Torah Portion: Chol HaMoed Sukkot
Torah Reading: Exodus 33:12-34:26
Prophetic Reading: Ezekiel 38:18-39:16
Maftir Reading: Numbers 29:17-22
“Dependence Upon HaShem”
Although there are many aspects to the Feast of Tabernacles, a primary one is to demonstrate dependence upon HaShem. This was the major lesson that G-d wanted to teach the people during the forty years in the wilderness. It was very clear that the faithless generation died in the wilderness and only those who trusted in the redeeming G-d entered into the Promise Land. When Israel did not demonstrate this faith and dependence upon G-d, the people went into exile. Despite what some teach today, exile did not end Israel’s relationship with HaShem; rather it was for the purpose of healing this relationship and maturing Israel to become G-d’s faithful servants.
A very critical chapter in the New Covenant is John 6. This chapter contains some of Yeshua’s most difficult teachings— the type of teachings that require a great amount of faith and dependence upon G-d. It is not a coincidence that in this section Yeshua spoke about Israel’s time in the wilderness. Yeshua taught about the Manna and how without it Israel would not have survived. Yeshua compares Himself to this Manna and that in the same way it was absolutely necessary to partake of the Manna to live, so too must one receive Yeshua to find life in the Kingdom.
It is very significant that in this chapter when Yeshua speaks about receiving Him, He says,
“‘Amen Amen I say to you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life in you.” John 6:53
Please notice the emphasis on the word eat. This is not the common Biblical word for eating; rather, it relates more to an animal eating. According to Jewish culture, eating is more in regard to fellowship, while animals eat because of the necessity to survive. Yeshua chose this Biblical word to teach that without receiving Him one will not survive spiritually (or physically).
The Children of Israel observed the Feast of Tabernacles to remember their dependence upon G-d. Why not celebrate this Festival remembering the True Manna, the Bread of Life, Yeshua the Messiah and our absolute need to trust Him and depend upon Him for all things.