Applying 7 themes of Sukkot to my daily life! Day 1: This day reminds me to be joyful!! The feast of Sukkot (or Tabernacles) is known as the “season of rejoicing” or “the time of our joy” because God commands us in Lev. 23:40 to “rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.” You might be thinking, easy for you to say! How are we to rejoice and be joyful when there is so much craziness in the world around us? so much stress at our jobs (if we have one)? so much sickness? so much is going wrong? We may feel more like Jacob, that “everything is against us!” Yet God would not command us to do something that is impossible for us to do!
To me, the key to obeying God’s commandment and remaining joyful in the midst of our circumstances lies in where we choose to place our focus, i.e., the focus of our thoughts, words, eyes, and heart. Especially now, when so much in our world is changing faster and faster than ever before, we need to focus on what we KNOW, not on what we DON’T know; and we need to focus on what NEVER changes, and what we can never lose. The only thing that never changes and that can NEVER be taken away from us is our intimate relationship with God. That’s THE only thing! As we read in Ps. 73:25 – “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.”
In biblical times, all of the rituals, traditions, and ceremony for Sukkot took place at the Temple, which to me, is the ultimate reminder and visual of God’s glory and holiness. When I picture the Temple, I think of God dwelling in unapproachable light, in all of His glory and holiness. Then I think about how this same God desired intimate relationship with me so intensely that He made the way for me to be able to approach Him with confidence, to dwell or tabernacle with me, by taking upon Himself death – the very thing that could not have any contact whatsoever with the Temple. That acknowledgement and experience of being so wanted, so desired by God brings me great joy and brings me to my knees in worship.
This week, try focusing your thoughts, words, eyes and heart on that which will never change or be taken away. Focus on how much God desires intimate relationship with you, and experience the joy of Sukkot!