8 ‘Then let them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. 9 Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you. Exodus 25:8-9
34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Exodus 40:34-35
When you get a chance, read the story of Moses and the Israelites. It’s one of the very exciting stories in the Bible. At this part of the story, after God has given the commands, he instructs Moses to set up a tabernacle, which is a tent. This would be a tent of meeting, a dwelling place for God, a mechanism for Him, a holy God to dwell among the people. Today I would like us to note 3 things:
1. God’s desire has always to be with his people. He went through all this and had the people put the tabernacle together to show them that his desire is not to be far but to be close to them. Remember right at the beginning, he walked with Adam in the cool of the day. Today, the church is known as a house in which God dwells by his Spirit. God’s not far, he’s close! Pray to him. Thank him that he is close and accessible. Walk with him and enjoy his presence.
2. The tabernacle was a matter of submission and obedience. God gives instructions on how it is to be designed and assembled in very accurate detail. These instructions were to be followed closely. Essentially this was a call to obedience and a declaration that you do not come to God on your own terms but on his alone. This is important for us today because we love to play God. We love to be with God and to do the things that he requires, as long as it’s on our terms and schedule and as per our requirements. It doesn’t work like that. God wants us to listen to him and obey.
3. Again, it’s no surprise that the tabernacle was a shadow of things to come, namely Jesus’s arrival. Again, God devised a plan for him to dwell among people. In John 1:14 we are told that the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. The word used for dwelling is the same as that used for tabernacle in Exodus. This was always the plan – for God to dwell with man. Hallelujah! We can know the glory of God by knowing Jesus. Let us celebrate this today and walk close to him as he is close to us.