Summary: Part one of a two part series on being in the Presence of God.
What if I was to make you an offer?
I have two rings one that is made of Gold and I can guarantee that it is, it has 9 carat stamped inside it. I even meet the Jeweler that made it and it contains his makers symbol / the other is pretty cool it has a lions head on it and it looks like gold and has a number 2 stamped inside it came in with a box of bits and pieces that I found out by the rubbish skip. I think that it is probably brass or bronze.
Now which one would you choose?
Well I can’t give you the gold ring because it signifies something of far more value than the ring.
How often in life do people settle for the bronze? When it comes to being in God’s presence we often settle for the bronze, however some never even get close to the bronze that’s for another talk though.
In the passage Exodus 38:21-31 there are some really interesting things, the tabernacle that was made as God prescribed to Moses was built by a team of people the leader of whom God had given the Holy Spirit to, too ensure that it was built specifically to God’s plan his name was Bezalel, lets think of him as a Construction Manager who was filled with God’s Spirit for that purpose.
His site overseer was a bloke by the name of Oholiab, from the tribe of Dan, a tribe of pretty rough characters the “Danites” from all accounts would have been a good bunch of blokes to have in your rugby team or in a punch up and here is Oholiab “a craftsman and designer, and an embroider in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen”. You have to wonder if his cousins gave him a bit of a ribbing about his choice of trade?
One thing that it does show is that here is Oholiab this bloke from a fairly rough background and he has been chosen by God to be used in the construction of the finer things of the tabernacle. Quite a privilege and an honour; so much so that here I am talking about him roughly 3430 years later.
A tabernacle is a name for a tent or pavilion, the Tabernacle was the palace of the Most High God, the dwelling place of the God of Israel.
As we look into this passage we see that three metals are mentioned in its construction Gold, Silver and Bronze. A ton of Gold, 3.5 tons of Silver and about 2.4 tons of Bronze, which is made from copper and tin.
As a matter of interest a ton of Gold on today’s market is worth $56 256 704 dollars and 69 cents.
If we look at how the metals were used we see that the bronze was used for bases at the first entrance of the tent, to make the bronze alter in the courtyard and to make the bases of the structure that held the cloth wall around the tabernacle area as well as a few other items.
The silver was used to cast bases for the sanctuary and the curtains as well as the hooks for the posts, as an overlay on the wood of the posts and to make the bands for the posts, this was the holy place, the place were you had to be a priest to enter.
As we look at the use of the Gold we see that this was used constructing the inner sanctuary the Holy of Holies. This is the place were the Ark of the Covenant was present; where the glory of God’s presence hovered between the outstretched wings of two cast golden Cherubim. The chief priest was the only one allowed to enter once a year, even then he had to be tied to a rope just incase anything happened to him so that his body could be dragged out.
A couple of things come to our attention because of this passage;
1) One being that the most valuable thing we can have in life is to walk in the presence of God.
When the priest walked into the tabernacle there in the courtyard there was bronze around him, you can imagine him looking at the bronze work as he made his way and as he walked into the holy place silver, whow the wooden pillars covered in silver, the hooks and curtain rings of silver and if he was the High Priest he could enter into the Holy of Holies surrounded by Gold, a ton of Gold, 56 and a quarter of a millions dollars worth of Gold. Bright shining Gold, now don’t get me wrong it’s not about the worth of the Gold it is about the glorious presence and the Holiness of God. The gold like the wedding ring signifies the gravity of the relationship.