Summary: #6 in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness Series
#6 Approaching God
The Outer Walls and the Door
By Pastor Jim May
We will now leave the central focus of the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, where God established His presence in the camp of Israel, and go from the very presence of God to see what it must take for sinful man to be able to approach God’s presence.
No one could enter into that presence without fulfilling ever prerequisite for meeting God at the Mercy Seat. Sin cannot enter into the presence of God and it must be dealt with in a very specific manner, before God’s grace and mercy can be extended.
Let us begin this journey toward God by beginning from the point of view of someone approaching the Tabernacle from outside, far away from the presence of God. We will come as someone seeking to know Him and to experience His forgiveness, for we are so unworthy to be in the presence of our Holy God.
Any member of the encampment around about the Tabernacle who would approach it from the outside would be ever so aware that he would be approaching the very place where the God of Israel dwelt, veiled and unapproachable by someone such as this lowly sinner. The guilt of sin, and the fear of the judgment to come upon his soul would be weighing so heavily upon his heart that he could barely breathe beneath the load. Each family would be represented by the father or male leader as their sacrifice for sin would be carried or led to be offered.
Would our sacrifice be accepted? Will God forgive us for another year, or will we have to live with that guilt of sin upon us for many months to come before we are able to come to Him once again with a proper offering? This family, especially this father, the man that God appointed from the beginning to be the priest of His own household, carries all of the responsibility of making sure that his family is ready for this occasion. It is he, along with the cooperation of each family member, who must choose the sacrifice and prove its worth to the best of his ability. This is their only chance for this year. They are invited only once and somehow their sacrifice must be acceptable. And it can only be acceptable if it is perfect, and if they have truly repented of their sin against God, and worshipped God according to all that they know of the truth.
All of Israel received the invitation and as many as desired came, which included nearly every family. But not all of their sacrifices were accepted because of sin in the camp.
Matthew 22:14, “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
1 Corinthians 1:26-29, "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence."
As they came near to the Tabernacle, they could not help but be awed by what they saw. There it was, the outer wall of the Tabernacle court, a pure white Lenin wall standing in stark contrast to dirt, sand and filth of the camp around it with the dark tents of the people of Israel. They knew that this was a place that was set apart for God, separated from the world, a place of holiness and sanctification, dedicated and committed to one purpose, to worship Almighty Holy God.
The white Lenin curtains were supported by 60 brass pillars each capped with a silver chapiter, or cap and anchored in a brass socket. Brass is an earthy metal, impure and easily tarnished, yet strong it its power to bind things together. It can highly polished to almost look like gold, but it won’t stay for long because its true nature comes forth very quickly as the elements of the world attack it.
We know how to polish our outward appearance to look holy and righteous, but unless the nature on the inside is changed through the New Birth and the creation of a New Creation in Christ Jesus, our old sinful nature will soon let our reputation and appearance be tarnished.
Each pillar had silver hooks attached to be used as a tie-down point where the cord would be attached to an anchor peg in the ground. Each pillar was supported by "cords and pins" and was connected to its neighboring pillars by a silver rod so that each pillar supported those next to it. In all, it was a strong wall to withstand the winds and storms that would come against it.