I thought I was only getting ahead of upcoming rainy days when I put up my sukkah early prior to Feast of Tabernacles. Since I rarely watch the news, I had no idea that the rain to come was connected to a hurricane. Yet dealing with the remnants of hurricane Ian revealed another new-to-me revelation for living. Here are a few thoughts about the sukkah which YAH has commanded that we build each year for Sukkot, or Feast of Tabernacles.
My sukkah took a beating, but remained standing during tropical cyclone Ian. The four-wall supports remained firmly intact. The sheer curtain walls were tossed and turned around, however. I even found one of them on the ground. They were all wet, soiled, and dirty.
Although my sukkah looked nice at first, Ian highlighted the truth that outward appearances are insufficient for thriving and even surviving in the world we live. This world is dirty, messy, and downright unclean. Winds of deception, soiled sacred places, rains of terror, and the dirt of unrighteousness are ever present.
Dwelling with YAH
However, none of these things should move us if we dwell with YAHUAH. That is what a sukkah represents. We dwell with our Elohim even as the Children of Israel dwelled with Him in the wilderness.
Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am YAHUAH your Elohim.Leviticus 23:42-43
We too will stand as we stay under the canopy or sukkah of protection of YAHUAH,. We will not be tossed, turned, and defiled by the boisterous winds of this world. Yes, at times the elements buffet us, but we do not have to be carried away from YAHUAH. In his epistle to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul gives one example of these contrary winds:
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;Ephesians 4:14
My sukkah reminded me of the steadfastness of our Father who is faithful. He is both willing and able to overshadow us even as a good Hebrew, Torah-keeping man did in Scripture and a Torah-pursuant man does so today for his wife.
And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.Ruth 3:9
This exchange between Boaz and Ruth illustrates a marriage proposal. After accepting that YAHUAH is our Redeemer made flesh, we are now His Betrothed, His Bride to Be.
And the Ruach and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.Revelation 22:17
We, ourselves, now wait for the return of our Bridegroom. He will retrieve the House of Israel (The House of Judah + The House of Ephraim=The House of Israel), and all who are engrafted into the House of Israel by His blood.
While we wait, we rehearse. Feast of Tabernacles is our wedding rehearsal for our soon-returning Bridegroom. While we wait, we tabernacle with YAHUAH every day.
Israel did not live in temporary dwellings only during the 15th through the 21st days of the 7th month. They dwelled in temporary dwellings 40 years of 364 days and nights. They did not stop tabernacling with YAHUAH during their entire sojourn outside the lands of Egypt and Canaan. His manifest presence was with them in the wilderness tabernacle.
Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of YAHUAH filled the tabernacle.Exodus 40:34
For the cloud of YAHUAH was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.Exodus 40:38
As the Children of Israel stayed where YAH was, they were safe. Should we not also be likeminded? Yes, we observe Sukkot as a memorial of the Children of Israel’s dwelling in temporary structures in the wilderness. However, discerning between the lines of Scripture, we see that just as much a part of our remembering, is our continuing. We continue to dwell or tabernacle with our Elohim each and every day, 364 days a year, even as the Hebrew people did in the wilderness.
Yes, we pack up and put away our sukkah until next year’s Feast of Tabernacles, but we do not put away YAHUAH and commit idolatrous adultery with the gods of this world.
If We Choose
YAHUAH so desires to be ever present with us despite the contrary winds against righteousness which never stop blowing. Like my sukkah, that did not blow away, our Elohim is steady, constant, and well able to cover us. We have access to His sukkah of protection if we choose to dwell with Him. The Psalmist describes dwelling with the Most High:
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of YAHUAH, He is my refuge and my fortress: my Elohim; in him will I trust… Because thou hast made YAHUAH, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;Psalm 91:1-2, 9
Here are two questions that we should ask ourselves. Would we rather live each day with the glory of YAH’s presence? Or would we rather live each day going from mercy to mercy? My answer is emphatically the first choice.
We can only experience YAH’s glory if we dwell where He dwells in the way that He desires that we dwell with Him. Although deep down inside, we know this, we still fall short. At times, we have left the faithful, constant, always standing sukkah of YAH’s protection only to be battered and tattered by the rudiments and elements of this world.
As ye have therefore received Messiah YAHUSHA the Master, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Messiah.Colossians 2:6-8
When we step outside of where He dwells, the dirt and defilement of the worldly wilderness whirl around us with its winds of sin.
When we turn back to YAHUAH by the Blood of the Messiah, and walk our little selves back under His always-standing, sukkah of protection, He surely and willingly extends His mercy to us. He then expects, yes expects, us to abide by His rules as we dwell in His presence in His dwelling place of righteousness. We do not want to be like some of the Children of Israel who did not choose to dwell with YAH in the way that He desires.
The mercy of YAHUAH is very much a part of who He is. Yet, His mercy is not the same as His glorious presence. If you or I decide to lie down in the bed of fornication, thievery, slander, covetousness, or any other works of the flesh:
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like….Galatians 5:19-21
Do we really think that the glory of YAHUAH, His presence, lies down with us?
His mercy, however, is ever near, ready, and willing to direct us to the remitting blood of YAHUSHA. Should we repent and walk our little selves right back under His ever-standing, steady, sukkah of protection, He is there waiting for us.
The Five Ps
There, is where we experience His much-needed presence which comes with His protection, His promises, His peace, and His provision.
When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.Psalms 9:3
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.Psalms 16:11
Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.Psalms 31:20
Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.Psalms 140:13
Being under the covering of the glory of YAHUAH is not optional. Rather, His presence, His glory, is essential in the end of days. Moses, who did not live an unrepentant life, could not experience all YAH’s glory. Do we think that we can indulge in the world of Egypt/Babylon and experience His glory for real? Counterfeit glory, yes. His real presence, no.
What about Love?
What about love, some may ask. Everybody knows that YAH is love. Sin does not matter to Him, because His love for us outweighs our sinfulness. Therefore, we can dwell with Him whether we repent and turn from sin or not.
He that loveth not knoweth not Elohim; for Elohim is love.1 John 4:8
And, yes, Paul truthfully says that nothing separates us from the love of YAH.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of Elohim, which is in Messiah YAHUSHA our Master.Romans 8:38-39
However, it is very much possible to love someone without being near them. Have you ever loved someone from a distance?
Loving from a Distance
Many years ago, a friend of mine got pregnant and did not know what to do. She decided that she was going to get an abortion and she wanted me to go with her. I was not living right myself, but I knew right away that I would not be a part of that. Even though she was my friend and I loved her, I flat out refused to go with her, and I told her no.
Thankfully, she did not go through with her decision. Had she done so, though, my love for her would have remained and I would not have abandoned her as a friend. In mercy, I would have tried to help her the best I knew how. But my presence would not have gone with her and been there with her in that abortion place!
YAHUAH loves unrepentant, defiled-with-Babylon-and- Egypt mankind from a distance. He is holy, which means set apart. In the wilderness, YAH gave precise and detailed instructions about purification, cleanness, and sin so that the Children of Israel could continue to dwell with Him and He with them.
Say unto them, Whosoever he be of all your seed among your generations, that goeth unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto YAHUAH, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from my presence: I am YAHUAH.Leviticus 22:3
Our Elohim did not abide where sin resided, and He continues to regard sin, uncleanness and defilement in the same way today.
For I am YAHUAH, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.Malachi 3:6
In His mercy, YAHUAH made provision for Israel when they sinned through the Levitical sacrificial system.
Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die. But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance.Numbers 18:22-23
Now, the Levitical sacrificial laws (not all YAH’s Law) are no longer needed, because YAH now extends His mercy through the blood of the Messiah, the final sacrifice. Yet, we can only be partakers of His mercy on His terms and not ours. This means that we do life His way. PERIOD.
Please know that I am also writing to myself here as well. We all get off track and need to repent and accept YAH’s mercy which leads us back to the path of righteousness, back to His ever-standing sukkah of protection.
I absolutely love, love, love YAHUAH’s ways, which includes His appointed times or Feast Days. I absolutely have no desire whatsoever to do those other days of the world.
As I move forward from Tabernacles, I look forward to applying this year’s rhema word. I want to seek to tabernacle with YAH always in every thought, action, deed, and intention.
Here is a summary of what I have tried to communicate about this year’s Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles. Although, my curtain walls were flimsy, the structure of my sukkah was anchored and built on solid ground.
This reminds me of what the Psalmist wrote:
If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?Psalm 11:3
The foundation of my sukkah was not sand. Therefore, it was not destroyed by the remnants of Ian. YAHUAH, who is Truth, is our foundation.
He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: an El of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.Deuteronomy 32:4
When we remain under His canopy, we will not be moved. The enemy of our soul may try us, but he will not succeed, because we choose to remain in YAH’s dwelling place that is built upon His solid rock of Truth.
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.Matthew 7:24-27
We dwell and tabernacle with YAH despite the tempests that are happening outside his presence.
He’s in the Boat!
I am now thinking about the disciples who panicked at the storm going on around them.
And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!Matthew 8:23-27
And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?Mark 4:35-40
Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.Luke 8:22-25
We do not know if this situation happened around the time of Feast of Tabernacles. Regardless, the disciples failed to discern the significance of tabernacling in the presence of the Messiah.
Like a Sukkah
Their boat was like a sukkah in that it was a temporary dwelling. As long as Messiah was in the boat with them, the disciples needed not to fear. Just as my own sukkah experienced a storm and remained standing, nothing was going to happen to that boat because the presence of the Almighty was with them. No matter how bad things looked and felt, they could have laid down and went to sleep just like the Messiah.
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, YAHUAH, only makest me dwell in safety.Psalms 4:8
Don’t Give In to Fear
The disciples, however, let fear move their emotions. Thus, causing them to forget the mighty power of the Messiah. Prior to this, he had already raised the dead and healed lepers.
When the storm winds come, they blow fear at us and fear around us. If we are not vigilant, fear will cause us to run out of YAH’s house, His solid, built on the Rock of Truth sukkah.
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. In YAHUAH put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?Psalms 11:1
No, we do not run. Rather, we wait. We wait. We wait on YAHUAH! He is an ever-present help in times of trouble:
To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. Elohim is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of Elohim, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. Elohim is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: Elohim shall help her, and that right early.Psalms 46:1-5
However, we will not find His glory, His manifest presence outside His House, His sukkah built on the solid rock of Truth. Yet, even when we allow fear to drive us into the world in search of answers and solutions, YAH sends His mercy to rescue us.
However, YAH’s mercy will not force us to come back home to His house. Like the prodigal son, we must do the work of:
- Turning toward our Father.
- Walking our little selves on the one and only path that leads to His sukkah built on the Rock of Truth.
Then we dwell with YAH in righteousness 364 days and nights a year. His House; His rules. According to Roget’s Thesaurus, a synonym for rule is law. His House. His Law.
There, in His House, under His canopy, His sukkah built on the solid foundation and Rock of Truth, we will experience all that YAHUAH, our Elohim has provided for us.
A Psalm of David. Bless YAHUAH, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless YAHUAH, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;Psalms 103:1-4
We will have the shalom (peace) required for endurance even during the coming end-time storms of judgments that are now even on the way. Redeemed of Yah, we seek to dwell with YAHUAH. Hold fast to Truth, His Sukkah of protection, and we will remain in His presence in shalom amid any contrary winds and storms.