.

I am tired of people who have no joy in coming to worship our King and sit under His Word.

I am tired of people with the wrong attitude in their approach to worship – יהוה’s Feasts are His Feasts that He has given us and commanded us to partake in. I am tired of people who say things like, “Oh, I will see if I can make it!

Who are they trying to impress? It is about worship unto יהוה, coming before Him with great joy and expectancy – for His joy is our strength and so as we are here to celebrate this Feast, may our joy be complete as we come and rejoice before our Maker!

To rejoice is a command and we know that His commands are good! The Torah is perfect, Sha’ul tells us – His Torah is good – it is for our good, as it keeps us within His provision, protection, presence and promises. If we love Him we will obey His commands! It is as simple as that!

This is a season to celebrate the very Word that was made flesh and ‘tabernacled’ with us.

It was at this time when יהושע Messiah was born in a Sukkah – which certainly makes this a time to rejoice. He brought us deliverance which will be fully revealed to us in the culmination of these 7th month Feasts, causing us to enter in to the Wedding of all Weddings!

 

This is a Feast where we are mandated to rejoice – regardless of what your situation or current circumstances are like.

Just imagine this for a moment – your circumstances suck - you have no home, you are an orphan or a widow, it feels like you have no future, you have financial woes, health issues, relational issues and you are instructed to be joyful!!!

You see, this is a reminder to us that joy is not determined by circumstances – it is something that is yours because of יהושע Messiah, aměn! They were told go and be joyful! Listen up - the joy of יהוה is our strength, not good circumstances!

In those days, as well as today, we find that many people were/are without joy, and do you know what? So many are looking for joy, whether they realise it or not, in the wrong places – be it bars, brothels, casinos, shopping malls, exotic holiday destinations etc; or they are siply losing themselves in their work – thinking that the harder they work and the more they achieve success the more joy they will have.

Many today, run from relationship to relationship or engulf themselves in a new hobby or false religion, seeking fulfilment and joy – and of course, these are all the wrong places.

We all need to fully come to the realisation that true and pure joy can only be found in Messiah!

 

At the time of יהושע, booths were still being constructed as commanded, however there were some additional ceremonies that were added and carried great prophetic significance. The first of these was the Water Pouring Ceremony.

This ceremony involved the priests, accompanied by a procession of singing people, that would go down to the pool of ‘Silōam’ – Σιλωάμ – Strong’s G4611, a word that means sent.

The name of this pool is of Hebrew origin, and comes from the word – שִׁלֹחַShiloaḥ – Strong’s H7975 which comes from the primitive root שָׁלַח shalaḥ - Strong’s H7971 which means to send or to bring forth or send forth, and this was one of the principle sources of water supply to Yerushalayim that originated from the ‘Giḥonspring which emptied into this pool. גִּיחוֹן Giḥon - Strong’s H1521 means, bursting forthand comes from the primitive root word גִּיחַ giaḥ - Strong’s H1518 which means, to break forth, gush forth, labour to bring forth, draw up, take out’.

Scripture speaks of the river called Giḥon, that Ḥizqiyahu the king channelled as a water supply for Yisra’ĕl, which enabled them to endure and withstand an Assyrian siege. This in itself is a great picture for us of how we are able to draw, with joy, the pure water of the Word, from deep within our hearts, no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in, as long as we are drinking from the pure Living Waters of Messiah.

 

יהוה is the provider of water and rain and so this abundant source of water was understood as being sent by יהוה for His city. At the time of Messiah, this custom of the water pouring ceremony that was developed, would see the priest fill a gold pitcher with water and march back to the Temple where it would be mixed with wine and poured upon the slaughter-place as the drink offering that was required and was symbolic of יהוה’s salvation as described in:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 12:3 “And you shall draw water with joy from the fountains of deliverance.

This was prophetically speaking of the Messiah, and on this last great day of the feast of Sukkoth, after the drink offering was done, our Master stands up and proclaims very clearly that He is the source of Living Waters.

Here יהושע was fulfilling this ceremony at the Feast, by declaring that He is the One who gives the water of life! Now, see the fulfilment of this being prophesied as seen by Yoḥanan again in:

Ḥazon/Revelation 21:6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts I shall give of the fountain of the water of life without payment.

Here we see יהושע, at the fulfilment of this Feast in a revelation that was given to Yoḥanan, declaring that He, the Aleph and Taw, will give a drink to whoever is thirsty, without cost, and in Ḥazon/Revelation 22 you can read about the River of the water of life that flows from the very throne of Elohim.

This concept of the pouring of the water along with the prescribed drink offerings, and Messiah making it clear that He is the source of the very living waters that we are to draw from with joy, helps us further understand the power of His provision through His sacrifice for our sins and the cost of Him being poured out for us, so that we may have access to life and be filled with His Spirit!

Prayers were offered up with the pouring of the water to thank יהוה for His provision in watering the land as well as asking יהוה for rain for the next season’s crops! So, Sukkoth was also a time to ask for rain and from Scriptures we know that rain was יהוה’s provision for obedience to His decrees, and in effect they would, by asking for rain, be declaring their continued obedience to Him and ask Him to once again bless them with rain. This ceremony also carried with it a deeper spiritual meaning, as it signified the hope of the Messiah for the Yisra’ĕl throughout the ages and was also a symbolic picture of the outpouring of the Ruaḥ HaQoḏesh (Set-Apart Spirit).

 

Are you ready to PERFORM this Feast of Sukkoth? Are you ready to rejoice before יהוה?

 

And so, as we are commanded to REJOICE, I would like to briefly share with you some of the other Hebrew and Greek words that are used in speaking of our ability and responsibility to rejoice, in order that we are able to fully embrace the need for an obedient rejoicing at this Feast.

Other words that we find in Hebrew which we translate as ‘rejoice’ are:

 

1 - עָלַץalats’ H5970 meaning ‘rejoice, exult, be in a state of joy which includes verbal expressions of joy and praise’ and in essence can carry the meaning ‘to shout or jump for joy’, used in:

Tehillah/Psalm 9:2 “I rejoice and exult in You; I sing praise to Your Name, O Most High.

Both samaḥ and ‘alatsare used here

 

2 - גִּילgil’ H1523 meaning ‘rejoice, be glad, tremble with exceeding fear’ and also can give us the picture to ‘spin around under the influence of an emotion’ and is used in;

Tehillah/Psalm 9:14 “So that I declare all Your praise in the gates of the daughter of Tsiyon. I rejoice in Your deliverance.

 

3 - שׂוּשׂsus’ H7797 meaning ‘to be bright, cheerful, exult, rejoice, display joy’ used in:

Tehillah/Psalm 40:16 “Let all those who seek You Rejoice and be glad in You; let those who love Your deliverance always say, “יהוה be exalted!

Both sus and samaḥ is used here.

Tehillah/Psalm 68:3 “But the righteous are glad, they exult before Elohim. And they rejoice with gladness.

In this verse you have samaḥ, ‘alats and sus.

 

4 - רָנַןranan’ H7442 meaning ‘to overcome, cry out, shout for joy, give a ringing cry, sing aloud’, often also translated as praise, and is translated as ‘rejoice’ in:

Tehillah/Psalm 98:4 “Raise a shout to יהוה, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.

 

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 61:10 “I greatly rejoice in יהוה, my being exults in my Elohim. For He has put garments of deliverance on me, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

This wonderful declaration will be fulfilled at this Feast, and this verse uses both sus and gil.

What a wonderful day this will be when we are together as a body dressed in the completed garments of deliverance!!!

 

Now in the Greek, we too see the expression of this rejoicing being mentioned, giving us a much-needed understanding in our ability to rejoice – rejoice and rejoice as we are commanded to.

Kěpha describes how we are to allow this sure expectation that we have in Messiah and His return and our dwelling with Him to result in praise says:

Kěpha/Peter 1:3-8 Blessed be the Elohim and Father of our Master יהושע Messiah, who according to His great compassion has caused us to be born again to a living expectation through the resurrection of יהושע Messiah from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, having been kept in the heavens for you, 5 who are protected by the power of Elohim through belief, for a deliverance ready to be revealed in the last time, 6 in which you exult, even though for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by manifold trials, 7 in order that the proving of your belief – much more precious than gold that perishes, and proven by fire – might be found to result in praise and respect and esteem at the revelation of יהושע Messiah, 8 whom having not seen, you love; in whom you exult with unspeakable and esteemed joy, yet not seeing, but believing, 9 obtaining the goal of your belief: a deliverance of lives.

The Greek word that translated here in verses 6 & 8, as ‘exult’, and is often translated in other translations as ‘rejoice’, is ἀγαλλιάωagalliaō G21 which means ‘to exult, leap for joy, to show one’s joy by leaping and skipping denoting excessive or ecstatic joy and delight, and it is often spoken of as rejoicing with song and dance and comes from the word that means to leap or jump as well as to gush forth like water!

 

Let me ask you – “How often have you expressed true rejoicing by jumping and skipping with great joy and delight in song and dance?” If not often or perhaps never – then now is the time to start expressing true rejoicing!!!

 

Just think for a moment how ecstatic Dawiḏ was when he brought the Ark of the Covenant back – he was dancing and skipping and enjoying a great time of rejoicing.

He even took off his outer garment so as to have no hindrance in expressing true and pure rejoicing of having the Ark, which represented the very presence of יהוה, back in their midst!

This, I believe, is a wonderful picture for us in throwing off those things which so easily entangle us and quickly restricts our joy-filled worship!

True rejoicing is not a hidden matter – it should be something that is evident to all. I encourage you, especially this week – to not get bogged down with trivial matters or things that often so easily tick you off and steal your joy – throw them off. Even when colleagues or clients or even a member doesn’t like the joy you show and the ability to express pure rejoicing – do not stop. Dawiḏ didn’t let his wife cause him to stop his rejoicing because she was all bitter inside!!! This week is especially the time to hold on to joy and rejoice – it is a command!

 

Another word that is used in the Greek, in giving reference to the rejoicing at harvest time, is χαίρωchairō’ G5463 meaning ‘to be full of cheer, be delighted and be glad and is used in:

Yoḥanan/John 4:36He who is reaping receives a reward, and gathers fruit for everlasting life, so that both he who is sowing and he who is reaping rejoice together.

 

This Feast is known as the Feast of Ingathering, as it is a picture of the harvest being brought in with great joy, after the threshing and winepress phases are completed, and the true fruit is offered as accepting.

First Fruits has already been offered, guaranteeing us the harvest to come where we will rejoice with our Maker and Husband, aměn!

Will you obey the command to rejoice? This will mean putting aside your worries and fears; as it is time to throw off all the excuses and simply worship יהוה as He has commanded us too, and embrace delighting in יהוה. Come and give Him your all – do not come empty handed, come rejoicing and let us make this Feast truly a Feast of note – we don’t need pagan festivals of giving, we have יהוה’s – it is now time to rejoice – it is a command – will you obey?

It’s Sukkot – Rejoice, Rejoice and again I say Rejoice!

Will you obey this wonderful command?

Then come this Sukkoth and let us rejoice, dance and leap before our King!

 

יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to and give you shalom!