The feast of the Passover is the first of the annual Jewish feasts, and the feast of Tabernacles is the last (Lev. 23:5, 34). The feast of the Passover, as the first feast of the year, implies the beginning of man’s life (cf. Exo. 12:2-3, 6), which involves man’s seeking for satisfaction and results in man’s hunger. The feast of Tabernacles, as the last feast of the year, implies the completion and success of man’s life (cf. Exo. 23:16), we must realize that during the feast of Tabernacles the people do not labor because the work is over, the crop has been reaped, and the corn and wine have been harvested. That was the time to rejoice in their enjoyment—but they were still thirsty! The sixth case reveals that their thirst was not quenched even by their success.
We all are pilgrims wandering in the wilderness, living in tents, and needing to drink living water out of the rock. This reminds us that one day the real feast of Tabernacles will come. That will be in the new heaven and new earth within which the New Jerusalem will be the eternal tabernacle. Revelation 21:3 says that the New Jerusalem is the tabernacle of God with man. It is the real, constant, eternal tabernacle. In the tabernacle of the New Jerusalem there will be the river of water flowing continually to quench the thirst of God’s elect. Thus, the feast of Tabernacles reminds us that we have such a future and causes us to realize that we can never be satisfied with the things of this age. Those things are the things of our pilgrimage. All of them will end. We are travelers. We are journeying toward our final goal—the eternal tabernacle of the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and the new earth. We do not have the real quenching water here; it is there in the New Jerusalem.