The Feast of Tabernacles and the Eighth Day are only weeks away! By now we have made our travel arrangements and our housing reservations. And we’ll soon finish our final preparations before setting out. But have we planned to study the importance of these Holy Days to God’s plan of salvation? We should.
Our observance of the Holy Days will be more meaningful to us spiritually when we plan ahead and study their significance before the Feast occurs.
The seven-day Feast of Tabernacles pictures Jesus Christ’s reign upon the earth for 1,000 years in the Kingdom of God. His millennial reign will establish true peace upon the earth!
Immediately following the seventh day of the Feast is the Eighth Day. This holy day celebrates the culmination of God’s plan of salvation, the time when God will physically resurrect the billions of people who died without knowing Him or understanding His gospel. He’ll give every person the opportunity to choose eternal life.
We greatly anticipate keeping the Feast each year, and we yearn for Christ’s return to establish the Kingdom. But living in the world can dull our appreciation for the reality of God’s Holy Days if we observe the Feast superficially, with physical pleasures primarily on our mind! We can avoid making this mistake when we prepare ourselves spiritually for keeping the Feast.
God in His infinite wisdom and love created His Holy Days to help us stay focused on our only hope for salvation, Jesus Christ. Christ always points us to the Father. To have a spiritually enriching Feast, we need to prepare spiritually.
So before packing your luggage for the Feast, plan to review your understanding of the Holy Days. Study the Bible. Review Church literature. Pray for deeper understanding. Meditate. Share your thoughts with others and create more interest in the meaning of God’s Holy Days. Visualize what life will be like for the physical inhabitants of God’s Kingdom and for us, the saints serving there as kings and priests.
For example, visualize how unlike this present world life in God’s Kingdom will be. God inspired Isaiah to write: “The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den” (Isaiah 11:7-8).
Do you see it? Lions lazily chewing straw like oxen! Cows and bears grazing in pastures green! Can you hear the delighted squeals of the toddler as a cobra slides through her fingers and tickles her toes! So unlike our “fang and claw” world today!
We Can Visualize More
Parents will not know the despair of infant mortality, and they will watch their children and grandchildren thrive. Large families will be the norm, and generations of family members will share many happy years together. The elderly will not be burdened with loneliness or fear (Isaiah 65:20).
Everyone will find pleasure in the labor of their own hands. All will live contentedly in their own homes and enjoy their fruitful gardens. The squalor of overcrowded cities will not exist (Isaiah 65:21-22).
Without the influence of Satan (Ephesians 2:2), people living in the Kingdom will be eager to obey God. They’ll listen to Jesus Christ and His saints (that’s us) who will openly teach and guide them in God’s way of righteousness: “But your eyes shall see your teachers. Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:20-21). What an amazing time to live!
Meditating on God’s Word and visualizing life in God’s Kingdom enriches our hearts and minds. Our expectations can burn more brilliantly for what awaits us! But there’s more.
God wants all people to receive salvation. He’s “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). The Eighth Day reveals God’s great mercy and love for all people, including people we know and love.
Through that physical resurrection of the Great White Throne judgment, all who died without real hope will live again to choose eternal life. And we see that incredible scene of the resurrected billions, and we will be there to help each one grasp the depths of God’s love: “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
As we plan to observe God’s Feast, let’s also plan to be prepared spiritually for the things God has planned for us!