The Feast of Tabernacles: All Year Long

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The Feast of Tabernacles

All Year Long

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When asked, most people in the Church would say the Feast of Tabernacles is the most anticipated and enjoyable festival of the year.

That would be exactly as God would want it. The Feast pictures the time when Jesus Christ has returned to earth, claimed the kingdoms of this world as His own, and establishes a government that will bring peace, joy, and abundance to all who choose to live His law and His way. It is the highlight of mankind’s existence on earth, and a time that God, all the hosts of heaven, and all of us look forward to.

It’s no surprise, then, that God built into the proper observance of this festival principles that draw our attention to it all year long.

Let’s look at just a couple of those principles.

In Deuteronomy 14:22 Deuteronomy 14:22You shall truly tithe all the increase of your seed, that the field brings forth year by year.
American King James Version×
, God instructs: “You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide…that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always” (emphasis added).

Did you catch that? We tithe on our income so that we can keep God’s Feast, that we may learn to fear Him always.

There’s a financial principle implicit in our observance of the Feast. God intended us to save a “second tithe” faithfully throughout the year, then use it to enjoy “whatever our heart desires” at the Feast.

It takes character and, many times, faith in God to save the second (festival) tithe. Financial challenges can arise during the year, and it may be tempting to dip into the festival tithe and use those dollars at a time that God did not designate.

When we faithfully keep the festival tithe, exactly as God commands, we build holy, righteous character, and we learn to fear Him always. Keeping the tithe is a key financial principle that God gives us. When we abide by His principles faithfully, He blesses us.

When we faithfully set aside the tithe from our paychecks all year long, we are reminded of what we are preparing for—to be in God’s presence at the place He chooses for the Feast.

If we want to be with Him in His Kingdom when He returns, we will faithfully keep the tithe and observe His Holy Days as He instructs.

There’s another principle we learn from this tithe, too.

God makes it clear in Deuteronomy 14:26 Deuteronomy 14:26And you shall bestow that money for whatever your soul lusts after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever your soul desires: and you shall eat there before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you, and your household,
American King James Version×
that we save the festival tithe for our own use in observing His festivals. Observe it where He places His name. Enjoy good food, good fellowship, and the activities at the Feast, and be reminded of the peace, joy, unity, and abundance that this Feast pictures.

But notice in Deuteronomy 16, that while we are to enjoy the use of this tithe, the well-being and welfare of others cannot be forgotten. “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant, and your female servant, and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are within your gates” (Deuteronomy 16:13-14 Deuteronomy 16:13-14 [13] You shall observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that you have gathered in your corn and your wine: [14] And you shall rejoice in your feast, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within your gates.
American King James Version×

With the tithe we have saved, we have a responsibility to see that our family enjoys the Feast, and to the extent God has blessed us with plenty, we have a responsibility to see that others at the Feast are enjoying it, too.

God is a God of “give.” He watches out for us, and He expects that we are watching out for the needs of others, as well. It’s the agape love His Spirit develops in us, and He expects us to be cognizant of the needs of others all year long.

The Feast is no exception. In fact, it’s a wonderful time for us to share our blessings to make sure everyone has an opportunity to share in the joy of the Feast.

For those who have extra, plan to share with others who have limited tithe so they can fully participate in all that the Feast offers. The spiritual food provided at daily services is free to everyone, but the Church-sponsored activities at the Feast sites are important opportunities to fellowship and rejoice at the Feast, too.

Those activities are not free, and some may not be able to enjoy if we fail to watch out for their needs. If you know someone with limited tithe, take them to dinner or lunch, offer to pay their way to family day or the senior activity. Many festival sites have a Family Helping Family fund that you can contribute to. Money donated anonymously into this fund at the Feast are used to offset the costs of activities so that everyone—all of our Feast family—can enjoy the abundance God provides at the Feast.

This year, as we go to the Feast, appreciate and adhere to the year-round spiritual and financial principles that God has built into our proper observance of it. When you do, you will be enjoying the benefits of the Feast all year long.