Sukkoth–Offerings of Thanksgiving

MiriamIllustration: “Miriam, sister of Moses, dances with her friends to celebrate the deliverance of Israel (Exodus, XV, 19-21)” by Marc Chagall, etching on paper, c. 1934.

“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths to the LORD. On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. For seven days you shall present food offerings to the LORD'” (Leviticus 23:33-36).

We don’t have to walk far on our journey to come to another festival. Sukkoth is only five days after Yom Kippur, and this is no accident of convenience. Once we have responded to God’s call to faith, and received complete forgiveness for our sins, our response is to give thanks to God. Sukkoth is a festival of thanksgiving. Also called the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths, it reminds us of the provision and protection that God has given us.

During the Feast of Tabernacles, Jewish people live in special outdoor huts built to remember the journey out of slavery in Egypt to the promised land of Canaan. This festival reminds us that the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt, that they wandered in the wilderness, and that God provided them with food and shelter in the desert. We respond to God’s gifts with our own gifts of thanksgiving.

Before God called you to faith in Christ, you wandered in the wilderness too. You were in bondage to sin, and no shelter could protect you from the death you deserved. But Jesus came and gave you the way to a new life with God. Now every day is a new day to thank Him for the life you have.

Prayer: Dear Lord of Life, thank you for giving me new life. Help me always to give thanks that you led me to the path of Life. In Y’shua’s name, Amen.

Ponder the path:  Sukkot was a time to bring thank offering over and above the people’s regular offering. Perhaps there is something else you can offer to God as you come for worship tonight.

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