If you've ever had a house built, you understand how important it is that every detail—and there arethousands of them--must be followed to the letter. From the foundation to the roof, from the floors to the faucets, everything must be exact. It's not only the measurements that matter, but the component parts of each product must be made of the right quality or the end result won't be pleasing or lasting. If the cement used in the foundation has too much sand or water, you can be sure it won't support the beams, walls, doors, and windows set on top of it. Or if the walls aren't plum—well, you get the picture.
Did you ever have a house built? What did you learn from that experience?
After the house is finished, it must be furnished! The decisions never end. But it's worth all the time and effort to be sure it's exactly what you want.
So, I don't think you're in the least bit surprised that when God instructed Moses to build “a sanctuary for me that I may dwell among them,” (25:8), he was as particular and exact about his house and its furnishings as described in these two chapters. For example, in chapter 25:23-25, he gives instructions for the table that will hold the Ark of the Covenant. “Then make a table of acacia wood, 36 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 27 inches high. Overlay it with pure gold and run a gold molding around the edge. Decorate it with a 3-inch borderall around and run a gold molding along the border” (NLT).
What do you think about the requirements God made for his house?
It was always God's intent to live among his people. It began in Genesis with Adam and Eve in the Garden. Now (in Exodus), he's going to dwell in a mobile place, a tabernacle, followed by an opulent and permanent temple that Solomon would build (see 1 Kings 5-8). Both the tabernacle and temple were to be symbolic, but visible dwellings of God. There is great symbolism in the tabernacle and temple as precursors of Jesus who came to make “his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). In the original language the term is “pitched his tent,” an allusion to the OT tabernacle, where God dwelled among Israel.
Where does God live today?
Ever since the Day of Pentecost, God has been building his Church. It's not made with human hands, but it is a living, growing body of believers. The tabernacle and temple are gone, but God, the Holy Spirit, is still living among his people, and by his grace, you and I are that dwelling place.
What kind of "temple" are you building for Jesus to live in?
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). And what’s more, the ministry of the high priest who offered the annual sacrifice in the tabernacle gives us a clear picture of another high priest who has to come to offer a final sacrifice.
But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. (Hebrews 9:11-12)
How should the realization that Jesus lives in his people, the Church, affect our worship and conduct? jbd & gmd