Month 7:16, Week 3:1 (Rishon/Pesach), Year:Day 5941:192 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Thursday 5 October 2017
Sukkot 2017 II
The Season of Our Joy
Continued from Part 1
Chag sameach Sukkot chaverim!
I wonder how many of you realise that sameach - such as we commonly use at festival time - is the equivalent verb for the noun, simcha? When we say 'Chag sameach' we are wishing people a 'joyful festival'. Whether as the noun (simcha) or the verb (sameach) the meaning is both an internal feeling as well as an outer expression. In a related Semitic language, Arabic, the cognate literally means to 'be excited'. There are two equivalent words in Greek - the noun chara (and verbal equivalent, chairó), from which we get our English word 'charity', and agalliasis, the word used by the Septuagint (LXX) translators of the Tanakh (Old Testament) to match the Hebrew simcha.
A Mark of the Believer and the Messianic Community
Simcha or joy is not, however, restricted to Chag Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles. Throughout the Bible it is consistently the mark both individually of the believer and corporately of the Messianic Community (Church). If ahavah or agapé (love) is its hallmark, then simcha or agalliasis may be said to come a close second. But it is not simply an emotion. Simcha (joy) is a quality grounded upon Yahweh Himself and is derived from Him. We can no more artificially manufacture it than we can ahavah (love):
A Characteristic of the Saved
"You have made known to me the path of chayim (life);
You will fill me with simcha (joy) in Your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand" (Ps.16:11, NIV).
"Rejoice in Yahweh always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Phil.4:4, NIV).
"May the Elohim (God) of tiqveh (hope) fill you with all simcha (joy) and shalom (peace) as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with tiqveh (hope) by the power of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit)" (Rom.15:13, NIV).
Thus simcha (joy), along with all the other qualities of the Ruach (Spirit) like tiqveh (hope), shalom (peace), and chayim (life) characterise the authentic, saved, spiritually regenerated, born-again Christian/Messianic on earth:
Anticipating Being With Yah'shua
"Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious simcha (joy), for you are receiving the goal of your emunah (faith), the salvation of your souls" (1 Peter 1:8-9, NIV).
Very much connected with this simcha (joy) is the anticipation of being with Messiah (Christ) forever in the Kingdom of Heaven, whether it be initially as disembodied spirits in the spiritual dimension we call 'heaven' or as resurrected beings in our final destination here on the Millennial earth when Yah'shua (Jesus) reigns as Sovereign:
And that "wedding" is, of course, Chag Sukkot, the final one after the Judgment of Yom haKippurim after Messiah returns.
"Let us rejoice and be glad
and give Him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and His bride has made herself ready" (Rev.19:7, NIV).
Waiting Like the Betrothed
In the meantime, we are supposed to be getting ourselves "ready". As a betrothed wife following the correct divine tavnith (pattern) of Scripture is supposed to be ready every day, waiting for her betrothed to come and collect her for the full wedding, we the allegorical Bride of Messiah are supposed to be ready each Sukkot in case it's the actual final one.
Were you ready this year? If you were, then your simcha (joy) will be full, a simcha (joy) you can carry with you over the next year.
Continued in Part 3