Monday, 18 October 2021
Collaborating with Jerry Miller 3
I'm continuing to co-write with Jerry Miller. So, this holy season gives us a picture of God's process of bringing revival to our lives as individuals and in our congregations (communities). I suspect this could actually be God's primary theme in relation to Sukkot, even though it's not explicitly stated as a theme. In 1 Kings 8, Solomon had finished building the great Temple in Jerusalem. He and the elders of Jerusalem brought the Ark of the Covenant from the Tabernacle into the Temple. You may recall, they then proceed to dedicate the Temple.
Solomon asks a question that takes us to Sukkot. 1 Kings 8:27a So will God really dwell on the earth? On Sukkot we empty ourselves of our earthly "palaces" and enter a place that offers no protection at all. God, Himself, wants to be our protection. As we continue to the end of 1 Kings 8, we find that the people were glad and well satisfied.
1 Kings 8:65-66 So Solomon and all Israel with him celebrated the Festival at that time - a great congregation from the entrance of Hamath to the Wadi of Egypt - before Adonai Eloheinu, seven days and then seven more days - 14 days in all. On the eighth day he sent the people away, and they blessed the king and went to their tents joyful and glad of heart over all the goodness that Adonai had shown to His servant David and to His people Israel.
This was taking place right in midst of the feast of the 7th month celebrated for 7 days. And what feast is that? It's Sukkot, and it's not just coincidence. God has a clear purpose in identifying Sukkot with the glory of His presence being poured out. At the end of 2 Chronicles 5 we have another account of the same dedication of the Temple.
2 Chronicles 5:13-14 Then it came to pass that when the trumpeters and singers joined as one to extol and praise Adonai, and when the sound of the trumpets, cymbals and musical instruments and the praise of Adonai - "For He is good, for His mercy endures forever" - grew louder, the Temple, the House of Adonai, was filled with a cloud. The kohanim could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of Adonai filled the House of God.
Something special also happened to the prophet Haggai on Sukkot. Haggai 2:1 On the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of Adonai came through Haggai the prophet. Remember, the 15th day of 7th month marks the beginning of Sukkot. God gives Haggai this word on the 21st day of that month, meaning the 7th day of Sukkot, which is a special day--called in Hebrew, Hoshannah Rabbah (abundant salvation).
It was on this final day of Sukkot the the priests would have this incredible ceremony called the celebration of water pouring. The celebration would reach a crescendo, an ecstatic level of joy. The event was meant by religious Jews to prophetically point to the days of Messianic redemption when the water of the Spirit would be poured out on all Israel, and from Israel to the world. It is a celebration of worldwide revival.
This celebration looked to the day of the latter rain, when God would pour out His Spirit on the people of Israel. That is the day of Messiah's ultimate redemption. So, it was on this very day of Hoshannah Rabbah (21st day of the 7th month) that God gave Haggai this word of prophecy ... that there would be a greater glory coming to the Temple, greater than any glory they had ever known.
Haggai 2: "The glory of this latter House will be greater than the former," says Adonai-Tzva'ot. "In this place, I will grant shalom"
This is a declaration of Adonai-Tzva'ot. Don't miss it: "The latter will be greater than the former."
Rabbi Michael Weiner,