The children of Israel were instructed to live in booths during the Feast of Tabernacles as a reminder of how they lived in booths when He brought them up out of Egypt. The Hebrew for “booth” means “thicket” or “temporary covering”. While Israel lived in booths that offered little protection, God was their constant covering and protection for those entire 40 years in the wilderness which tried and tested them.
Israel failed because they did not recognize the vanity of their temporary coverings. They trusted in vain booths. They cast off God as their strength and covering. The result was, “Now with whom was [God] angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness?” (Hebrews 3:17)
In contrast, the feast that we just observed and trials which have followed serve to remind us how dependent we are upon God in a world that is an ever-increasing wilderness. Where Israel failed, we succeed by recognizing our frailties and inability to save ourselves and clearly see and trust the power, purpose, and glory of God working through our current temporary lives.
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So, then death is working in us, but life in you. And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory ofGod.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-15)