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CHRISTIANITY'S JEWISH ROOTS

Feast for the Soul: Celebrating the Holy Harvest in Jerusalem

By Nena Benigno
CBN Correspondent

CBN.com -- “I have posted watchmen on your walls O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth” (Isaiah 62:6,7).

1. Pray that Israel, especially its spiritual capital of Jerusalem, will enjoy a special time of peace during the Feast of Tabernacles celebration. During this biblical holiday, hundreds of pilgrims from all over the world, including evangelical Christians, come to celebrate with the Jews in Israel. Pray that God will cup them in the palm of His hand and that no weapon formed by the enemy will prosper against them. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you” (Psalm 122:6).

2. The Feast of Tabernacles is a reminder of God’s faithfulness in the past and the future. God commanded the Israelites to celebrate the Feast once a year and to build “tabernacles,” or dwelling places, like the makeshift tents they used to live in when they journeyed from Egypt to the Promised Land. They are to live in these tents for seven days (Leviticus 23:42, 43).

  • Pray that this tradition, still practiced in Israel, will not just be a yearly ritual, but truly a reminder to all that life on earth is indeed impermanent. Even our earthly “tents,” or bodies, are transient. God meant our lives to be a pilgrimage to a “promised land,” an eternal dwelling in His Kingdom.
  • Pray that the Feast reminds all of us that we remain completely dependent on God just as the Jews relied on Him for food, water, and all other provisions on the desert journey. We should, therefore, travel light, not becoming attached to material things that will be a burden to us on the way to His Kingdom.

3. God commands that the Feast of Tabernacles be celebrated in the future, after He returns to Israel and rules over the nations as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Every nation must send a representative to the Feast (Zechariah 14:6). Pray that this will deeply impress all in Israel to be in readiness and anticipation for the Messiah’s return, when, once again, God will “tabernacle,” or dwell, among His people as Immanuel, “God with us.”

  • Pray this will move Christians and churches everywhere to stand with Israel and pray for the Prince of Peace to come and dwell in the hearts of the people there, including Jews and Arabs, and to take His throne soon in Jerusalem where He will establish peace over the whole earth.
  • “And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war” (Isaiah 2:4).

4. The Feast of Tabernacles is also a time when the Jews in Israel pray for rain to fall on the parched land.

  • Pray that this year God will indeed send much rain to fill the Galilee and other reservoirs and water the farms and orchards of Israel.
  • Pray that God will also send spiritual rain, a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit, upon the Christians and churches of Israel, bringing revival, unity, faith, and empowerment to administer Christ’s healing, deliverance, and other miracles that prove He is truly the Messiah.
  • “On the last day, that great day of the Feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive …” (John 7:37-39a).

5. In addition, the Feast of Tabernacles is a harvest festival, a time to thank God for the bounty of the land. Thus, it is also called “The Feast of Ingathering,” or the gathering of the autumn harvest (Exodus 23:16).

  • Pray that the farms of Israel will always yield abundant produce for the people of Israel.
  • Pray also that this year’s Feast will mark the start of a great harvest of souls for God’s Kingdom in Israel, especially as we near the final “ingathering” of the redeemed of the Lord as we near the end of the age.

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Nena Benigno is the head writer of the Christian Broadcasting Network Asia and scriptwriter of The 700 Club Asia.
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