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Bible Study Tools / Feast Of Tabernacles

A Harvest Most Abundant

by Anthony Wasilkoff
Photo by Polina Rytova on Unsplash
 

This past winter seemed especially long. One person quipped that they were looking forward to the end of winter so much that they could hardly wait for their very first mosquito bite. When the grass finally greens up, even the appearance of the first few dandelions is lovely in its own way.

During the Feast of Tabernacles, when most of us frequent restaurants more than at any other time of year, we come across the term “available in season” as we peruse menus. This can apply to various species of fish, for instance. More often than not, it applies to various types of fruits and perhaps even vegetables.

Usually the first edible items from the garden in the spring of the year are the first few delightful sprigs of chives. They lend themselves as something green, piquant and a tasty addition to mashed or baked potatoes. Beyond that we can anticipate freshly picked lettuce and radishes. Also available are the hefty vitamin C laden stalks of rhubarb. Who doesn’t love rhubarb crisp or rhubarb pie in the spring of the year!

How wonderful the first few carrots, peas, beans, tomatoes and potatoes taste. To go to the garden, supermarket or road side stand and acquire some fresh produce and prepare it at home impacts the palate in a wondrous and memorable way.

Strawberries make their appearance early in the season and are well received by those anticipating them. Then we partake of raspberries. Among the fruit that ripens early are apricots, which some people treasure as their very favorite tender fruit. Soon after that we can partake of peaches, pears and nectarines. Last of all, we rejoice in the arrival of an array of succulent apples. What is your favorite variety of apple? Today there are only a dozen or so varieties of apples available at the supermarket. However, not long ago, orchardists grew literally hundreds of varieties of apples which are all but forgotten today.

We observe, however, that the season of fruits and vegetables is terribly short. How tasty are those first few radishes, but in a short while they are no longer available. How tasty are those first few apricots, but after a brief time, they are no longer available. How tasty are those first few cherries, but before long they are no longer available. We enjoy each crop as it ripens, partake with gratitude (Acts 14:17) and then resign ourselves to the reality of having to wait for another entire year before we can sample freshly picked produce which tastes so delicious.

The Feast of Tabernacles is one of the highlights of the year for Christians who faithfully observe the annual festivals. Deuteronomy 16:13-15 describes the Feast in the following way: “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. Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast of the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you shall surely rejoice.”

Clearly the Feast of Tabernacles is associated with the harvest season. It correlates with the time of autumn threshing and bringing in the sheaves when godly people express rejoicing with gratitude for the provision of Providence. Through the years it has not been uncommon for stage decorations at the feast to have a harvest motif with a cornucopia tumbling out all kinds of produce depicting God’s blessing and bounty.

As enjoyable as the fruitful seasons are, in this age they are very short. Then we must wait another whole year to enjoy the fresh produce which we so much anticipate. Then it is gone all too quickly. There are many things each of us anticipates in the coming millennial rule of Jesus Christ on this earth. One of the changes I personally am looking forward to is described in Ezekiel 47:7-8, 12, “When I returned, there, along the banks of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other. Then he said to me: ‘This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. Along the banks of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food, their leaves will not wither, and their fruits will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, their leaves for medicine.”

Can you imagine trees that bear fruit once a month, every month all year round? No longer will we have to wait for an entire year for a tree to yield our favorite produce. It will become a regular occurrence – every 30 days, like clock work. The wonderful world tomorrow will be truly wonderful and exceed all expectations on every front.

This phenomenon is a precursor of what is described in Revelations 22:1-3 where a similar provision is described with the operative term being: “And there shall be no more curse.” The Feast of Tabernacles is only a few short weeks away. We should all anticipate reaping an abundant spiritual harvest at every site we attend, including those staying at home of necessity. Let us pray for God to bless the produce that will be bequeathed to us so that we may take a sufficient number of bushel baskets in which to bring the produce back home with us to see us through the winter season until the arrival of Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread.

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