Celebrating Sukkot in Israel
Sukkot is one of the most significant Jewish holidays, especially in Israel.
Sukkot reminds us of how the Lord brought us out of Egypt and provided everything we needed when we had nothing but His presence to live on. It also points to the bountiful provision that He promised us once we entered the Land. The Bible describes Sukkot as seven days of rejoicing before Him, appreciating His presence and His provision. God commanded us to live in booths for one week to remember how He cared for us during our wilderness wanderings.
Every year we, as believers in Yeshua, go to the mayor’s office in Jerusalem and we apply for permission to join the national annual march that takes place during Sukkot. Everyone wants to be in the parade, some to celebrate, some to advertise” their business. One year the national phone company was behind us.
Last year the usual committee did not manage the march. Surprisingly, my wife Miriam and I were asked to lead it because we have several years of experience. My wife’s experience was as a front line worshipper with dance and tambourine, which she has been doing almost since we started joining the march. My experience was in security work, my profession before I came to know the Lord.
Praise God! He raised up a team of dancers for Miriam, and she was soon practicing weekly for the march. As for me, I have always loved security work and was happy that God was finding a way to use this gift to serve Him.
Then everything that could go wrong in Israel did go wrong. We had weeks of violence and threats. We had to cancel many of our Jews for Jesus outreaches, since they were scheduled at festivals that were no longer to take place.
We all wondered in silence if God would want the march canceled, too. A few days before the march we were told it would take place as planned. We went into serious prayer. We wondered about the risk factor, as did the police. Somewhere in the back of my mind however, I knew if that God was giving the green light, He was going to bless and protect us, wasn’t He? A certain peace came over me. It seemed we were going to march for the Lord after all.
The day of the march arrived. We loaded our car with costumes for the worshippers and banners and flags to be waved high for Yeshua. We headed up the mountain toward Jerusalem. I was happy we were going to lift up His name, even if it was to be sandwiched between the Israeli phone companies behind us and the airlines of Israel before us! This seemed like a perfect day to rejoice before Him.
The march took off fine. A bit down the road, some people began to boo us as they saw we were marching for Yeshua—but to our surprise many Orthodox Jews actually cheered for us this year. We had prayerfully asked for miracles, but were not expecting that. Later we realized that a number of groups had probably canceled. Perhaps the people were cheering us because we refused to cancel, but instead, chose to rejoice before the Lord, confident of His presence and provision.
We know who our God is and by His grace we want to lift Him up whenever we can. As bystanders clapped and cheered, my faith in our Great Provider increased even more.
One day He’ll come again and we can praise and worship Him during the Sukkot march and at all times—basking in His presence. Sukkot begins at sundown, October 1, and lasts for a week. Though we are miles apart, worship Him along with us. We serve the same Lord by the power of the same Spirit. Praise Him today wherever you are. Next year perhaps you will be in Jerusalem, cheering us on. Let the march roll on! IF GOD BE FOR YOU WHO CAN STAND AGAINST YOU?