Illustration: “Feast Day (Rabbi with Lemon)” by Marc Chagall, oil on canvas, 1914. [Actually the rabbi is holding a lulav and etrog, as he prepares the mitzvoth of “waving the lulav” on the first day of Sukkoth. I don’t know what the miniature rabbi on his head is doing! That’s Chagall!–Kevin]
“On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the LORD seven days. On the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest. And 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 before the LORD your God seven days” (Leviticus 23:39-40).
The Feast of Tabernacles reminds us of God’s provision in the wilderness. The wilderness is a hard place to be. Often the roads we walk are rough and hard to follow.
When the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they lost sight of God’s provision and cried out to be returned to Egypt, where they had been in slavery. The familiarity of bondage sounded more comfortable than being in the wilderness, where they had to trust God to keep them on the path.
How often we cry out for a more comfortable path. Struggling along on the path, it is often hard to see God’s provision. God calls us to, “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:7). He will provide.
In the wilderness, God guided the Israelites with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He provided manna, quail and water to sustain them. He gave them his covenant–the Ten Commandments–by which to live. He promised to lead them to the land of Canaan, a land that would be their own. And he delivered.
Look around you and see how the Lord has provided for you. Choice fruits abound in your life. Did you wake up this morning? Thank God for protecting you through the long night. Did you have work to do today? Thank God for providing you with productive work. All that you see and all that you have is God’s abundant provision for you. He guides you, sustains you and has promised you eternal life. Through the blood of his Son, God promises you will be with Him for eternity, and your struggles in this life will be no more. He will deliver.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for all the ways You have provided for me. May I always be mindful of your generous care for me. In Y’shua’s name, Amen.
Ponder the path: It is so easy to see a challenge in life and take the shortcut. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. He will deliver.