Sukkot is the last of three holidays—all of which take place within a few short weeks—known collectively as “The Fall Feasts.”
The first of these three is near the start of the fall season, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. A time of celebration and ringing in the New Year with trumpets—shofars/rams horns. Yet, soon after this celebration, comes Yom Kippur—the Day of Atonement, where the atmosphere is one of repentance and a return to the Lord. As such, it is a solemn day, and considered THE most solemn of all days in the feasts commanded by God…
Then finally, after the New Year has been harkened in, repentance and return to God has been walked out… we come to Sukkot. Sukkot—the culmination of the Fall Feasts—is a joyful week-long festival falling on the 15th of Tishrei (between late September and mid-October), celebrating the ingathering of the fall season’s harvest. It is a time of remembering God’s miraculous presence with the children of Israel as He brought them out from the land of Egypt. It is a time to reconnect with the God of covenant promise. Sukkot is a joyous time that brings us into remembrance of God and His covenant relationship with us… preparing us for transition.
These three fall holidays are uniquely important if we are to be properly set on our path for the year… for our new beginnings and opportunities to come. Each one acts as a vital part of God’s battle plan, giving action steps that lead us to our new beginnings. They move us into a season of walking out what God has laid before us. Yet, while all the steps of these three holidays hold great importance, there is a distinct importance in Sukkot…
As the final Fall Feast, Sukkot acts as the last door we pass through as we enter our promise for the year. It is a time of joy in this way as we transition and set our minds to action. It is an ending of one reading of the Torah, and a signal that it is nearly time to begin again—a refreshing of seasons.
When we see Sukkot coming, we know change is on the wings.
Why is Sukkot a Door into Our Next Season?
Sukkot is celebrated in a sukkah, a temporary dwelling covered with the branches of trees, a sign of God’s gifts of the earth during the season of ingathering. Because it is celebrated away from the hustle of the world—in a dwelling without distraction—our attention is placed naturally upon our Father.
By opening our hearts and minds in this way, we are engaging in the final preparation. We are allowing God to complete the work He began in us at Rosh Hashanah when we stepped into the New Year with joy. We are allowing God to complete the work He did at Yom Kippur—forgiving us and realigning us as we met Him with repentance.
As the last of three “new season” holidays—the last of the major God-ordained holidays for MANY months—Sukkot is our final chance to meet with God in such an intimate, unique way. When we enter the door of the sukkah on the first night, and exit it a week later, we are, in essence, entering into God’s ways and plans for the year ahead and exiting those we chose for ourselves.
“… Ask and you’ll receive. Seek and you’ll discover. Knock on heaven’s door, and it will one day open for you. Every persistent person will get what he asks for. Every persistent seeker will discover what he needs. And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door.”—Luke 11:9-10 (TPT)
God knows exactly what we need, but if we will not go to meet Him, such as at Sukkot, knocking persistently on His door, then how are we to truly know His will for the coming days? We need the close, intimate relationship with our Father—honoring His commands. And, while the Blood of Jesus has taken away many requirements, there remain the many blessings in honoring His commands—such as that of observing Sukkot. God’s timing and seasons are still intimately connected with the Hebraic calendar, and those special yearly feasts that we may deem as “Jewish” are in reality “the feasts of the Lord” (see Leviticus 23:2).
When we open ourselves to all God is and make time to meet Him in such a quiet way, we WILL find Him. And we WILL find the door to our next season opened wide.
How Am I, a Gentile Believer, Supposed to Observe Sukkot?
Given that Sukkot is to be celebrated in a sukkah—a temporary dwelling loosely covered by branches—it may appear impossible for many to observe it. After all, if you live in a New York City apartment building twenty floors up with no roof access, where would you even put one?
Well, while there are advantages to actually building and residing in a sukkah, God knows our circumstances. It is less about the sukkah itself and more about remembrance and separating ourselves from the world around us—to focus on Him. For some of us, that might mean turning off our devices. For others, it might mean staying in instead of interacting with others. For others still, it might mean spending time with likeminded individuals who wish to come together to remember the goodness of God.
“Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!”—Psalm 27:14
Each of us should decide—with God’s direction—how we are supposed to celebrate Sukkot. There may be years where God directs us to spend Sukkot alone with Him, other years with family, and still others with community, or even a combination. Each has its importance and season…
No year is a waste… the time spent at home, with our families and with God… the time spent in fellowship with fellow Believers—our extended family in God… are all important pieces to come to the door of our Messiah—a door whose frame has been washed in the Blood.
In the end, no matter if we are alone or with many, God will meet us if we are willing to walk through His door…
Sitting quietly on a park bench or in a living room talking to God is observance.
Joining a community in fellowship is observance.
Building a sukkah is observance.
What one person’s Sukkot looks like may vary from another’s—even from year to year. But that in itself is unimportant, because Sukkot, from start to finish, is a time devoted to God.
It is God’s time. His timing. And in it we are to wait on the Lord.
If we wait on Him, He will meet us. He will fulfill His promise and open the door.
“…wait for the Promise of the Father…”—Acts 1:4
Sukkot has many aspects we could explore intimately, many symbols and meanings which hold importance, yet, even in those they all lead to the same place—the same conclusion. They lead us to God. They put us in remembrance of Him and compellingly guide us to the conclusion that He is all we need… that He is the one who created us, and He is the one who abundantly supplies.
Sukkot, the culmination fall feast, is about God. And because of that, it opens doors. It opens the door to our new season and the doors of opportunities for the year… it acts as our catalyst.
God will meet us if we knock on the door of His Tabernacle; He will lead us with a cloud by day and fire by night into green pastures. He opens the door wide and leads us through so we can fulfill our purpose and further the Kingdom.
Let us listen to our Father this Sukkot. Let us seek Him out. Let us wait upon Him so we might meet Him face to face.
“Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!”—Psalm 27:14 (TPT)
“Ask, and the gift is yours. Seek, and you’ll discover. Knock, and the door will be opened for you.”—Matthew 7:7 (TPT)