Have you ever harvested fresh produce? Whether you’ve got a pumpkin in your backyard garden, you visit the u-pick peach orchard every year, or you make your livelihood as a farmer, harvest time is one of the most joyous times of the year. There is something fulfilling about plucking fully ripened, fresh, luscious produce right out of the fields.
As you’re reading this, the grape harvest is taking place in the land of Israel. This year’s harvest is the year before the shmita/sabbatical year, so according to the Scriptures, we should bring in three times the amount of their regular yield. The vines are certainly heavy with produce this year!
There is another very joyous occasion occurring at this time – the Feast of Tabernacles! Deuteronomy 16:14-15 directs us on how to keep Sukkot:
“You shall rejoice in your feast… For seven days you shall keep the feast to the Lord your God at the place that the Lord will choose, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.”
Did you catch that? One of the reasons you should rejoice during Sukkot is because of God’s blessing on your harvests! Exodus 23:16 emphasizes this:
“You shall keep the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor.”
Though our society is less agrarian-conscious than folks were in biblical times, it is still important for us to reflect on what we have sown, tended, and harvested over this past year. You may be surprised, as you look back over your previous year’s journey, to find how bountiful your harvest is. There may well be a pre-shmita, triple harvest of abundant provision, laid up all around you, but you simply haven’t taken time to take notice of it.
Sukkot is a time to count your blessings, pull your family together, thank God for His provision, and celebrate all the successes that He enabled you to reach this year.
May God bless you with the fullness of joy as you rejoice before Him this year during the Feast of Tabernacles!
Chag Sukkot Sameach,