Celebrating Tabernacles

By Sylvia Bambola Monday, 23 September 2013 14:03:00

The Feast of Tabernacles has come early this year and once again I’m pausing my “following Jesus” series to post something I wrote last year about the Feast, though slightly revised, because it still applies. Here it is:

I love this feast. Every year our church celebrates it for eight days and nights. It’s one of seven feasts of the Lord and commemorates the time when the Jews wandered in the wilderness for forty years and literally tabernacled with God. But it’s so much more. It speaks prophetically of a time when Jesus will return and tabernacle with us here on earth, and set up His thousand year reign. Of course the Spirit of God already tabernacles with all true believers, but the Feast references the physical return of our Lord.

For the past few days as I praised and worshiped, as the dancers whirled around with their colored flags, as the breathtakingly beautiful banners were paraded through the sanctuary declaring Jesus as “Soon Coming King,” “Lord of Lords,” and “Lion of Judah” it was easy to envision the splendor, or at least a small part of the splendor and pageantry and glory that will accompany the event that all Christendom awaits. And when I glimpsed it, it created such a longing in my heart it actually hurt. Scripture tells us that all creation groans for His return (Romans 8:22-23). I think all our hearts groaned as we celebrated. I could see it on the faces around me. They groaned because there was such a sweet presence of the Lord in the sanctuary. And while it was wonderful, we knew it was but a foretaste of things to come, a foretaste when once again God will tabernacle with man, and we would have to wait. I was never good at waiting.

But the Feast is doing something else for me. It’s reminding me of the here and now, and how important it is to live life fully for the Lord. He is to be our number one priority followed closely by the people He has placed in our lives. He has a plan and purpose for each of us, and we have only one lifetime to get it right. We need to take this seriously because every day we don’t, is a day lost.

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God . . . And he had on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:11-16).

Oh, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Until next time,




God is . . . Just Judge

By Sylvia Bambola Monday, 08 March 2010 11:14:00

The Bible tells us that it is God who is our judge and lawgiver (Isaiah 33:22) and that He will judge the ends of the earth (1Samuel 2:10b); that He’s the judge of all (Hebrews 12:23b).  And get this, He’s going to judge the secrets of men (Romans 2:16). Ouch!  And being a just judge God can’t be bribed; His arm can’t be twisted.  And He’s no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). Your wealth, position, reputation will not impress Him. He’s a judge who will call it like it is and punish sin to the fullest extent of the law. 


There was a time when I didn’t take this seriously.  Rather, I had an imaginary scoreboard erected in my mind that tallied up my “good deeds” and weighed them against my “bad” ones, and I just hoped that at the end of the day the balance would be in my favor and leave me in good standing with God.


What I forgot was that He is the lawgiver. He makes the rules.  He says what’s right and wrong. He keeps the record His way.  Not us.  And what He says is this: If we break just one part of the law (it’s called sin), we’ve broken it all.  And that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).   And what is this death? Nothing less than separation from God, in hell. 


No one likes to talk about hell these days.  It’s seems unsophisticated, narrow, intolerant. It’s even become fashionable for some Christians to say things like, “Oh, God won’t send anyone to hell, He’s too loving.” Still other Christians say, “there are many paths to God and all lead to heaven.” Really? Then why did Jesus talked about hell?  And when He did, He left no doubt how terrible and real it is.  In Mark 9:43-47 Jesus says it’s better to cut off (symbolically speaking) your hand or foot, or pluck out your eye if they cause you to sin rather than be sent to hell.  He goes on to describe hell, calling it a “fire that never shall be quenched” where “worms dieth not.” He also tells us in Luke 12:5 that the One we should fear is the One who has power to cast us into hell. 


So if God is a just judge and He can’t be bribed and He’s such a stickler on sin, what is a person to do?  Well, Leviticus 17:11 says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood and I (God) have given it to you upon the alter to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” That’s why, in the Old Testament, the Israelites sacrificed spotless animals to atone for their sins.  But in the New Testament we see that Jesus became a spotless lamb for us and was sacrificed for our sins; that He is our atonement. And all we have to do is accept Him and what He has already done. But the choice is ours.  He won’t force Himself on anyone.


If you consider the terrible light in which God views sin, and the terrible price He paid so He can forgive us our sins and at the same time satisfy His requirements as Judge, can we call Him unjust if we don’t accept His prepaid free gift and He sends us to hell?  Hardly!


Until next week,