Psalm 118:13-15 (NIV): “I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: The right hand of the Lord has done mighty things.”

We’re basically in the middle of August, and summer feels like Fall. Which led me to think about the fall season.

Looking at the Old Testament Jewish Calendar, we have Rosh Hashanah (Leviticus 23:23-25), Yom Kippur (Leviticus 23:26-32) and the seven-day festival known as Sukkot (Leviticus 23:33-34).

As I was using Psalm 118 as my meditation, I couldn’t help but think of the Feast of Booths, also known as Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot.

As I was meditating on verse 15 it made me pause: “Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous.”

Suddenly my meditation turned into a word search and Bible study. I was hooked as I searched “tents of the righteous.” Some might call this a “rabbit trail. What I found was Biblical encouragement.

Weak summers and early winters can bring a bit of discouragement. Knowing that, we can prepare and strengthen ourselves: Let us “carpe diem,” or seize the day.

So in my word search, seeking a word of encouragement from Scripture, I came across Isaiah 41:9-10: “I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Are you familiar with the movie titled “Dead Poets Society”? Robin Williams was the lead in that 1989 movie. It’s not a typical type of movie I would have watched. But I must admit it left a lasting impression. There were some great one-liners in the film. Such as:

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race.”  

“But only in our dreams can we truly be free.”

“Boys, you must strive to find your own voice.”

“Sucking the marrow out of life doesn’t mean choking on the bone.”

“O Captain, my Captain.”

Watching that movie definitely led me to make a mental note to self: “How to be motivating without misleading.”

The older I get the more I appreciate this next quote: “I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” I took that thought and combined it with the movie’s quote: “Sucking the marrow out of life doesn’t mean chocking on the bones.”

In other words, it’s easy to be misunderstood. Our intentions, words and deeds do unintentionally cause offense.

I share with you a short passage from the Gospel of Luke 4:18-19: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed me to preach the Good News to the poor. He sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of the sight of the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Feast of Tabernacles, Feast of Booths, Sukkot. For your own study, Leviticus 23:23-44.

For me personally, it was important to make the connection from Psalm 118:15 “tents of the righteous” to the scripture passages from Leviticus 23 along with the supporting Scriptures that I’ve mentioned.

What I realized is discouragement and depression are like slow-moving shadows; it’s important for us to keep the light of hope burning bright. 

Psalm 119:105: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”

 

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