The final feast the Lord commanded was the Feast of Booths. This feast lasted for seven days with a final closing feast on the eighth day.
Of all the feasts this one, to me, sounds the most complicated. There is only one other feast that lasts as long as this one and it is the Feast of Unleavened Bread. On that occasion the thing most affected is the diet in the home and the cleaning of the home of all things leavened. This feast requires a complete shift in the family’s daily life. It also required much more elaborate preparations.
During the Feast of Booths the people were to live in “booths” or temporary dwellings. This was to be done as a reminder of how the people lived the first 40 years after leaving Egypt.
That’s long enough to pay off a mortgage on a home! But the people didn’t have homes during that 40 year period. They moved about in the wilderness. I don’t know how long they stayed in each place after God turned them back because of unbelief. If they had gone on a linear journey from point A to point B it would have been a WHOLE LOT shorter. But their attitudes didn’t allow for this. Instead this stubborn people wandered around in the wilderness living in “booths” for 40 years.
I’m curious here as to why God wants the people to commemorate the “booth” living. Is He reminding them of His bringing the people out? Is He reminding them of their stubbornness? Is He reminding them of the fact that He protected them when they had nothing to protect themselves with? Why the “booths” as the reminder?
The people left Egypt with silver, gold, and fine clothes acquired from their Egyptian “neighbors.” They also had livestock of their own but little else. They had a very limited supply of food and no roof over their heads. After the food they had ran out God provided manna for them from Heaven. But God didn’t provide shelter for their comfort and protection. What He did instead was make available the materials for constructing such shelters and provided protection for them from those around them.
The whole time Israel was building the Tabernacle for the Lord they continued to live in makeshift homes. God’s was “makeshift” too. That is because where they were at was a TEMPORARY location. God wanted to have a visible presence among the people but it had to be mobile. He wanted what He made to motivate them to continue on to the final promise.
If God had asked the people to set up a permanent residence for Him in the wilderness it would have signaled the end of their journey. The people’s residence had to be as portable as His. It is MUCH easier to leave behind a temporary structure, even to tear it down for travel, than to do so with a permanent “home.”
The wilderness was NOT their home. Home was farther ahead. Maybe God chose “booths” to remind the people that even their journey was not over yet. This world is NOT our permanent home; Heaven is. Step out from under the protection of the world and rely on God’s provisions. It may not be easy but the journey WILL be worth the work! Lean into Him and follow where He leads. Be ready to move on when He says to. He is the GREATEST orienteerer EVER.
Father God, thank You for the provision You have given me to use during my earthly journey. But thank You MORE for the ones You have provided for my eternal journey. Thank You for the physical reminders of the difference between the two. Thank You for shifting my focus even as we talked today. I wouldn’t have made it here on my own. I want to follow where You lead in all aspects of my life. I don’t know what that will look like but I know I can trust You to show me.
There is a personal aspect I feel You speaking to me about. I don’t want to put it out there for others right now but PLEASE help me stop fighting and follow instead. Show me HOW to conquer all the old habits. Teach me to listen instead of turning a deaf ear. I started to say “Help me regain control over this area” but I never really had control in the first place. Help me instead to relinquish ALL control over into YOUR hands and trust You with it. Teach me to walk in new ways; in YOUR ways in this area of my life. And help me LEAVE this issue in YOUR hands FOREVER.