Sukkot…YHVH restores us back to Him!

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City of Jerusalem, Sukkot is a picture of restoration

In my previous post,  I wrote about how YHVH calls us back to Him. When we respond to His call and return to Him in repentance through Y’shua, He will restore us back unto Him. Sukkot is a picture of that restoration. It is a special time of gladness unto YHVH. We are redeemed by Him and He will teach us His way. He will, through His Word and His cycles of righteousness, teach us His manner of doing things – His set apart way. Sukkot is also a prophetic picture of the Kingdom of Heaven when Y’shua will return and rule over us . Y’shua will come for His bride and Sukkot is a prophetic picture of the wedding feast. Then comes the 8th day of complete peace and restoration unto YHVH. Will we answer His call and be restored back to Him in obedience to His Word? Will we allow Him to teach us His way?

YHVH has a special way and His ways are not our ways.

Isaiah 55:9
9“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.

The word: דֶּרֶךְ (dě∙rěḵ)”way” describes more than just a road or a physical way, it describes a manner of doing something, a lifestyle.

The word: גָּבַהּ (gā∙ḇǎh)”higher” describes “an elevated spatial position or dimension” and also means “hard to understand

From these two words we get some understanding of YHVH’s way. His manner of doing is difficult for us to understand. I am also a person who wants to understand before I do but, I realize that I waste precious time in doing that. Skip Moen wrote an article on this “gap between hearing and obeying” recently. It is worth a read! Here is the reference: http://skipmoen.com/2011/10/03/god%E2%80%99s-clock/

We should just close our eyes and jump in and obey without necessarily understanding why. It causes no harm to obey YHVH, but it might just cause you to be blessed!

Sukkot is part of YHVH’s way – together with His other appointed times. The feasts in Leviticus 23 are His feasts – they are not Jewish feasts! These feasts are for every believer in YHVH. Part of His cycle of righteousness; He uses to teach us. Sukkot -the feast of joy – is the last feast in the cycle and has not yet been fulfilled. It is a feast celebrating restoration unto YHVH. It is a feast that signifies a new beginning. We will, after being restored back to YHVH, experience a new beginning as YHVH, Himself will teach us His ways. He uses different methods of teaching us, through His Word, experiences – good or bad – or through people.

King David wrote beautiful Psalms. We can learn so much from him. In Psalm 25 King David humbly asks YHVH to teach him His ways.

Psalm 25:4–5
4Make me know Your ways (dě∙rěḵ), O YHVH; Teach me Your paths (orach). 5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the Elohim of my salvation; For You I wait all the day.

In Ps 32:8 YHVH answers that He will instruct and teach him.

Psalm 32:8
8I will instruct you and teach you in the way (dě∙rěḵ) which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

The word אֹרַחʾ (orach) “paths” is most often used in a figurative way, describing the way to life or to death. It often is parallel with the word derek, meaning “way, lifestyle.” (Isaiah 2:3).

We can also ask YHVH to teach us His ways and lead us in His truth, He is faithful, He will do it. Let us see what else we can learn from Psalm 25.

Why would YHVH want to teach us? Because of who He is! Not because of who we are! He is good and upright and loving and faithful!

Psalm 25:8
8Good and upright is YHVH; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.

Even though we are sinners, YHVH teaches us -because of who He is, but we don’t always get it. It is similar to hearing His voice. He speaks to us, but we don’t always hear His voice. Why is that? King David explains it very well. There are five prerequisites or prior conditions to being taught by YHVH:

  • Trust in YHVH – (Ps 25:2)(Ps 40:4)
  • Wait on YHVH – none of those who wait on YHVH will be ashamed (Ps 25:3)(Ps 37:34) Waiting on YHVH requires patience. Do we have patience?
  • Be humble – He leads the humble and teaches them His way (Ps 25:9)
  • Keep His covenant and testimonies – all the paths of YHVH are loving-kindness and truth to those who keep it (Ps 25:10). His covenant with us requires us to keep His commandments. If we are part of His covenant– which we are- through our father Abraham, we are to hear and do His law!
  • Fear YHVH – this one is probably the most important! I find it most amazing! If we fear YHVH, He will:
    • instruct us in the way we should choose
    • our souls will abide in prosperity
    • our descendants will inherit the land
    • He will reveal His secrets to us
    • He will make known His covenant to us (Ps 25:12-14)

What is the fear of YHVH?

Psalm 34:11–14
11Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of YHVH. 12 Who is the man who desires life And loves length of days that he may see good?

  • Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.
  • Depart from evil
  • and do good;
  • Seek peace and pursue it.

How do we do this? By keeping YHVH’s commandments – His instructions in righteousness – His ways.

Psalm 128:1
1How blessed is everyone who fears YHVH, Who walks in His ways(dě∙rěḵ).

Now that we have established that we are taught by YHVH; let us study His way for the feast of Sukkot. How are we to celebrate this feast? I have listed all of the Scriptures pertaining to Sukkot. Study it and ask YHVH to lead you in His way.

Sukkot is one of the three pilgrimage festivals

Deuteronomy 16:13–17
13 “You shall celebrate the Feast of Booths seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat; 14 and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns. 15 “Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to YHVH your Elohim in the place which YHVH chooses, because YHVH your Elohim will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful. 16 “Three times in a year all your males shall appear before YHVH your Elohim in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before YHVH empty-handed. 17 “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of YHVH your Elohim which He has given you.

Exodus 34:22–23
22“You shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks, that is, the first fruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year. 23 “Three times a year all your males are to appear before YHVH Elohim, the Elohim of Israel.

Zechariah 14:16–18
16Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, YHVH of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 17 And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, YHVH of hosts, there will be no rain on them. 18 If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which YHVH smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.

Y’shua went up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Sukkot – John 7:1–39

General instructions

Leviticus 23:34–43
Deuteronomy 16:13–17

  • Sukkot is on the 15th day of the seventh month. It is a seven day festival with a Sabbath on the first day and on the eighth day.
  • You shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before YHVH for seven days.
  • It shall be a perpetual statute
  • You shall live in booths for seven days
  • You shall rejoice

Offering or Tithing

Deuteronomy 14:22–29
22You shall surely tithe all the produce from what you sow, which comes out of the field every year. 23 “You shall eat in the presence of YHVH your Elohim, at the place where He chooses to establish His name, the tithe of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and your flock, so that you may learn to fear YHVH your Elohim always. 24 “If the distance is so great for you that you are not able to bring the tithe, since the place where YHVH your Elohim chooses to set His name is too far away from you when YHVH your Elohim blesses you, 25then you shall exchange it for money, and bind the money in your hand and go to the place which YHVH your Elohim chooses. 26 “You may spend the money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of YHVH your Elohim and rejoice, you and your household. 27 “Also you shall not neglect the Levite who is in your town, for he has no portion or inheritance among you. 28 “At the end of every third year you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in that year, and shall deposit it in your town. 29 “The Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that YHVH your Elohim may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.

Deuteronomy 16:13–17
13“You shall celebrate the Feast of Booths seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat; 14 and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns. 15 “Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to YHVH your Elohim in the place which YHVH chooses, because YHVH your Elohim will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful. 16 “Three times in a year all your males shall appear before YHVH your Elohim in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before YHVH empty-handed. 17 “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of YHVH your Elohim which He has given you.

sukkot fruit, restoration unto YHVHThe offers to be presented to YHVH are the most elaborate of all the feasts.

Numbers 29:12–39

The Torah prescribes special sacrifices for each of the days of Sukkot. On the first day, 13 oxen were offered. The number was reduced by one each day of the festival such that on the seventh day, 7 oxen were offered. The total number of these sacrifices was thus 70 (13+12+11+10+9+8+7=70). If we were to add the eighth day, it would total to 71.

There exists a traditional Jewish teaching that states these seventy oxen correspond to the original seventy nations of the world enumerated in the Torah who descended from the sons of Noah, and are the ancestors of all of the nations till this day. Israel brought these sacrifices as atonement for the nations of the world, and in prayer for their well-being; as well as for universal peace and harmony between them. <http://ohr.edu/2349>

Sukkot and the Sabbatical year

Deuteronomy 31:10–13
10Then Moses commanded them, saying, “At the end of every seven years, at the time of the year of remission of debts, at the Feast of Booths, 11 when all Israel comes to appear before YHVH your Elohim at the place which He will choose, you shall read this law in front of all Israel in their hearing. 12 “Assemble the people, the men and the women and children and the alien who is in your town, so that they may hear and learn and fear YHVH your Elohim, and be careful to observe all the words of this law. 13 “Their children, who have not known, will hear and learn to fear YHVH your Elohim, as long as you live on the land which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.”

Other passages mentioning Sukkot

2 Chronicles 8:12–13
12Then Solomon offered burnt offerings to YHVH on the altar of YHVH which he had built before the porch; 13 and did so according to the daily rule, offering them up according to the commandment of Moses, for the sabbaths, the new moons and the three annual feasts—the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Booths.

Ezra 3:4
4They celebrated the Feast of Booths, as it is written, and offered the fixed number of burnt offerings daily, according to the ordinance, as each day required;

Nehemiah 8:14–18
14They found written in the law how YHVH had commanded through Moses that the sons of Israel should live in booths during the feast of the seventh month. 15 So they proclaimed and circulated a proclamation in all their cities and in Jerusalem, saying, “Go out to the hills, and bring olive branches and wild olive branches, myrtle branches, palm branches and branches of other leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written.” 16 So the people went out and brought them and made booths for themselves, each on his roof, and in their courts and in the courts of the house of Elohim, and in the square at the Water Gate and in the square at the Gate of Ephraim. 17 The entire assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in them. The sons of Israel had indeed not done so from the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day. And there was great rejoicing. 18 He read from the book of the law of Elohim daily, from the first day to the last day. And they celebrated the feast seven days, and on the eighth day there was a solemn assembly according to the ordinance.

Sukkot is a very important feast and there is much to be learned. We can only learn by being obedient and celebrating it. Every time we celebrate it we learn more. What a blessing!

Psalm 111:10
10The fear of YHVH is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.

References

  1. 2006 דֶּרֶךְ (dě∙rěḵ): way, path, route, road, highway, i.e., a thoroughfare to physically get from one place to another (Ge 16:7), note: context will provide the size of the pathway, ranging from a narrow path to a major thoroughfare; 2. LN 15.18–15.26 journey, i.e., the act. of moving from one place to another, with a destination, and usually planned route (Ge 24:27); 3. LN 41.1–41.24 conduct, way of life, what is done, i.e., behave in a particular way, in the manner one conducts one’s life, including habits, as a figurative extension of a thoroughfare (Pr 6:6; 25:4); 4. LN 76 strength, vigor, might, i.e., power or force relatively greater than other entities (Pr 31:3; Hos 10:13), see also LN 74; 5. LN 77 unit: פָּנָה דֶּרֶךְ (pā∙nā(h) dě∙rěḵ) make ready, formally, turn the way, i.e., cause circumstances to be prepared for some event (Isa 40:3), note: for Isa 45:2 cj, see 2065; note: for NIV text in Ps 119:37, see 1821
    Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  2. 1870 דֶּרֶךְ [derek /deh·rek/] n m. From 1869; TWOT 453a; GK 2006; 705 occurrences; AV translates as “way” 590 times, “toward” 31 times, “journey” 23 times, “manner” eight times, and translated miscellaneously 53 times. 1 way, road, distance, journey, manner. 1A road, way, path. 1B journey. 1C direction. 1D manner, habit, way. 1E of course of life (fig.). 1F of moral character (fig.).
    Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the text of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurrence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.
  3. 1467 גָּבַהּ (gā∙ḇǎh): v.; ≡ Str 1361; TWOT 305—1. LN 81.3–81.11 (qal) be tall, tower high, i.e., be in an elevated spatial position or dimension (1Sa 10:23; Job 35:5; Isa 55:9a; Eze 19:11; 31:5, 10, 14+); (hif) make high, grow tall, i.e., make an object be in an elevated position or dimension (2Ch 33:14; Job 5:7; 39:27; Ps 113:5; Pr 17:19; Isa 7:11; Jer 49:16; Eze 17:24; Ob 4+); 2. LN 87.19–87.57 (qal) exalt, i.e., to assign or give high status to an object as an extension of being spatially high in elevation (Job 36:7; Isa 5:16; 52:13+); (hif) exalt (Eze 21:31[EB 26]+), see also domain LN 33.354–33.364; 3. LN 88.206–88.222 (qal) be proud, haughty, arrogant, i.e., exaltation of self, as a moral failure (2Ch 26:16; 32:25; Ps 131:1; Pr 18:12; Isa 3:16; Jer 13:15; Eze 16:50; 28:2, 5, 17; Zep 3:11+); 4. LN 25.68–25.79 (qal) be devoted, formally, exalt, i.e., have a state of zeal and eagerness, with an implication of giving oneself to a behavior, as an extension of assigning high status to an object and so placing high value to it (2Ch 17:6+); 5. LN 32.19–32.23 (qal) hard to understand, formally, high, i.e., not be able to have a functional understanding of a principle or subject as a figurative extension of an object being in a high elevation and so not be able to be clearly seen (Isa 55:9b)
    Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  4. (ʾōraḥ). Way, path. Although the word appears fifty-eight times in the OT, forty-five of them are limited to three books: Prov, nineteen times; Ps, fifteen times; Job, eleven times. Most often ʾōraḥ is used in a figurative way, describing the way to life or to death. It often is parallel with the word derek, meaning “way, lifestyle.” “Teach me your way (derek), O Lord, and lead me in a plain (?) path (ʾōraḥ),” (Ps 27:11). “Do not enter the path (ʾōraḥ) of the wicked, nor go in the way (derek) of evil men” (Prov 4:14; cf. Ps 139:3; Prov 2:8; 12:28: Job 6:18; Isa 30:11).The contrast is between the way of sin/death and the way of obedience/life. These exhaust the options available to man. Man makes his own choice but he cannot choose his own consequences. The path of life (Ps 16:1 l; Prov 2:19; 5:6; 10:17; 15:24) corresponds with the path of integrity (Ps 27:11), the path of uprightness (Prov 2:13), the path of justice (Prov 2:8; 17:23; Isa 26:8; 40:14), the path of righteousness (Prov 8:20). Conversely, one is to spurn the path of evil (Ps 119:101) for it is a false path (Ps 119:104, 128).
    To follow the path of truth and life is to follow God’s own path (Ps 25:4, 10; 44:18 [H 19]; 119:115, where the word is a synonym for God’s Torah; Isa 2:3).
    The way which one chooses determines one’s destiny. There is such a thing as the “road” of no return (Job 16:22). Bildad speaks of the “fate/ path” of all that forget God (Job 8:13). Interestingly, the LXX translates ʾōraḥ here as ta esʿhata “the end.” Proverbs 1:19 indicates, “Such is the ‘way/end’ for those who are after dishonest gain,” that consequences of evil behavior are intrinsic to that action and are not superimposed as a penalty. Thus the Bible can say that the way (derek) of the transgressor is hard.
    When Jesus contrasts the two ways, the two doors and the two destinations in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 7:13–14), he is basically repeating the concept of ʾōraḥ and derek, as taught in Hebrew wisdom literature. Our Lord’s reference to himself as “the way, the truth, the life” means that Jesus is the way to the truth about life. He is not the answer. That would be an oversimplification. He is the way that leads to the answer. Only after one steps out on the way does he discover that Jesus is the truth about life. Wisdom literature too challenges us to step out on the right way, the way of life, the way that leads to life.
    Hamilton, V. P. (1999). 161 אָרַח. In R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer, Jr. & B. K. Waltke (Eds.), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer, Jr. & B. K. Waltke, Ed.) (electronic ed.) (71). Chicago: Moody Press.
  5. 734 אֹרַח [ʾorach /o·rakh/] n m. From 732; TWOT 161a; GK 784; 58 occurrences; AV translates as “way” 26 times, “path” 25 times, “highway” once, “wayfaring man + 5674 08802” once, “manner” once, “race” once, “ranks” once, “traveller” once, and “troops” once. 1 way, path. 1A path, road. 1B the path, way, passing of life (fig.). 1C way of living (fig.). 1D traveller, wayfarer (meton).
    Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the text of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurrence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.
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