The Feast of Tabernacles is an incredible reminder of God’s goodness. It has its root in the deliverance of the Exodus. Moses was God’s chosen leader of the captive slaves. They were rescued ultimately by water, moved by the hand of God. Pharaoh let the people go…and then had a change of his hardened heart; he sent the armies after them.
Moses’ band of freed slaves was caught between mountains on the left and right, with the Red Sea in front, and Egypt’s army behind; it seemed certain to be a slaughter and re-enslavement of Israel. But God opened up the Red Sea and the people walked to safety on the other side. The army followed, but all were drowned as God released the waters. As Israel witnessed this deliverance, Moses sang a song of praise to God which was four hundred years in the making.
As the children of Israel turned from the Red Sea’s waters and wandered in the desert they found more water at Marah, but it was bitter. God sweetened that water with a branch he showed to Moses. When there was no water at all, God instructed Moses to speak and the water gushed from solid rock.
Too much water, bitter water and no water – all terrible; all wonderful, as they displayed the power of God and His kindness to his wandering people.
The Feast of Tabernacles was kept for centuries after the events at the Red Sea, Marah and all through Israel’s “glory days”. It was a week-long celebration. The people would leave their homes, and live in makeshift shelters of tree branches, remembering how God made the mighty waters safe, the bitter waters sweet and the hidden water flow. They remembered God’s great gifts.
Certainly Isaiah had all this in the back of his mind when he wrote about drinking deeply from the fountain of salvation. It is the picture of God rescuing His own; it is our story too. As it was in the desert, so it is today.
The Scriptures declare that when we were in the darkness of sin’s grip, lost as could possibly be, Christ came by water and blood to wash us – he came and died to rescue and redeem all who would turn to Him.
For You, Today…
Here’s a question to chew on today: Is it a bigger miracle to make a dry path in the ocean, or bitter water sweet, or a barren wasteland gush with water….than it is to take away the sins of somebody like me…or you?
Moses simply stood still to see the waters part. He only had to throw the branch God gave him into the pond at Marah to make the waters sweet. And he just spoke to the rock to turn on the faucet. But for our sins – it took the priceless blood of the Lamb.
Are you washed in the blood?
Wash me Lord, and I shall be whiter than snow!
Drink deeply at that fountain!