Summary: The Tabernacle is a wonderful picture book, full of object lessons...a graphic, vivid experience of God’s presence with man! The MEANS, the MATERIALS, the MEN, and the MEETING. Link inc. to formatted text, audio & video, PowerPoint.
That I May Dwell Among Them
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In Genesis 1 & 2 we read about God’s creation. And right in the middle of that account, the Bible refers to God creating the billions upon billions of galaxies, each with billions of stars. How does God put this monumental accomplishment into words? With just 5 words! ...
... he made the stars also.
That’s all it says. Imagine all the work and activity of God in this magnanimous undertaking ... and it’s all summed up there.
As we begin to study the Tabernacle we find not just a verse, or a chapter of verses...but 50 chapters devoted to it. 16 are in Exodus. Why is this? Why would God give 5 words to the stars and 50 chapters to the Tabernacle?
God is much more interested in redemption than creation. The saving of 1 soul is much more important than the shaping of all the stars.
Ill.—a university professor was teaching a survey class on the Bible. He held it up and said, “This is the account of man’s search for God.” That is utterly false. It is actually the account of God’s search for man. This is what the Tabernacle is all about. This is what makes Christianity different than any other belief system on earth. All other religions are about man looking for God, but God is actually looking for man for the purpose of saving him and dwelling with him!
It’s a reunion of sorts. Sinful man reunited with the Holy God.
In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
v. 8 “That I may dwell among them.”
Ill.—Adam and Eve walked in the Garden of Eden. And God walked with them. But then sin came and that fellowship was broken. We think about them being kicked out of the garden, but actually they had already kicked God out of their lives, out of His own creation.
And we’re still kicking Him out today. Not just out of government, our schools, and society, but out of our homes, our families, our choices we make, our thinking, and our lives!
The Tabernacle was where God dwelt with man in those days. It’s a wonderful picture book, full of object lessons...a graphic, vivid experience of God’s presence with man!
It was a temporary, mobile structure—used by Israel for 500 years as a meeting place—where they met God! Later on it would be replaced by the permanent structure known as the Temple, far more elaborate, solid, not portable, but still based on the same basic parameters.
The Tabernacle was moved some 30 times. The glory cloud of God’s presence would hover over the Tabernacle...a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night. But then the cloud would raise and would begin to move. Their job then was to tear down the Tabernacle...and some 8,500 men were specifically assigned tasks in this process and in carrying it...following the glory cloud until it stopped. Then they would re-erect it again, and once again the glory cloud would hover over it.
There’s a lesson in this for us as a church, and as individuals. Many times our churches, always on the move, get ahead of God. Though I believe we should be active and aggressive in ministry, it should be in the Spirit of following God, not blazing the trail ourselves! We say with our plans and programs, “Come on God, follow us and get on board!” This is wrong. We need to find out which way God is moving, and all we have to do is follow!
We make it far too complicated as we try to ‘think tank’ our way to success. God has already made the plans...He knows the way thru the wilderness...we just need to fall in line!
Pray for me and I’ll pray for you as we strive to get the mind of God and follow His leading as a church!
The same is true for each of us as individuals. We make too much of planning our lives. God has a plan. I’m all for making preparations, studying alternatives, and seeking the best in life. But the fact remains that God knows best, and if we only put half the energy we put into trying to make a way for ourselves into finding and following His way...we’d go places!
Imagine with me the Tabernacle in the wilderness [web video], surrounded by the encampment of 2-3 million Jews. Enter the white linen fence ... Inside is the brazen altar, laver, and an unusual structure, 45’ X 15’ X 15’ high. It is in 2 compartments, separated by a veil. The first is the Holy Place, with the golden lampstand, table of showbread, and altar of incense. The 2nd is the Holy of Holies, a perfect cube of 15’.