Does Zechariah 14:16-19 show God wants us to follow the festival laws?

Zechariah 14:16-19 is believed by some to show that God saying we must follow the Mosaic (festival)  laws in the end times.

16 Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 17 And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them. 18 If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the LORD smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 19 This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.

Of COURSE God tells us people will celebrate the feast of Booths (or Tabernacles). This feast celebrates when God delivered His people live from slavery, as we see Leviticus 23:39-43.

9 ‘On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the LORD for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day. 40 ‘Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. 41 ‘You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations ; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 ‘You shall live in booths for seven days ; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, 43 so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.’ “

This is what God did for us, when He saved us through Christ.
Galatians 5:1

It was for freedom that Christ set us free ; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

But at a higher level, the feast of Tabernacles reminds us of when God came down to be dwell with man in a tent, as we see in Exodus 25:8

8 “Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.

This is what happened when the Logos came to dwell among men, as we see in John 1:14

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the onlybegotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

It is also what will happen at the end times, when the Tabernacle of God (the Tabernacle is Jesus) dwell among men, as we see in Revelation 21:3-4.

3And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them

So yes, we will celebrate that God has freed us from slavery and that God dwells among us. But this is because the people will celebrate that God lives among them. Those who do not celebrate God’s presence will be judged. This is not about merely following a festival, or the festival laws. This is a matter of celebrating the presence of God in our midsts. If we trust God, we will be pleased He is among us and will celebrate it with our daily lives. If we do not trust God, we will not celebrate His presence and will be punished.

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2 Responses

  1. I commented to this effect this last Wednesday night while covering Nehemiah 8 and Tabernacles in that passage and its relation to Zechariah 14 (who would have preached just a few years before the work of Nehemiah). Good stuff!

    • Thank you kind sir! If people do not keep an understanding of the whole of Scripture, it can be easy to be confused and think that we are under the Law. But, thanksfully Christ has released us from the Law.

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