Thoughts About What We’re Reading…

Is the Tabernacle Boring?

Here in our reading, in Exodus 25, God declares His desire to dwell in the midst of His people and gives them instructions on how to build His sanctuary – the Tabernacle.

The dwelling of God in the midst of His people is a significant biblical theme.

Way back in the garden of Eden, we are told God walked through the garden in the “cool of the day”. Creation was the sanctuary in which God dwelt with Adam and Eve.

The tabernacle, like the garden of Eden, here in Exodus is where God dwells, and various details of the tabernacle suggest it is a mini-Eden. These parallels include the east-facing entrance guarded by cherubim, the tree of life (lampstand), and the tree of knowledge (the law).

The tabernacle is a tented, mobile palace, so to speak, for Israel’s divine King.

Solomon in 1 Kings 6 builds the Temple as a more permanent structure for God’s dwelling.  But when the people forsake God He forsakes the Temple and it is destroyed by the Babylonians.

Although rebuilt by King Herod, the Temple system in the days of Jesus was far from glorifying God. We read about this in the Gospels as Jesus speaks out against the Temple system and its leaders.

All seems lost… until…

We read in John 1:14 that with the coming of Jesus, God had come to dwell – to “tabernacle” among us.

We learn later in John that Jesus’ own body was the temple that would be destroyed and raised.

Thus, Jesus is the resurrected temple, He is the foundation and cornerstone of a new temple – us, the New Testament people of God.  We serve as the dwelling place for God through the Holy Spirit.

This same biblical theme is carried even further in Revelation 21-22, the new earth, the new Jerusalem.  God will be the temple, and we, His people, will have our dwelling in Him.

Thus God’s dwelling in the tabernacle was a step toward the restoration of paradise, (think Eden but better) which is to be completed in the new heaven and earth.

How cool is that?  Maybe reading about the Tabernacle is not so boring after all!

Until next time…keep reading…

3 thoughts on “Thoughts About What We’re Reading…

  1. Jim,
    I think what is also relative is the different metals that are used. Gold, bronze, silver and other metals all have meaning. Also the significance of the wood chosen: what is meant by that wood?
    The size of everything and the ratios of the sizes of everything to everything else.
    I know we could get to the minutia and loose some folks.

  2. What strikes me as the most important part is that today, we as Christians can freely enter into the presence of God, in the name of Jesus, and have fellowship with God and ask him to meet our needs.

    Jesus is our High Priest and we are free and encourged to enter in to God’s presence (into his Holy of Holies) without having to go through any elaborate ritual. In God’s eyes were are clothed in the rightoeousness of Jesus.

  3. Thanks for the insight, It is helpful in the overall understanding of God’s plan to live among his people (family) and how that has developed and unfolded over the ages.

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