Sermon September 25, 2013: The feast of tabernacles

Posted in Sermons
[Dr. Richard Booker]
  • Presenter: Dr. Richard Booker
  • Date: September 25, 2013
  • Location: Congregación León de Judá, Boston MA

The feast of tabernacles. It’s in the Bible and it starts in your favorite book Leviticus. God told the people of Israel to celebrate his festival and he told them during the feast of tabernacles, to sacrifice 70 bulls. Now why did he tell them to sacrifice 70 bulls? Because there were 70 nations given en Genesis, chapter 10, so the Jewish people of old days, understood that the 70 bulls represented the 70 nations. So the feast of tabernacles is known as the feast for all nations and one day you’re all going to go to Jerusalem and celebrate. Alleluia!

When Messiah comes but we don’t to wait, we’ve been doing it in Jerusalem since 1980 and we want you to learn a little about it tonight. Because Jesus, he celebrated the feast of tabernacles and if he did something, we all want to do it too. Amen.

It’s the feast of joy. Alleluia! Anybody need joy tonight? Amen. It is the feast of rest, resting from all your messing up, your problems letting the Lord take care of it for you. And I love that song that he’ll never leave us because he will never leave us he’s covered us in the palm of his hand. We’re not just holding on to him, we’re part of him. He is you, you’re in him, the two have become one. Alleluia! Give the Lord a handclap.

Now, we have a picture for you here. We’re going to read Leviticus 23, 42 to 43.

“…You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God…”

So, God told the Hebrews that I want you to make a little shelter and is going to be a reminder that I took care of you for 40 years in the desert. You never were hungry, you never were thirsty, ladies, your shoes never wore out. There was no shopping mall in the desert.

So God wanted to remind them every year in the feast of tabernacles, to make a little shelter and stay there during that week. But make the roof very loose so he could see through the roof and see the heavens and always be reminded that this is temporary. You’re looking for a city whose builder maker is God. Alleluia! We’re looking for the New Jerusalem to come down and tabernacle with us. Amen.

Alleluia! And so it’s the time of celebrating and joy all over Israel this past week, all the houses would make their little shelters and they would go during the week and have a meal and celebrate. And as you can see from the picture all the hotels they make the restaurant like a booth, like a tabernacle, so we can all have our meal in the tabernacle. Alleluia!

This has been going on all week in Israel. I had 50 of my students returning today from their tour for the Christian celebration of the feast of tabernacles. Now, let’s look at the next line, some more from Leviticus, chapter 23, verse 39:

“… On the 15th day of the seventh month when you’ve gathered the produce of the land, you shall celebrate…”

I said celebrate. Celebrate. The feast of the Lord seven days. Wouldn’t you like to have a Jesus party for 7 days? Alleluia!

On the first day there should be a solemn rest and on the 8th day there should be a solemn rest. Verse 40. You shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees, and boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice. Rejoice before the Lord, your God, seven days. Alleluia! Amen.

God is good all the time and you look so beautiful tonight. I don’t see you like you see yourselves. Aren’t you glad? I see you through the eyes of the Lord and he sees you already perfect in his Son.

I remember years ago a lady was ill and came up for prayer and in the natural eyes she wasn’t what you would call beautiful and attractive, but the Lord was going to teach me a lesson. Because when I prayed for her I saw her in a glorified body which was God’s way of giving me a word of knowledge she was being healed. Now, let me tell you, I’ve loved my wife for 47 years but this was something else. This was the most beautiful creature I’d ever seen in my entire life because she was conformed to the image of God. That’s your future, that’s your destiny.

So, the Lord told me to always look at you like I saw her. Turn to somebody and say you’re beautiful. You’re beautiful. Alleluia! Amen. Even you guys are beautiful. Praise the Lord.

Now, Jesus was in Jerusalem celebrating the feast of tabernacles. It would have been this very week, about 2000 years ago. And they had 2 major rituals that the people did, and the first one is called the ritual of the pouring of water, and here is what this is about.

In Israel there is a very long dry season, no rain, and so during the feast of tabernacles, which is in the fall of the year, in either September or October, summer is over, it’s time for rain. If they do not have any rain they won’t be able to plant their crops, it’ll be a disastrous year for them. so, on the last day of the feast of tabernacles, on the 7th day, which was maybe today on the calendar, this day 2000 years ago, Jesus was in Jerusalem for the feast of tabernacles and hundreds of thousands of Jewish people would be there, from all the nearby countries, and they’re praising the Lord, they’re dancing in the streets, and singing the songs of David, they’re blowing the shoffars, they playing the cymbals, banging the tambourines, dancing in the streets. Alleluia! Celebrating the Lord, hundreds of thousands, amen. Alleluia!

Nothing I love better than celebrating the Lord. And so they’re going to have this rain dance asking the Lord to send rain on the land. And so a special priest from the temple would go down the southern slopes of the temple map down to the pool of Siloam in the Bible and he would have a golden canister and gold in the Bible is the symbol for God. So he’s going to take the golden canister and dip it in the water, in the pool of Siloam, and leave the procession back up to the temple map and they were all singing and dancing, praising the Lord, making a loud joyful noise to the Lord.

Amen. And he’s going to pour the water on the altar at the temple, and while they’re doing that they’re singing praises to God, like Isaiah 26:3. Therefore with joy you shall draw water from the wells of salvation, and they would praise Isaiah chapter 44, verse 3 that says: “Lord send your rain upon our dry parts soul and your rain upon our dry parts grounds and the living waters of your rain upon us and our descendants,” so they connected the natural rain with the spiritual rain.

The ground was thirsty and so were their souls. They were thirsty for God. So, hundreds of thousands of people are doing this. Jesus is there and let’s see what he does. John 7:37, as all of this is happening, the pouring of the water ritual, Jesus comes to the midst of them in the last day of the feast of tabernacles, “On the last day of the feast, that great day, Jesus stood and cried out, ‘If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink.” Alleluia!

And in verse 38, “Whoever believes in me as the scripture has said, out of your heart, will flow rivers of living water.” Alleluia! Yes, Lord. Alleluia!

So, he was saying, this is just a ritual, I’m the real thing. Come to me and I will quench your thirst, your thirsty soul that needs to drink of the Holy Spirit to renew you and refresh you. And so, Jesus was saying, I’m the reality, come to me all you who labor in a heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Alleluia!

Amen. The pouring of the water ritual, he did all of this while they were pouring the water out. Now, the next day, they had another ritual. It’s called the lighting of the temple ritual. Now, they not only needed the water for the ground, they needed the sun to nourish the seed in the ground. They also needed to cry out to God, you are mi light, you’re the glory and the lifter of my head, you’re the light of my salvation and who shall I fear.

So, again, they connected the natural light with the spiritual light and the way they did this was called the lighting of the temple ritual. If you can see the candle sticks going way up high in the picture, they had 4 of these, 75 feet tall which were illuminated, and all of the people had torches and every dark corner in Jerusalem had a lamp. The whole city of Jerusalem was illuminated with the light of the glory of God and you could see it from many miles away.

However, there was a man there, he was born blind. He didn’t get to see all of this celebration, he didn’t get to see all of these lights. These lights represented the blazing glory and dazzling beauty of God. He couldn’t see it. He was born blind. But he met Jesus Alleluia! But he met Jesus.

Now in the New Testament it says that the man was born blind. Why would it say born blind? There were miracle working rabbis in the time of Jesus who could do small miracles, but never in all of history had anyone healed someone born blind. The rabbis could heal some eye diseases, no one ever healed anyone born blind. And so the Jewish people understood there were 4 miracles, that when Messiah came he would these because they are too hard for us.

I’m not going to tell you all 4, I’ll have to come back some time, but I’ll tell you one. One of the four was born blind. That’s why it’s written in the Bible just like it is. The words didn’t just get that way, the Holy Spirit inspired the words to be in the Bible. So, it’s there for a purpose, born blind. He meets Jesus and Jesus spits in the ground and he makes clay with his spittle and he puts it on the blind man’s eyes.

Now, why did he do this? Because in the times of Jesus people believed that the first born in the family – and first born does not mean the one born first, it means the heir of the family, the one who receives the double portion of the inheritance of his father, because he’s to be the priest of the home. They didn’t have synagogues and churches and things like that, your home is your basic place of worship. Alleluia!

And so the father when he passed away he gave one of his sons the title of first born and he would the spiritual priest of the home and he would be the heir of all that the father had given him. Bless you, my dear, living waters. Alleluia! Thank you.

So, here’s what people believed. The first born, because he was the priest of the home, he had spiritual authority and power and part of the spiritual authority and power was healing. So, they believed in the spittle of the first born was healing power.

When Jesus spit on the ground, made the clay and put it on the man’s eyes, he was saying to everyone around, I am the Father’s heir. Ask of me, son, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance and the ends of the earth for your possession. Glory, Alleluia! Alleluia!

Everyone understood what he meant. We don’t understand that well, but they all understood what he meant. Then he told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam and your eyes will be opened. And then he said, I am the light of the world, he that follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life. Alleluia! Glory.

Why did Jesus tell him to go wash in the pool of Siloam? The pool of Siloam is still there today and there’s a stream outside of Jerusalem called the Gihon Springs. Every ancient people would build a city by running living water, they had to have water for the people, and a running stream was called living water because it had life flowing in it. And the Gihon Springs are still there today, way underneath the ground. In 701 BC, King Hezekiah was king of Judah, and the Syrians were attacking him, and the way they would defeat him was find his water source and stop it up.

So, here is what Hezekiah did. He built a tunnel, called Hezekiah’s tunnel, and it’s still there today, way underground, and he brought the water from Gihon springs through the tunnel into the city and it emptied in the pool of Siloam. And as I said, all of that is still there today. You can take your tour group through Hezekiah’s tunnel. It’s very narrow, not very high and the water is cold, and it comes up over your knees, and it’s dark, dark, dark. You have to have a little light and hold on the person who is next to you in order to go through safely.

One year when we took our group through my wife had a brand new set of tennis shoes. She said, “I’m not going to ruin these tennis shoes.” She’s the only person who ever walk through Hezekiah’s tunnel barefooted. So, this is all still there today, it’s the real thing.

Let’s go back to Jesus. Gihon Springs in Hebrew means ‘the virgin fount’ or the place of bursting forth, where the living waters were burst from. That’s what this word Gihon Springs means, the virgin’s fount where the living waters were burst forth.

It empties into the pool of Siloam. In the Bible the pool of Siloam means ‘Messiah’s pool’, the pool of the one who is to be sent. So, when Jesus said, “Go wash in the pool of Siloam,” he was saying to them, “I am the one who burst forth from the virgin’s found to give living waters and make the blind see, and make the lame walk, and make the hearing hear, and save the sinner, wash away your sins, make you whole, give you new life, give you purpose in life, give you meaning in life, make you an over comer, make you a world changer.” Alleluia! Amen.

He is the sufficient one for all of our needs. The great I am who came in human flesh, as he told his religious leaders before Abraham was I am. Alleluia! Amen.

Now, the religious leaders didn’t like Jesus healing this man born blind. You know why they didn’t like it? Because they couldn’t do it. Often times religious leaders resist the move of God. I said that very nicely. Thank you. They questioned this young man, they interrogated him. He said, “What? You want to be one of his followers too?” “No, we are of Moses, we don’t know who this man is.” You mean someone has healed someone born blind that’s never been done in the history of the world and you don’t know who he is? And finally he said, “I don’t know all your theology, I don’t know all your doctrines, I don’t know all your denominational traditions, I don’t know this, I don’t know that, all I know is once I was blind and now I can see.” Alleluia!

Alleluia! So, myself, I have a Phd in Theology. I’m a theologian. I don’t care about all of that, I care about Jesus. Alleluia! And knowing him, loving him, and serving him, and pleasing him, y putting a smile on his face in heaven, so he turns to the Father and say, “Look, well done, good and faithful servant.” Alleluia!

And now finally, there’s going to be a worldwide feast of tabernacles where all the nations concur. Today a hundred nations are coming but when Messiah comes in person, all the nations will go up to Jerusalem. Alleluia! Amen.

Let’s look at this, it says in Ezekiel, 37: 27 and 28. It says, “My tabernacle also shall be with him, I will be their God and they shall be my people, and the nations should know that I, the Lord, do sanctify Israel where my sanctuary shall be in the midst forevermore.”

And then in Revelations 21:3 John says, “I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, “Behold the tabernacle of God with men, and he will dwell with him and they shall be his people and God himself shall be with them and be their God.”

One more slide, you’ll recognize the next one. Behold the tabernacle of God is coming to dwell with us, the King Messiah, not the baby in a manger but the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, to receive his inheritance from his Father. Alleluia!

Alleluia! God is good all the time and all the time. God is good. If you can get excited about the football team, you can get excited about Jesus.

One last picture. This is from the prophet Zachariah, this is the scripture that says, all the nations come to Jerusalem and celebrate tabernacles. Zachariah 14:16 “and it shall come to pass that everyone is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and keep the feast of tabernacles.”

Alleluia! Amen. This is our future and we’ll celebrate in the messianic kingdom, a literal kingdom, dancing and celebrating for one thousand years. Alleluia! You’ll never get tired you got to sit down because you’ll have a new body, and never get tired, and you’ll only need one pair of dancing shoes. Alleluia! Glory.

This is your future. This is your destiny. The nations of the world are in trouble but the Kingdom of God goes forever, and we’re in the Kingdom of God so God bless you


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