For God’s people, the Feast of Tabernacles is truly one of the happiest times of the entire year. It is a time of both physical and spiritual rejuvenation. It is a wonderful respite from this chaotic and tragic world that contains a vision for all mankind!
God told Moses, “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord. On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein” (Leviticus 23:34-35). The Feast of Tabernacles begins five days after the Day of Atonement. While the Day of Atonement is known as a time of fasting, the Feast is the direct opposite—it is a time of top-quality sumptuous feasting. Yet most importantly it is a time to feed on spiritual messages from God’s ministry.
This sixth feast of God pictures the millennial rule of Jesus Christ and His Bride—the saints (Daniel 7:13-14, 18; Revelation 20:4-6). In Acts 3:21, Luke refers to this time period as “the times of the restitution of all things.”
Satan the devil will not be able to sway the mind of men during this 1,000-year period. Jesus Christ and the His immortal saints will work tirelessly to flood the entire Earth with the truth of God (Isaiah 11:9). Satan has deceived this whole world (Revelation 12:9). This fallen angel has confused man about God and His purpose in creating man. Jesus Christ will set all men free from the imprisonment of Satan’s religious deceit and the false values he has foisted on mankind. The minds of men will also be finally freed from false reasoning and will be able to fully comprehend the great spiritual truths locked inside the Holy Bible. This Millennium will be a time of unparalleled learning and achievement in the history of mankind. Those who attend God’s Feast get a rich foretaste of this coming wonderful World Tomorrow (Hebrews 2:5).
The Earth, devastated by the horrific battles of World War iii, will be transformed into a garden paradise. Working in harmony with and in loving obedience to their Creator, men will help the Earth produce incredible abundance in cattle, fruits, grains and awe-inspiring gardens. Isaiah prophesied about this time: “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God” (Isaiah 35:1-2).
While Christ and the saints rule the Earth, it will spring to new life. Using the laws of God, the land will be properly developed, achieving a never-before-seen pinnacle of productivity. Every human being will live a fully satisfied, happy, peaceful and overwhelmingly successful life. Even the animal kingdom will be at peace within itself and with man (Isaiah 11:6-9). Children will live and play in a safety this world does not know.
Time to Rejoice
God commands that His people rejoice while attending the Feast. “Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine: And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates” (Deuteronomy 16:13-14). God designed the Feast to be a time of great rejoicing. Of all things, God wants His people to be happy.
Happiness is best built in a family atmosphere. Notice that God puts an emphasis on families rejoicing together at the Feast. Family not only includes individual families, but also the greater Family of God. Participating in godly fellowship with brethren of like mind is a crucial key to ensure that the Feast is full of rejoicing.
Because the Feast lasts for seven days, there is ample time, especially for fathers, to spend concentrated happy time with their wives and children. Feast sites are typically resort locations resplendent with natural and man-made wholesome attractions. Family activities such as entertainment night and family day provide refreshing opportunities to get together with other families, singles, widows and senior members in God’s Church. Special singles and senior activities are always planned to ensure everyone has a chance to meet new people and enjoy fellowship. Because the Feast of Tabernacles is a “feast,” brethren have the opportunity to go out to fine restaurants and enjoy a fine meal together. No humanly devised holiday can ever match the rewards of God’s Feast of Tabernacles.
Learning to Fear God
God has provided means for His people to be able to afford such a wonderful time. He commands His people to save a tithe (tenth) of their income to pay for attending the Feast. Notice God’s instructions about this “second tithe”: “Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always” (Deuteronomy 14:22-23). No one need fear going into debt to attend God’s Feast.
Notice also in these verses the most important reason for attending God’s Feast: to get to know the great Almighty God and to learn to fear Him. Each year at the Feast, God chooses a variety of locations around the world and commands His people to assemble there. God also brings His ministers there to give religious instruction during the Feast. Services are conducted each morning of the Feast. On the regular Sabbath and on the high day, there is also an afternoon service. The messages at God’s Feast are the most thrilling of the year. God ensures that His people are given the necessary instruction to overcome their problems and meet the challenges ahead.
Those who attend the Feast with the intent of learning about God and His ways leave the Feast rejuvenated, inspired and full of courage and energy to live another year God’s way.