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August 11 | John 7:37-44


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Drink from the Water

by Jennifer Jerrome


Today’s post takes a slight detour from the actual scripture and focuses more on the events surrounding it.


"On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.” (v. 37)


Chapter 7 of John’s Gospel is titled Jesus Goes to the Festival of the Tabernacles. What was this festival that Jesus initially declined to attend with his disciples?


"You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come." (v. 8)


What did it represent to the people of Jesus’ time and what does it signify to both Jews and Christians today?


The festival is mentioned quite often in the Old Testament.


"Celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress. Be joyful at your festival – you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns. For several days celebrate the festival to the Lord your God at the place the Lord will choose. For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete." (Deuteronomy 16:13-15)


This feast is also known as Sukkot, which means shelters, booths, or tabernacles. It is considered by the Jews to be THE feast. They would travel to Jerusalem in the fall, staying in tents to celebrate the year’s harvest and remembering God’s provision in Egypt.


Sukkot is also celebrated to acknowledge God’s current presence with his people and looks to the joy to be experienced when entering the Lord’s presence in the future.


"For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands…Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." (2 Corinthians 5:1&5)


This evokes the idea of the Trinity:

God = Past

Jesus = Present

Holy Spirit = Future


It is an inclusive feast for all people.


"As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm – when they come and pray toward this temple, then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name." (2 Chronicles 6: 32-33)


"And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant – these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." (Isaiah 56: 6-7)


This made the feast an excellent opportunity to instruct other nations in the laws of God. When Jesus took part in the teaching, few recognized that the human incarnation of the VERY reason for the feast was celebrating along with them.


The feast concludes with an elaborate water pouring ceremony thanking God for the rain that sustained the crops and ensuring that more rain is to fall in the coming year. The significance of Jesus’ words on this last day cannot be overlooked.


He declares that he is the fulfillment of the Feast. He is the living water they/we all are seeking.


Informational resources:

Why We Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles from The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem


“The Meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles” from One For Israel Ministry


“Feast of the Tabernacles: How Sukkoth Points to God’s Provision” from The Gospel Coalition


PRAYER

Father,

As Sukkot celebrates, we give thanks for your provision in our lives. You are the life-giving water we seek. May we drink from you, allowing rivers of living water to flow from within us. Amen



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1 Comment


Thank you for this outstanding devotional. It was so informative and tied yet another Old Testament celebration to Jesus. He is the life giving water for all of us. Praise God!

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