Leviticus 23:42 says, “Live in the booths for seven days, that all native Israelites are to live in the booths, and so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in the booths when I brought them out of Egypt, I am the Lord your God.”
God purposefully had the Israelites live in temporary and portable homes so that he could move them and also so that they were like Abraham – sojourners in a foreign land. Over the centuries, on the first day of the Feast of Harvest, also known as the Festival of Booths or the Festival of Tabernacles, each participant collected twigs of myrtle, willow, or palm in their area of Jerusalem for the construction of their own personal booth. The booth in scripture is a symbol of protection; it is a symbol of preservation, and shelter from the hot sun or the cold night – yet fragile enough so thatyour total dependency was on God. You could not live without His help. In our big houses today, both children and adults can become overly secure and tend to trust in the structure rather than God – so that they don’t feel the need to ask God to help them through the night. But this was not so with the initial generation of the children of God – these fragile, temporary shelters kept them focused on and very near to God, which transformed them into a Holy People.
During the 7 days of the Festival, the Hebrews would and still to this day use the booths as much as they can. Each family had their own personal booth, and they enjoyed eating each meal in the wooden handmade shelter, praying and reciting blessings, and praising God with their branches every day. The roofs of the booths were loosely made so that it was possible to see through them, so that they could see up to God, up to the heavens, up to the stars – again, to remember that we are looking for a city that is far beyond the stars. Since the Remnant has been doing this, various Saints over the years – if they have time and wherewithal – set up tents in their yards and their children sleep under the stars.
Only God could have come up with a party that included outdoor, lightweight tents/booths to spend the night in. What a great idea – for the children would learn to get excited about this sleepover from the earliest of ages. The booth is intended as a reminder of the fragile dwellings in which the ancient Israelites dwelt in during their forty years of wandering in the desert after the exodus from Egypt.
Isaiah 4:2 says, “In that day, the branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and the glory of the survivors in Israel. Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called Holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem…Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over everything the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and a shade form the heat of the day, and a refuge and a hiding place from the storm and the rain.”
This booth is a reminder of the transitory nature of this life and the need for humility before God Almighty. God is our provider. Remember, in the Israelites’ travels over the 40 years, their sandals did not wear out. That is a miracle.Even as we are vulnerable, God is our protector. So the tabernacle is a shelter, it is a shade; it is a refuge, it is a hiding place; it is a safe haven. It is a safe dwelling in the midst of enemies or in the day of trouble, which could mean your supreme testing, your day of testing, or the final Judgment Day when Christ and God as our shelter will be our protection. As the people of God are blessed more and more, may each generation return to the tried and true formula and through this festival each year use these booths to bring us back to total dependency on God for food, clothing, and shelter.
Year after year, century after century – passing down the love and dependence upon God day and night to each generation… Internalizing how God meets all needs – physical, emotional and spiritual… Learning that the earth is not our home but our home is far beyond the skies. By the grace of God, a force led me to imitate Christ, and I found God. I have had a flimsy shelter all my life… Therefore I have stared at Christ to God all my life, and because of that I have fallen in love with God and He has become my home. Because He is my home, I do not want to neglect His home. Likewise, Saints… God is our home, so in turn, like all of the Saints who walked before us learned to adore God through dependency – like those who took an oath together not to neglect the house of our God – we bind together not to neglect the house of God.
Leader Tedd Anger had this to say about the experience…
[quote]We praise God for God’s Holy Festivals being reinstated!! For the last 4 years the children in our extended clan have slept outside in our Booth (a section of our deck) reading scripture and sharing What God has poured out through Gwen about the meaning of the Booths – Total Reliance on God!! This year me and the 5 youngest spent the Sabbath evening sharing, reading and praying under the Sabbath moon. What a blessing and we can’t wait until FOH 2012![/quote]
Click the Video At The Bottom for more information on Remnant Booths.